No guarantee of rights

Same as last year

Workers' rights violations

Right to free speech and assembly

On 2 April 2020, Soy Sros, a local union leader at Superl Cambodia, a leatherware company, was arrested for ‘’provocation’’ under the Cambodian Criminal Code for social media posts criticising the suspension of union members, including a pregnant woman, during the coronavirus crisis. She was held at Kompong Speu provincial prison where, according to CUMW president Pav Sina, her health severely deteriorated.

Right to civil liberties

On 31 July 2020, the president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU) and prominent unionist in Cambodia, Rong Chhun, was arrested for “incitement to commit felony” regarding his public comments on farmland losses and border irregularities between Cambodia and Vietnam. Under this fallacious pretext, the Cambodian authorities in reality targeted his activities leading pickets in garment factory closures and urging the government to make human rights improvements, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rong Chhun faces two years in prison if convicted.

On 7 August 2020, at least seven protesters and CCU members were arrested for demanding Chhun’s release, including Sor Saknika, president of the Cambodian Informal Labourers’ Association (CILA), who was charged with incitement to join the solidarity protest and who remains, to this date, in pre-trial detention.

On 10 August, Ouk Chayavy, former president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association (CITA), was attacked by thugs after visiting Rong Chhun in prison. She was leading the Free Rong Chhun campaign and was in the process of submitting petitions to the UN and country representations.


On 17 June 2020, workers at Greenfield Industry held a meeting to form a factory level union of Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) and elected eleven union officials. Three days later, the human resources department summoned the eleven elected officials and informed them that the company could not renew their employment contracts due to a lack of orders and poor performance by the workers. As the union president disputed these made-up justifications, the company threatened the union officials, telling them to resign from C.CAWDU or face repercussions. The local union president, vice president, secretary and treasurer were dismissed, as they refused to sign the resignation letter presented to them. Six other union officials signed the letter and quit C.CAWDU under duress.

Right to collective bargaining

The Cambodian Airport Management Service (CAMS), of which Vinci holds major shares, stubbornly refused to engage in collective bargaining negotiations with the company-level unions, affiliated to the Cambodian Transport Workers’ Federation (CTWF), despite their certification as most representative unions in 2019. Negotiations had been first postponed by management and then came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing the company to impose work suspensions unilaterally in all three airports without consulting the union.

On 4 November 2020, CAMS informed the staff informally of the retrenchment of 161 employees, 121 being union members, and only agreed to disclose the list of workers retrenched to the unions on 24 November in a meeting with the ministry of labour. CAMS approached the workers individually to force them to accept the compensation package. By January 2021, CAMS had terminated 130 workers from the three airports in Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh. The ministry of labour ignored the unions’ calls denouncing these blatant violations of the labour laws.

Workers’ rights in law

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