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Unions Happy Over Labor Protections

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Unions have applauded the Ministry of Labor, which will ratify new conventions. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Union officials have applauded the Ministry of Labor which is preparing to ratify some International Labor Organization’s (ILO) conventions, including two that unions, factory workers and domestic workers have long demanded.
The Labor Ministry said on Wednesday that to promote and protect the rights, benefits and working conditions of workers as of last month, Cambodia was the only country in the region to have ratified up to 13 conventions, including eight fundamental conventions that are binding on all ILO member countries.
Besides the conventions that have already been ratified, Cambodia is cooperating closely with the ILO to include content that is written in the conventions to apply to other laws and regulations of the Kingdom, according to the ministry.
“The Labor Ministry will do research and check the possibility of ratifying other international labor conventions such as conventions No. 183 and No. 189 in accordance with the real needs of the country and the regional context,” it said.
Convention No. 189 has 27 articles providing for the protection and promotion of domestic workers’ fundamental rights including the right to get paid, have clear working times, work without force and right to form trade unions. Convention No. 183 pertains to maternity protection.
Vorn Pov, president of the Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association, told Khmer Times yesterday that the ministry’s announcement showed it is paying attention to requests from his association, in particular the ratification of convention No. 189.
“This is why we are happy and applauded the Labor Ministry which shows their willingness to consider ratification of convention No. 189 as the main request of our association,” he said.
Mr. Pov expects the ministry to ratify convention No. 189 in the near future and said domestic workers would have more freedom and benefits to work in the country and abroad.
“If the Labor Ministry takes this convention to parliament for ratification, we hope to defend domestic workers’ rights both inside and outside the country,” he added.
“We have the documents to push the government to apply it to domestic workers by asking landlords or employers to obey and comply with this convention.”
He hopes that after ratification of convention No. 189, the ministry will consider the working conditions of domestic workers to provide them justice in accordance with the convention.
Yang Sophorn, president of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions, also applauded the Labor Ministry’s green light on the ratification of Convention No. 183 and 189, which she has demanded several times.
She told Khmer Times, “We enjoy and applaud the ministry’s announcement, but it has not yet responded to the needs of our request.”
Ms. Sophorn added that if the government did not ratify the convention, it would have no ability to control the performance of Cambodian workers and citizens.

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