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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Union leader Chea Mony nominated for human rights award

Union leader Chea Mony nominated for human rights award

The nomination of the brother of slain union leader Chea Vichea recognises ‘courageous' work in dangerous labour environment.

WHO WAS ENNALS?

The first secretary general of Amnesty International, Martin Ennals, was "a fiercely devoted activist" who "devoted his whole life to human rights", according to the award's website. He died in 1991. The award was first given in 1993. 

UNION leader Chea Mony has been nominated for the 2009 Martin Ennals Award, a prize given by 10 leading human rights NGOs to an individual who has "demonstrated an exceptional record of combating human rights violations by courageous and innovative means", the London-based charity One World Action announced in a press release distributed Thursday. 

Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union of the Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia (FTU), is the brother of Chea Vichea, a union leader who was shot and killed near Wat Lanka in 2004.  

"This award would mean the world would recognise my hard work defending garment factory workers as well as human rights and justice in Cambodian society," Chea Mony told the Post Thursday.

"Every day I work and protest against social injustice without worrying about my personal security."

"Cambodia is a very dangerous place in which to be a trade unionist," reads the release announcing Chea Mony's nomination. "Even though the constitution guarantees citizens the right to establish and belong to trade unions, labour unions face severe pressure and intimidation."

Organisations behind the award, which will be given in May, include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Federation of Human Rights.

One World Action describes itself as a partner of the FTU and presented it with the Sternberg Award in 2007 for its "outstanding commitment to human rights". 

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