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Home  >>   Daily News  >>   Cambodia  News  >>   Labor  >>   Watchdog cites Cambodia as “repressive” on labour
NEWS UPDATES 3 September 2010

Watchdog cites Cambodia as “repressive” on labour

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Cambodia continues to be a “repressive” environment for labour activists in 2009, despite the existence of relatively progressive legislation, according to a new report from United States-based watchdog Freedom House.

In the report, released on Tuesday in Washington, the group said Cambodia had laws in place that guaranteed labour rights, but that implementation continued to be lacking.

“Despite the fairly robust legal framework, enforcement of labour laws is weak,” the report said. “Anti-union harassment, dismissal of union leaders and supporters, and violence by vigilantes are common.”

The labour report, the first of its kind produced by Freedom House, also cited recent moves to amend Cambodia’s labour laws to allow for the increased use of short-term contracts, which it says discourage workers from supporting trade unions.

“The government has enjoyed increasing success in attractive private investment to Cambodia, and appears to favour the interests of investors and employers over workers‘ rights,” it concluded.

The report also decried the unsolved murders of union leaders including former Free Trade Union head Chea Vichea, who was gunned down outside a newspaper stand in 2004.

In Asia, Cambodia was rated alongside Afghanistan, China and Singapore as “repressive”, with Burma, Laos, North Korea and Vietnam given the lowest classification, “very repressive”.

Moeun Tola, head of the labour programme at the Community Legal Education Centre, said he agreed with the report’s main findings, especially its concerns about the use of short-term contracts.

At a Kampong Chhnang garment factory where dozens of workers fainted on the job last month, he said, workers told him they dared not stop for fear that their three-month contracts would be cancelled.

“My assessment is that if they let such a situation continue, working conditions will get worse,” he said.

Later this month, more than 60,000 garment workers plan to hold a one-week strike in response to the refusal of the Ministry of Labour and industry groups to renegotiate the sector’s newly established minimum wage. The wage was increased by US$5 to $61 per month in July, but unions are demanding that it be raised to as much as $93.

ASEAN was an important destination for foreign tourists, and Cambodia was becoming increasingly attractive for international tourists, he said.

“We will win the competition, and we need to develop the sector as much as we can,” he said.

Minister of the Council of Ministers Sok An said the government emphasizes promoting and developing tourism.

Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy spokesman Thani Thongphakdi said yesterday that he was unaware of Cambodia’s position on the funding, but that Thailand “stands ready to promote further bilateral cooperation with Cambodia”.

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ASEAN INDICES
September 1, 2010
Market
Indices
Change

IDX

3,120.02
38.14
KLCI 
1,426.56 4.07
PSEi*    3,566.23 7.56
SGX 7.50
-0.02
SET 918.76
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Source : Relevant bourses
Note   : 
*  31 August 2010
CURRENCY EXCHANGE
September 1,2010
Currency US$
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Singapore $ 

1.32 1.68
Thai Baht * 
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39.90

Malaysia Ringgit
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3.98
Indonesia Rupiah  
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  31 August 2010
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BRUNEI
Tourism Development Division
Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources
Jln. Menteri Besar, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
Tel. (673-2) 382822 Fax. (673-2) 382824
Email: bruneitourism@brunet.bn
Website: http://www.bruneitourism.travel/

CAMBODIA
Ministry of Tourism
3, Preah Monivong Blvd, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel. (855-23) 213911 Fax. (855-23) 426107/217503
Email: dgpro@camnet.com.kh
Website: http://www.tourismcambodia.com/

INDONESIA
Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat 17, Jakarta 10110, Indonesia
Tel. (62-21)3838157 Fax. (62-21) 3849715
Website:
http://www.budpar.go.id
http://www.my-indonesia.info

LAOS
National Tourism Authority of Lao P.D.R.
Lane Xang Avenue, P.O. Box 3556, Vientiane, Lao P.D.R.
Tel. (856-21) 212248 Fax. (856-21) 212769/2127910
Website: http://www.tourismlaos.gov.la/

MALAYSIA
Ministry of Tourism
Menara Dato' Onn
Putra World Trade Center, 50480, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel. (603) 2693 5188 Fax. (603) 269 0207/2693 0884
Email: tourism@tourism.gov.my
Website: http://www.tourism.gov.my

MYANMAR
Ministry of Hotels and Tourism
No. 77-91, Sule Pagoda Road, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel. (95-1) 285689 Fax. (95-1) 289588/254417
Email: dht.mht@myanmar.com.mm / mtt.mht@mptmail.net.mm
Website:
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http://www.myanmartourismboard.com/

PHILIPPINES
Department of Tourism
DOT Building, T.M. Kalaw Street, Agrifina Circle, Rizal Park
Manila 10004, Philippines
Tel. (632) 523 8411 Fax. (632) 521 7374
Email: deptour@info.com.ph
Website: http://www.wowphilippines.com.ph/

SINGAPORE
Singapore Tourism Board
Tourism Court, 1 Orchard Spring Lane, Singapore 247729
Tel. (65) 736 6622 Fax. (65) 736 9423
Email: stb_sog@stb.gov.sg
Website: http://www.visitsingapore.com/

THAILAND
Tourism Authority of Thailand
1600 New Phetchaburi Road
Makkasan, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Tel. (662) 250 5500 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (662) 250 5500      end_of_the_skype_highlighting Fax. (662) 253 7437
Email: center@tat.or.th
Website: http://www.tourismthailand.org

VIETNAM
Vietnam National Administration of Tourism
80 Quan Su Street, Hanoi, Viet Nam
Tel. (84-4) 822 8744 Fax. (84-4) 942 4115
Email: binhvnat@hn.vnn.vn
Website: http://www.vietnamtourism.com

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