More than 100 police officials on Tuesday received training on “the rights of peaceful labour strikes and demonstrations” in compliance with the Cambodian Constitution.

The programme was organised in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, Ministry of Interior National Police, Royal Academy of Cambodia, International Labour Organisation and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training spokesman Heng Sour told The Post that 120 police officers were trained on how to manage peaceful labour strikes.

“The training programme was aimed to strengthen the effectiveness of law enforcement to ensure that the freedoms of peaceful demonstration and expression are not disrupted,” Sour said.

The training programme was divided into four sections. Each part lasted two days with 30 trainees participating.

“The sections focused on conflict resolution and education on the right to hold peaceful labour strikes and demonstrations,” said Sour.

Som Chamnan, the under-secretary of state for the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training told The Post on Wednesday that labour strikes often occurred after staff and employers failed to find a solution to conflicts.

“Some labour strikes are held illegally. Therefore, they demand intervention from authorities as well as the police.

“Efforts in conflict resolution are more effective compared to previously. This can be seen from the decrease in labour strikes and conflicts,” he said.

Chamnan said that while he was encouraged by this, it was necessary to educate stakeholders and law enforcement on Article 37 of the Cambodian Constitution, which guarantees the right to strike and organise peaceful demonstrations.

Collective Union of Movement of Workers president Pao Sina applauded the training programme but requested that organisers consider including union representatives and employees in the future.

“This training strengthens law enforcement’s understanding of peaceful labour demonstrations, but regular people and employees should get the same training so that they become aware of how their labour rights are protected.

“So far we have observed that the work of authorities in solving labour strikes and demonstrations seem ineffective because the rights of employees and citizens are still under pressure,” Sina said.