A conference was held in Phnom Penh , Cambodia on April 4 to discuss measures to increase partnership among members of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in protecting and promoting the rights of migrant workers.

The three-day meeting focused on the role of members of parliament in the issue.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Cambodian National Assembly Chairman Heng Samrin said migration for job seeking is posing great challenges to both families and society, including the trafficking and exploitation of women and children.

The challenges not only threaten the life of the victims, but also cause difficulties to their families and society as a whole, he said.

Therefore, the most important issue is to seek appropriate method and measures to protect these people, not to prevent the flow of migrant workers.

Chairman of the Cambodia NA’s Committee for Economy, Finance, Banking and Audit also stressed the protection and promotion of migrant workers required the involvement of all related parties.

The ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers was passed in 2007. The region now has nearly 600 million people, accounting for 8.8 percent of the world’s population, and a 263 million strong workforce./.