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Cambodia: Constitutional Council approves amended Law on Trade Union; while 36 labour groups and NGOs express concerns of ongoing restrictions

"CCC passes amendments on 10 articles of Trade Union Law", 19 December 2019

The Constitutional Council of Cambodia (CCC) … reviewed and approved the draft law on amendments to 10 articles of the Law on Trade Unions amid criticism from local and international civil society organisations…

“The Constitutional Council of Cambodia unanimously approved the amendments of articles 3, 17, 20, 21, 27, 28, 29, 54, 55 and 59 of the Law on Trade Unions,” said CCC’s press release…

…, Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng said the amendments were made at the request of trade unions and relevant stakeholders.

“It cannot satisfy all parties but at least it is much better than before,” he said…

However, a day ahead of the CCC session, local and international civil society organisations wrote a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen urging him to revisit the provisions of the articles and consider recommendations submitted by civil society stakeholders, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the International Labour Organisation…

They noted that amendments in Article 3 failed to widen the coverage of the law to workers in the informal sector, teachers and other public servants. This would deny workers in small businesses with fewer than 10 workers the opportunity to unionise and exercise their rights…

“The current environment for labour rights advocates, trade union leaders, and civil society activists is not conducive to ensure a genuine improvement of the human rights and labour rights situation in Cambodia,” the statement said…

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