US House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi arrived with a congressional delegation in Cambodia on Saturday to commence discussions of Washington’s relations with the Kingdom regarding issues like human rights, trade and security.
The stop is part of a five-nation trip to Asian countries including Vietnam, Myanmar, Korea and Japan.
“We arrive at an important moment for the United States’ relationship with these countries, and find ourselves presented with fresh opportunities and familiar challenges in the region,” Pelosi, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Our delegation will discuss ways we can strengthen security cooperation; advance human rights with an emphasis on women, workers and religious minorities; and increase fair trade.”
Pelosi and her bipartisan delegation, which consists of nine other members of Congress, will meet with stakeholders in Cambodia but will not be holding public events, according to the US Embassy.
“If she meets with the government, the topic that would have the most impact if discussed is Cambodia upholding its labour laws,” said Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division.
According to a recent HRW report, many garment workers experience abuse in the workplace due to a lack of enforcement of the labour law. Given the law’s huge impact on the quality of life of women in the garment sector, the law is a “critical issue”, Robertson added.