Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday that any group claiming to represent workers from the informal economy must be officially recognised in order to join protests.
The statement was made while Mr Hun Sen met with more than 4,000 tuk-tuk, motodop and taxi drivers on Koh Pich.
He said he did not want to defeat any people or groups, but wanted to recognise the true representatives of the informal economy.
“They represent the informal economy by shouting loudly or demanding this and that, but the people of the informal economy are sitting here,” he said.
He added the government’s social protection policy now offers equal benefits – from free medical care and treatment to free bus rides – to workers from both the informal and formal economies.
Mr Hun Sen said the government, through the Ministry of Labour, has worked well with members of the informal economy.
He added there was no presence of the unofficial informal economy representatives at yesterday’s forum, only the workers themselves.
Vorn Pov, president of the Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association, said his association was created with the specific purpose of helping informal businesspeople.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said the informal sector was comprised of many kinds of people who needed more social protection.
“The organisations that pay attention to those working in the informal economy must work together to capture individual target groups and help them obtain benefits from social services,” he said.
The Prime Minister also praised informal economy leaders who have registered with the labour and interior ministries.
He said at this time, there were 2.5 million workers in the informal economy compared with only 1.4 million formal economic workers.