What are the benefits Cambodia might get from ASEAN intergration?

By Tith Chandara

Kampong Som Province, Cambodia  – Updated 14:35 GMT

During the Summit in 2000, the ASEAN Heads of State/Government had launched the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) aims at the most developed countries in the region could help other member nations to develop at a higher level to the same pace. From 2015, ASEAN integration is expected to over come the region to narrow the gaps of development among the member states and among the world, to achieve the commitment of ASEAN community, to achieve a closer economic integration, poverty reduction and equitability.

Executive Director of CARAM Cambodia, Mr. Navuth YA stresses a question “What Cambodia can benefit from the ASEAN integration?” In his presentation on “Right Based Approach and Access to Justice for Migrant Workers” he stated that he is worrying that the migration which is becoming the problems in Cambodia right now is booming again in 2015. Current status of Cambodian migrant workers results in labor exploitation and human trafficking. “Cambodia will suffer from ASEAN integration,” Mr. Navuth said. Of course, Cambodia can get benefit on agriculture and tourism, but there might be some problem for migrant worker under one of the work plans of the ‘free flow of skilled and labour’ of the ASEAN economic community if there is no biding law of ASEAN on the issue.

However, Prof. Jorg Menzel from Bonn University in Germany sees the benefit that right now ASEAN has an agreement on visa on arrival that ASEAN citizen don’t have to worry about crossing the country. He compares the situation to the European Union to have their citizen freely travel everywhere anytime without worrying about travel document and visa.