WINNERS were announced over the weekend in a competition aimed at testing awareness of Cambodia’s labour laws among garment workers. The contest, sponsored by the International Labour Organisation, was broadcast live on the Mahanokor FM 93.5 radio station in Phnom Penh.
Chhim Narin, 23, from Lotus factory won first place, 30-year-old Phim Samrong from SL factory got second, and 31-year-old Meas Piseth from Willbest factory earned third.
The competition lasted for 10 weeks starting March 6, with 154 candidates representing 21 garment factories eventually whittled down to the 12 finalists who were quizzed about their knowledge during live radio broadcasts.
The jury for the competition was composed of representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, the Bar Association of Cambodia, and the Arbitration Council.
Chen Ya Sotha, the ministry’s representative on the jury, said competitors were tested on their knowledge of nearly all 396 articles and 19 chapters of the Cambodia Labour Law.
Contest winner Chim Narin, who has worked for four years in the Lotus factory’s sewing department, said she was never interested in learning about labour laws until she saw the advertisement for the competition.
“When I saw the advertisement at my factory, I decided to complete the form to get to know about the laws,” she said, adding that she was grateful that organisers had let her take part even though she had sent the application in after the deadline.
Second place winner Phim Samrong also thanked the organisers for giving him the opportunity to learn more about the country’s labour laws.
“Even though I have worked for five years in a factory, I never had any understanding about labour laws in Cambodia until I started studying for the contest,” he said.
Ly Sovanna, the Arbitration Council’s representative on the jury, said he was “very proud of the competitors, who were not experts on the law and who did not have much time to do research”.
“But they were brave enough and flexible to answer the questions based on their personal experiences,” he said.