Cambodia, Sweden talk about further developing cooperation on labour

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Swedish Ambassador Bjorn Haggmark (left) meets with Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng on Monday. Hong Menea

Cambodia and Sweden on Monday announced continued bilateral cooperation in the Kingdom’s labour and vocational training sector.

The collaboration was made known at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training during a meeting between Minister Ith Sam Heng and Swedish Ambassador Bjorn Haggmark.

In an interview, ministry undersecretary of state Ngoy Rith said both sides expressed satisfaction with the cooperation in the labour sector and revealed their plans to further develop it.

“Sweden, through NGOs, will continue to assist the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training. They will help establish job centres that provide employment opportunities, as well as consultations, so job hunters can find professions well-suited to their skills,” said Rith.

He said: “Cambodia has supported the Swedish government by ensuring enforcement of the global initiative that seeks to protect workers’ rights.”

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Sam Heng said that after Cambodia committed its support for such initiatives on February 16, 2018, the ministry had continued to strengthen its application more effectively.

The ministry had also amended the Labour Law in response to the need for better workplace conditions.

“Strengthening the enforcement of the Law on Trade Unions guaranteed that the rights and freedom of workers are protected and observed. It ascertained that the voices of both employees and employers are heard,” he said.

Sam Heng also noted that cooperation between Sweden and Cambodia had strengthened the enforcement of the Law on Minimum Wage.

The law mandates a sustainable wage for employees and ensures that wage negotiations between employees and employers are done democratically.

“[We] will continue to strengthen the work of the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training by ensuring that our obligations are carried out effectively and transparently.

“We trust that the relevant parties would ensure that labour rights of workers are respected by employers. We will do our best to address other problems to avoid conflicts and protests,” said Sam Heng.

Meanwhile, Haggmark, as quoted by Rith, said the Swedish government had already decided on the projects it would launch this year, in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training.

The continued collaboration will allow Cambodians to achieve better working conditions and vocational training for the development of the Kingdom.

The Swedish ambassador is committed to honouring the bilateral relations between Cambodia and Sweden in the labour sector through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), said Labour Ministry in its Facebook post.

Sida has helped the ministry in establishing job centres across the country.