Cambodia’s draft trade union law would violate the right to organize and be a major step backward for workers, Human Rights Watch said yesterday in a letter to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The Cambodian government has told the media that the trade union law will be enacted in 2015, but has not made a draft public nor provided opportunities for feedback from workers, unions or the public.

Solidarity Center Cambodia Program Director David Welsh says he has seen the draft law, and it does not serve the interests or unions or workers.

“New labor laws and trade union laws were supposed to expand and protect the rights of workers and the freedom of trade unions, not circumscribe them in the way that this current draft law’s doing,” Welsh says. The Solidarity Center has long raised the need for a new trade union law that is grounded in strong worker protections based on internationally accepted standards.

“If the government doesn’t change track, it will be extremely damaging going forward for the reputation of Cambodia as an investment country, and as a viable garment sector as well.”

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the News from The Solidarity Center