Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NEC and JICA to educate workers



NEC and JICA to educate workers

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Garment workers produce items of apparel at a factory in Kandal province. The NEC, in collaboration with JICA, will hold sessions to educate garment workers about the upcoming commune elections. Heng Chivoan

NEC and JICA to educate workers

The National Election Committee (NEC) is collaborating with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to educate factory workers about voting procedures in the upcoming commune elections, the Ministry of Labour announced on Tuesday.

Some labour leaders, however, questioned the value of the move, saying that ignorance and indifference are not the principal factors obstructing workers’ votes.

According to NEC spokesperson Hang Puthea, JICA would dispatch its advisers to special economic zones (SEZs) and provincial factories. There, said Puthea, JICA advisers would hold rallies with officials from the local Provincial Election Committees (PECs) to “explain the importance of the vote”.

Svay Rieng Provincial Election Committee Director Em Sot said that JICA organised one educational rally for workers earlier this month in Bavet town’s SEZ. At the rally, Sot said, the JICA advisers distributed posters and screened a movie about the importance of voting.

JICA experts responsible for the project did not immediately respond to requests for comment yesterday, and the Ministry of Labour referred all questions back to the NEC.

Though generally supportive of efforts to promote voting among workers, labour representatives yesterday highlighted intense workdays and a lack of voting options for migrant workers as the primary obstacles to workers voting – not unfamiliarity with the process.

Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU) President Yang Sophorn claimed that nearly all 100,000 members of her union were registered to vote. While she welcomed further encouragement, Sophorn said some workers complained to her that they found it difficult to register due to their demanding work schedules.

If the government wishes to encourage workers to vote, said Moeun Tola of labour rights group Central, they should allow Cambodian migrant workers to vote from overseas.

“We need to settle polling stations in Cambodian embassies and consulate offices in Thailand, South Korea and Malaysia to offer them the opportunity to vote.”

Citing the estimated 1 million Cambodian workers living in Thailand, Tola argued that “if you look at the [number of Cambodian migrant workers] you could fill up more than 20 seats at the National Assembly”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and