Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - South Korea requests ‘just politics’

South Korea requests ‘just politics’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Labour Minister Ith Sam Heng meets with Cambodian employees of bathroom-equipment manufacturer Saturn Bath Company yesterday during a tour of South Korea. Photo supplied

South Korea requests ‘just politics’

Labour Minister Ith Sam Heng requested South Korean officials take steps to better accommodate Cambodian migrant workers while on a Khmer New Year tour of the country, though one labour rights leader dismissed the meeting as merely a symbolic gesture.

According to a post to Sam Heng’s Facebook page, he met with Shim Khuong-woo, the Korean official overseeing matters related to health and injuries, on April 17. Sam Heng said he had requested that South Korean authorities provide information on benefits available to Cambodian workers, create vocational education programs and establish a relationship with the Cambodian social security provider to better manage the distribution of benefits, among other things.

Long Dimanche, Cambodian ambassador to South Korea, yesterday said that better educating the 53,000 Cambodians working in South Korea was a priority. For instance, he said, “workers don’t take care about [their] insurance. Sometimes they pay it, and after a few years, they stop paying it because they think that it is not necessary . . . We need to promote it to them [so they] understand it.”

However, Moeun Tola, head of the labour rights group Central, dismissed Sam Heng’s suggestions as politicking ahead of upcoming elections. If he had really wanted to safeguard the welfare of Cambodian workers, Tola said, Samheng should have demanded that workers be allowed to join labour unions, engage in collective bargaining and leave the workplaces in the event of disputes. “When they are unhappy, they run away and become undocumented,” said Tola, a situation that leaves them vulnerable to police raids and further exploitation.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be