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

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the