PHNOM PENH (ILO News) – The International Labour Office (ILO) and the Kingdom of Cambodia have agreed today to a three-year cooperation framework and plan of action that will help the country recover from the economic and social crisis facing the region and build a stronger platform for future development. A signing ceremony of the framework document is also aimed in December this year.
The Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) for Cambodia will focus assistance on three specific areas; employment and skills development strategies for productive employment, labour governance and rights, and enhanced social protection for targeted groups. The action plan will run through 2010 which also includes response to mitigating the impact of the global financial crisis.
Initial action will focus on employment creation, particularly for youth and retrenched workers, and social protection. To expand access to labour market information and strengthen employment services for these target groups, the ILO has worked closely with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MOLVT), employers and workers to establish Job Centres.
“I was pleased to visit the newly-set up Phnom Penh Job Centre on Tuesday and I would like to congratulate the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training through its Department of Technical Vocational and Educational Training for the very good work achieved so far,” said Mr Bill Salter, Director of the ILO’s Office for East Asia. “The ILO is looking forward to our further collaboration to have more job centres operating in other provinces in the near future”.
Other actions focus on the garment sector, a critical component of Cambodia’s export economy and a source of jobs for many families. Key areas of ILO-supported work will include tracking what is happening to workers and the industry and reducing vulnerability by promoting alternative ways for the garment workers to make a living.
The plan was prepared in close consultation with MOLVT, the Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business Associations (CAMFEBA), and the country’s Trade Unions, who have worked together to define priorities and targets within the national development framework.
The ILO’s “tripartite” structure makes it unique within the United Nations system and means that it brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape policies and programmes. DWCPs are the main framework through which the ILO provides support to its member countries worldwide.
Helping to improve infrastructure through labour-based public works as part of the forthcoming National Social Protection Strategy has also been identified as a major area of work for the DWCP. “The ILO is very pleased to have assisted the Royal Government of Cambodia through the Council for Agriculture and Rural Development, which has invited the ILO to take the lead in developing coherent policies in these technical areas, together with other UN agencies and stakeholders,” Mr Salter told guests at the ceremony.
Better social protection for Cambodia’s workforce is also a high priority. In both the formal and informal economies the ILO will be working with its three constituents and civil society groups, to find ways to protect those who, at present, have little or none.
In one immediate move, discussions are due to take place in Phnom Penh on 27th November on a proposed new international labour standard for domestic workers, a crucial group of workers whose rights and conditions frequently go unnoticed. The results of this and the outcomes of similar discussions in other countries, are due to be considered at the International Labour Conference in Geneva next June.
The Kingdom of Cambodia has been a member State of the ILO for 40 years, since 1969. Since joining, Cambodia has ratified 13 ILO conventions, including the eight so-called core conventions covering child labour, forced labour, discrimination, freedom of association and collective bargaining.
For further information please contact:
Mr Tun Sophorn
International Labour Office
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel: +855 23 220 817
Mr Allan Dow
Communications and Advocacy Officer
ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Tel: +66 2288 2057