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

  • All Covid restrictions for inbound travellers lifted

    Cambodia has apparently taken the final step towards full reopening of the country without Covid-19 restrictions by removing all requirements for inbound travellers, who until now had to show health certificates indicating that they have tested Covid-19 negative in the past 72 hours as well as

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Cambodia stands firm on 5PC: No invite for Myanmar to ASEAN Summit this year

    Cambodia has not invited Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, chairman of Myanmar’s ruling State Administration Council (SAC), to the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit and related meetings scheduled for next month in Phnom Penh. The government will instead invite a non-political representative from Myanmar

  • Mushrooming borey projects and home financing – a cause for concern?

    A spurt in housing developments is typically a sign of a growing economy but underneath all that might lay some anxiety of credit growth as developers offer financing to buyers at higher rates, an activity the central bank identifies as ‘shadow banking’ Earlier this year,

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They

  • Hun Sen’s rare visit to Cuba: What’s going on?

    Back on August 17, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that he would deliver a speech at the 77th UN General Assembly (UNGA) at the UN headquarters in the US’ New York City, visit Cuba and attend the state funeral of the slain Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo