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Labour Ministry receives counsel on labour rights

9 November 2018

Two US-based organisations sent a letter to the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training …, following a meeting with it in October to discuss the rights of workers in the Kingdom’s garment and footwear sector, among others.

Fair Labor Association (FLA) and American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) wrote a joint follow-up letter to the minister, Ith Sam Heng, recommending that the government improve workers’ rights.

“At the centre of these recommendations is our view that workers need the freedom to represent and speak for themselves without fear of retaliation or retribution. We hope that this core value will inform whatever reform your government is taking to go forward,” the letter said.

The organisations expressed “particular concerns” over the criminal charges against several union leaders, saying they “undermined the role and reduced the independence of the Arbitration Council …”.

“We urge [the Cambodian] government to guarantee respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and provide full protection of all human rights defenders in your country…

Moreover, the groups recommended the government to amend some parts in the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango) by “removing onerous and intrusive reporting requirements”…

Cambodia Alliance of Trade Union (Catu) president Yan Saphorn said: “I support the recommendations. We work for workers’ rights. We want appreciation, not lawsuits.”

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