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Joint letter on labor rights to Cambodian prime minister

Issues Freedom of Association & Collective Bargaining Harassment

Twenty-three companies and civil society organizations jointly signed a letter to urge the government of Cambodia to take specific, concrete, and time-bound steps to bring Cambodia in line with international labor standards.

The letter details requests that Cambodia amend its Trade Union Law, repeal the Law of Associations and NGOs, drop all outstanding criminal charges against union leaders, and respect and foster the role of the Arbitration Council. Specifically, the letter calls on the Cambodian government to:

  1. Amend the Trade Union Law. The amendments promulgated on January 3, 2020, fall short of international labor rights standards, fail to eliminate arbitrary hurdles to union registration, and restrict the ability of all unions to fully represent their members.
  2. Repeal the Law of Associations and NGOs. The current law enables an atmosphere of harassment and repression against civil society organizations and unions.
  3. Drop all outstanding criminal charges against union leaders. The Cambodian government should cease further baseless judicial proceedings against labor activists.
  4. Respect and foster the important role of the Arbitration Council. In addition, the Cambodian government should respect the ability of all unions to represent their workers before the Arbitration Council.

The signatories note that while there has been progress on labor issues in Cambodia, valid concerns remain about the labor and human rights situation in the country and those put trade preferences for Cambodia at risk. The letter follows previous calls for action in 2018 and 2019.

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