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Laborers Protected Under Law: Officials

As Cambodia experiences a construction boom, construction workers and other laborers should know they have rights to leave, medical treatment and other basic rights, two officials said Thursday.

While Cambodia’s labor sector has a robust union tradition, with workers able to collectivize against perceived unfairness, many laborers desperate for work, earning about $5 a day, may overlook their basic rights.

Cambodian law places the responsibility for workers' safety on companies that hire them.

“The companies have to pay workers in accordance with the law,” said Tun Sophorn, Cambodia coordinator for the International Labor Organization, as a guest on “Hello VOA.”

Yi Kanitha, deputy director of the occupational health department at the Ministry of Labor, agreed.

When workers are hurt, “we go and investigate the seriousness of the accidents, what the cause is, and then we evaluate before making a decision on how much the company has to pay,” he said, also as a guest on “Hello VOA.”

Workers should call on the office of occupational health in every province or the capital if they need help, he said.