The Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility Cambodia (CARAM Cambodia) is an organisation working to assist migrant workers and their families to build their quality of life, health and wellbeing and to ensure that the human rights and labour rights of those migrant workers,their families and communities are respected by all. CARAM Cambodia has been working on migration and HIV issues since 1999 and brings a wealth of experience in migration and health to the NGO community in Cambodia and the region.
CARAM Cambodia works in two general thematic areas. Firstly, it has a well-known role in public advocacy on migrant rights and is engaged in many working groups and other forums to raise the concerns of migrant workers throughout Cambodia.Secondly, CARAM Cambodia works to prevent and reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and seeks to address the health concerns of migrant worker communities.
CARAM Cambodia’s vision is to see a Cambodia where all people have the right to live, move and work in dignity with equal rights in a society where their quality of life is ensured.
CARAM Cambodia has operated since 1997 and was registered with the Ministry of Interior in 2000. Building relationships with local authorities and conducting research with migrant communities, CARAM Cambodia developed a reputation for effective advocacy work both nationally and regionally.
Since then, CARAM Cambodia has taken leadership roles in national and regional networks such as HACC, NGO CEDAW, CWGAMW and the Task Force for ASEAN Migrant Workers. Additionally, CARAM Cambodia has taken the lead in major advocacy events like the organisation of activities for International Migrants Day and the development of Safe Migration literature and the dissemination of Safe Migration information through media channels and public forums. A key achievement was the successful lobbying of the Royal Government of Cambodia in 2010, to issue a sub-decree on the provision of free of charge passports to migrant workers, and PRAKAS number 108 on pre-departure training and post return programs for migrant workers.
Other activities have included pre-departure training of domestic workers;case-handling and legal support for migrant workers to ensure access to justice; safe repatriation and reintegration of victims of human trafficking and labour exploitation; and, outreach education and referral service to entertainment workers on reproductive health rights, HIV/AIDS and effects of drug use. Through outreach programs from 2005 to 2009, over 40 entertainment workers have been selected as peer educators to facilitate future trainings. Many more have left the entertainment industry to start up their own small businesses.
In 2012 and 2013, CARAM Cambodia was focused on a number of activities with Winrock International, including safe migration advocacy work through radio,television and public forums. Additionally, for those migrant workers experiencing crisis situations, CARAM Cambodia was engaged in the repatriation and reintegration of workers from other countries. CARAM Cambodia plans to continue this work with One Day Wage in 2014.
Addressing difficulties faced by internal migrant communities, CARAM Cambodia has been working with KHANA to improve sexual health outcomes of both Cambodian and Vietnamese Entertainment Workers operating in Phnom Penh. This program works through locally engaged peer facilitators and educators who engage workers and venues through training and referral services.
Strategically, CARAM Cambodia intends to enhance health and wellbeing services for migrant workers at all stages of the migration cycle. Leveraging on existing expertise, the focus will be on putting in place better strategies to protect potential migrants and extending services to vulnerable migrants during and after repatriation or return.
CARAM Cambodia will engage in research projects on migration issues, applying action research principles to ongoing community engagements. The research will better inform program development and provide a basis for ongoing advocacy efforts.
Further, CARAM Cambodia will work to build linkages with other organisations, locally, nationally and regionally.With better networking, CARAM Cambodia hopes to engage networks of migrant workers internationally to provide support and protection to each other.