Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Preah Sihanouk authorities warn of clampdown on employee abuse

Preah Sihanouk authorities warn of clampdown on employee abuse

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Casino buildings in Sihanoukville in August. YOUSOS APDOULRASHIM

Preah Sihanouk authorities warn of clampdown on employee abuse

The Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration has warned of legal action against any employers of establishments in the province, such as hotels or casinos, who force force their employees to work overtime or try to detain them against their will for any reason.

Provincial governor Kouch Chamroeun issued a statement on September 27 banning the use of employment contracts with provisions in them that run contrary to Cambodian labour laws regarding recruitment and management of workers.

He said his administration has received numerous complaints along these lines recently and are still working to resolve some cases. If they find that a hotel or casino owner is committing crimes they will take immediate action by suspending their business licence temporarily and closing them down until the matter is addressed.

He said that in such cases, should the court then choose to prosecute the alleged offenders and they are convicted, they will be facing possible prison sentences and the permanent revocation of any business licences.

He said forcing employees to work overtime could be grounds for the revocation of their licenses because it is illegal under Cambodian labour laws.

The governor said that any employers who are engaged in human trafficking and sexual exploitation by recruiting workers for legitimate jobs and then pressuring them into prostitution or any other illegal activity would be dealt with severely as would any employers who used exploitative practices such as debt-servitude or keeping workers isolated or trapped by withholding salaries or taking their passports and other similar practices.

“Any person who illegally transports another person for the purpose of sexual exploitation, production of pornographic images, marriage contrary to the will of the victim, forced adoption or any other form of exploitation shall be punished to the full extent of the law,” according to Chamroeun’s notice, which also noted that anyone who imprisons or detains another person without lawful authority to do so could be prosecuted on charges as serious as kidnapping.

Cambodian Labour Confederation president Ath Thorn said the issuance of the letter to remind business owners to abide by Cambodian laws was a good first step but the implementation will only be effective if the authorities take active measures against some offenders to make examples of them as a deterrent for these practices.

“I think the good news is that the authorities are showing awareness of the problem because we know already that some casino owners have been forcing their workers to do overtime and refusing to allow them to go anywhere.

“But sending them a letter isn’t enough. There should be investigations and monitoring, possibly leading to prosecutions in court, as well as a hotline number for these workers to report violations and get help when they run into trouble,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway