The International Labor Organization says a new National Employment Policy will improve the country’s economy for the young generation.
The policy, drafted with the help of Sweden, aims to increase “decent and productive” employment opportunities, enhance skills and human resources development, and strengthen labor market governance, the ILO said in a statement.
“The document outlines strategies to address the challenges of creating sufficient jobs to meet the needs of Cambodia’s young and growing population,” the ILO said. “It also stresses the need for these jobs to be decent and inclusive.”
Prime Minister Hun Sen, who launched the NEP on Thursday, called the policy important and relevant to Cambodia. The policy comes following a government decision to raise the minimum wage to $140 per month and amid a growing unemployment challenge, forcing many Cambodians to seek work abroad.
Maurizio Bussi, who is in charge of the ILO office for Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, said in a statement the new policy is in line with UN sustainability goals, by focusing on decent work and job creation.
However, Moeun Tola, labor officer for the Community Legal Education Center, said the employment policy comes at a time when there are few jobs for Cambodians other than factories, where labor conditions are not properly ensured and where wages are low. In provinces outside the capital, people “are mostly eyeing jobs outside [the country],” he said.
He urged the government to focus on skills training and other preparations for Asean economic integration, which begins at the end of this year.