A Report Shows that Cambodian Youth Still Encounter Difficulties to Find Jobs – Saturday, 24.1.2009

Posted on 25 January 2009. Filed under: Week 596 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 596

“Phnom Penh: A new report shows that Cambodian youth encounter many difficulties when seeking jobs, and also employers find it difficult to recruit qualified youth with skills. On 22 January 2009, the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center – CJCC – and an employer association, the Cambodian Federation of Employers & Business Associations – CAMFEBA – which is recognized by the Royal Government of Cambodia and by many international organizations, representing employers in the Kingdom of Cambodia, especially on work problems – organized a national workshop for youth on the topic ‘Youth and Employment,’ to publish an important survey report about youth employment in Cambodia, in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Vocation Training.

“This workshop was presided over by a secretary of state of the Ministry of Labor and Vocation Training, Mr. Pich Sophoan; around 400 students from different universities and youth associations participated in the event.

“The report was based on a survey which had been sponsored by the UN International Labor Organization – ILO. It represents a first crucial step to promote understanding and social dialogue about some of the most important issues for the future of Cambodia: that is the mismatch between supplies and requirements on the labor market.

“CAMFEBA had hired BDLink to conduct a large survey of youth and employers, about their difficulties and expectations regarding skills and youth employment. This survey is part of a project for youth and social dialogue of the employer federation CAMFEBA which is still in progress. This project was initiated by CAMFEBA and the Employment Sector Office of ILO in Geneva, under a project of the Social Dialogue Sector, funded by the Norwegian government. Starting its implementation from June 2007, this project aims to create proper employment and promote youth opportunities to seek income by matching the supply and the requirements of skills on the labor market, and to create relations between relevant agencies to present development policies for youth. More importantly, this project is focused on the creation and coordination of social dialogue among trade unions, the Royal Government, and employers, by dealing with difficulties and concerns, in which these three fields have similar interests, and for which they have to find solutions.

“The survey was conducted with around 2,200 youth and 220 employers from five provinces and cities, such as Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kompong Cham, and Svay Rieng. They were asked about their views regarding some problems such as access to education, to training for quality in education, and about work requirements, experiences in job seeking, and about the kinds of skills demanded on the labor market.

“Youth is facing difficult decisions about important problems in their lives, such as family responsibilities, studies, choosing a job, study tours, and employment opportunities. One important point among many key points found during the survey is that youth encountered difficulties in making decisions, because they did not have sufficient access to the right information.

“For instance, when they had to decide what they would do when they finished high school, more than two thirds of the students just depended on their parents. Information provided by schools or by teachers or self collected information about the labor market were not influential factors for their decision making. Likewise, only 33% of the students at universities and at other educational institutions made their decision which skills to study on their perception about demands for those skills on the labor market.

“This discovery shows how important it is that agencies of the government, educational institutions, employers associations, trade unions, and different non-government organizations work out measures to provide useful information about the different fields of study, and to give guidance for selecting their future work.

“What makes the survey different is that it looked at work problems from the point of view of the employers. High-ranking officials operating for the development of the different sectors of the economy must survey these opinions about skills needed among the Khmer youth.

“Talking about educational requirements, about 96% of the employers demanded youth with broad education when they need staff, and 72% demanded even bachelor or master degrees. These requirements were in high demand by non-government institutions, in business, and in various careers, but they were hardly demanded for work in hotels and in factories.

“In the area of business, many employers expressed their concerns about the lack of skills needed on the labor market. Employers need workers with skills who have the ability to do productive work, in order to be encouraged to improve their commitment to move ahead, but such skills were always missing. Only 13% of the employers believed that the graduates had enough, or almost all qualifications needed for their work.

“As shown below, more than half of the employers said that it was true that they seek expert staff with decision making skills based on correct analyses. The results of this survey show clearly in which ways the students need to be educated in schools and up to universities in Cambodia.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6560, 24-25.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 24 January 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1855, 24.1.2009

  • The Thai Minister of Foreign Affair [Mr. Kasit Piromya] Invited Khmer Embassy Officials in Bangkok to Have Lunch Together before Visiting Cambodia [to discuss the solution of border disputes]
  • There Were 51 Crimes, Killing 63 People in Phnom Penh in 2008 [1,012 perpetrators were prosecuted]
  • Workers of the Yongwa Factories Still Protest, but There Is No Violence [Kandal]
  • Traffic Police Have Hope Again, after the Municipality Keeps on Providing Money for Their Encouragement, like Previously [each Phnom Penh traffic police official receives Riel 10,000 per month, corresponding to approx. US$2.50]
  • The 22-Day War in Gaza Killed 1,330 Arab People and Injured 5,450 [while Israel lost 3 civilians and 10 soldiers]

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #330, 24-29.1.2009

  • Government Officials Deny the Allegations of the International Organization Human Rights Watch
  • The Owner of the Yongwa Factory Agrees to Pay a US$50 Bonus to Each Worker, but Asks Them to Wait [until February – according to the president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Mr. Chea Mony]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6560, 24-25.1.2009

  • A Report Shows that Cambodian Youth Still Encounter Difficulties to Find Jobs
  • [Two] Robbers Wearing Soldier Uniforms Pointed Guns at Gold Seller and Robbed Gold Worth Nearly US$30,000 [they are not yet found – Siem Reap]
  • On His First Day at the White House, Mr. Obama Focused on Economic Issues and the Middle East, and the Guantánamo Prison [in Cuba]
  • In 2008, Nearly 4,000 Civilians Were Killed in Afghanistan
  • Natural Catastrophes Killed 235,816 People in 2008 [among them, 138,366 people were killed by the cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, 87,476 people were killed by the earthquakes in China, and the rest were killed in other countries]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4803, 24.1.2009

  • Black Money of Tens of Thousands of Dollars Was Found Related to Officials’ Collusion about Illegal Fishing at the Tonle Sap Lake
  • Prime Minister [Hun Sen] Considers the Position of Thailand to Be Soft for the Border Disputes
  • The Minister of Public Works and Transport [Mr. Tram Iv Tek] Asks Japan to Support the Construction of the Neak Loeang Bridge [over the Mekong on the way to Vietnam]
  • Korea Provides High Life Insurance to Workers [around US$20,000, compared to Thailand, which provides only around US$1,000 – no information given what kind of life insurance Cambodian companies provide for their workers]
  • Investors from the US State of Ohio Come to Study Possibilities for Agricultural Investment in Cambodia
    Red-Shirt [anti-government] Demonstrators Announced to Hold a Big Demonstration on 31 January 2009 [Thailand]

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2008: 73 Factories Closed and 64 Opened – 20,000 Workers Were Dismissed and 10,000 Found New Work – Saturday, 10.1.2009

Posted on 11 January 2009. Filed under: Week 594 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 594

“In Cambodia 73 factories were closed in 2008, making nearly 25,000 workers unemployed. But 64 new factories opened, absorbing 10,000 new workers. The export of garments to international markets declined by 2%, which has created general concern. Difficulties will last 3 to 6 months further, but officials said that there will be no serious effects on the garment sector.

“The president of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia [GMAC – the web link has, under “Members” a detailed database with information about all GMAC members], Mr. Van Sou Ieng, said in a press conference in the evening of 7 January 2008 at the Hotel Le Royal, that more than 60 garment factories closed in 2008, causing around 25,000 workers to loose their employment. The export of garments to international markets dropped by 2%, while before, he expected that it would drop by between 5% and 7%. Therefore, the global financial crisis affected this sector very little. He added that Cambodia might face difficulties from 3 to 6 months, and in 2010, we can hope again. In every of the previous years, this sector grew by 15% to 20%.

“A secretary of state of the Ministry of Labor and Vocation Training, Mr. Oum Mean, reported to Kampuchea Thmey on 9 January 2009 that 73 factories closed and 24,397 workers had lost their work. However, in the same year, 64 new factories had opened, absorbing 13,000 workers by now. The number of workers might further increase, because newly opened companies are in the suburbs. Thus, recently unemployed workers will continue to work at new factories, and most of them have skills because of several years of experience. Some workers go to work for factories in special zones located near their home villages or towns, like in Svay Rieng and in other areas.

“There are different number given, because some of the closed factories were not among the members of the GMAC.

“Mr. Oum Mean went on to say that more than 20,000 workers will find jobs in new factories. While the world faces a financial crisis which affects big countries, such as the Untied State of America and Europe, Cambodia is also affected, because those big countries are garment importing countries from Cambodia. While citizens of those countries meet difficulties, they will cut down their expenses, and this affects the buying orders, ‘but we are not strongly affected, because the Cambodian economy depends on agriculture as the basis – even though before, the prices of fuel had increased and the prices of goods followed the market prices and general needs.’

“Coming from the ministry in charge of observing working condition, Mr. Oum Mean said, as the world faces a financial crisis causing common effects, that Cambodia, which exports garments to international markets, is also concerned, including the Royal Government, workers, and employers. ‘We have to join efforts and be patient, so that our factories remain stable and develop, because many countries recognize that the working conditions in Cambodia are acceptable according to international standards. When we export our goods with the labeled “Made in Cambodia,” both Europe and the United States of America always agree to buy them, since they know that these goods have quality, and our workers get enough benefits. We have to continue maintaining this reputation well.’

“He did not prohibit to have protests or demands by workers, but before doing something, they must be wise to avoid to act inappropriately affecting the fate of all, because when factories close, also employers loose, though they are owners, since the factory is a rice pot for all.

“Regarding the above problems, the president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Mr. Chea Mony, mentioned some numbers in the morning of 9 January 2009, that in 2008, there were 27,000 workers who lost their work, and 26 factories closed.

“However, in 2008, all together 37 factories closed, but it was not because they were bankrupt – but it was because they relocate their factories to new locations in the suburbs, and they just changed their factory names. Another reason was that some factories lost their money in speculation. Also, because of the global financial crisis, some factories that were affected were run by Korean owners, such as the Woosu CNS Factory, the Chantechay Factory [phonetic] which suspended their work, also the Cambohenshare Factory [phonetic – ‘Cambo Hansae’?] suspended its work, and also the Tay Factory [phonetic]. Some factories suspend their work for 2 or 3 months; so workers will not wait and go to work at other factories.

“Mr. Chea Mony added that while workers face unemployment, ‘we will help them according to the law. When factories close, they have to settle final payments for their workers according to the law. … The government is also responsible to solve problems of unemployment of workers. Some workers turn to find jobs in Thailand, but we help workers, according to the law, in order to help them to stay in Cambodia.’

“Mr. Van Sou Ieng said after the end of the 26th council plenary session of the ASEAN Federation of Textile Industries on 7 January 2009, that buyer orders will be finished by February and March 2009, and there is no buying order for May and June 2009. Buyers offer only US$3 for 1 shirt while before, they offered US$4. Big companies agreed to loose US$2 or US$3, but from May to June buyers must offer US$4 again. As for small factories, they might close, because they cannot stand the loss.

“Mr. Chea Mony agreed with Mr. Van Sou Ieng, who said that big companies are less affected while small factories are more seriously affected, because they produce their garments for big factories. But he did not agreed with what Mr. Van Sou Ieng said, that the buyers from international markets are lowering their price offers; this would be impossible, because each buying contract contains clear agreements. Mr. Chea Mony asked Prime Minister Hun Sen to kindly take action with officials of relevant ministries regarding corruption which affects the garment sector. He asked also the head of the Royal Government to reduce the prices of goods at the markets, which affect the living standard of workers who earn small salaries.

“The president of the Cambodia Workers Labor Federation of Trade Union Mr. Vong Sovann, expressed his concern in the morning of 9 January, that some factories were closed for good, and buying orders dropped in 2008. Bur only small factories having 200 or 300 workers were closed. Some factories closed in the city but opened in the suburbs, and some new factories do not have enough workers.

“Mr. Vong Sovann added that his union will provide more broad educational information about the economy for workers, so that they understand the present economic situation, and what causes demonstrations and strikes. ‘We will try to explain to workers to be patient and to solve problems through negotiations. As a result, in late 2008, demonstrations and strikes declined, which showed that workers became more knowledgeable.’

“The president of the Cambodia Labor Union Federation, Mr. Som Oun, said in the morning of 9 January 2009 that 64 new factories had opened and 73 factories had closed, including factories sub-contracted by bigger factories, and some of the factories do handicraft work. There were only around 20 factories [of those closed?] exporting garments by themselves. The number from GMAC and the numbers from the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training are not in line with each other, and GMAC did not give a number of new factories. The number of factories closed was comparable to 2007. Workers loosing their employment go to work for other factories; therefore, the number of unemployed workers was not so high. Some unemployed workers of some factories returned to their homes to help harvest paddy rice.

“Mr. Som Oun said that some factories do not have enough workers. Obviously, a shoe factory in Kandal’s Ang Snuol district asked him to help recruit up to 2,000 workers, because this factory added another big building, and now the workers have to eat their meals in the factory. Therefore, he did not worry that workers are unemployed, ‘We still have buying orders from the United States of America and from Europe, because, according to the International Labor Organization, Cambodia is the country in the region which best respects working conditions. Buyers from the United States of America wait until the new president takes his position in the middle of this month, then they will continue buying.’” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4791, 10.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 10 January 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #105, 9-13.1.2009

  • Aid for the Neak Loeang Bridge and Aid for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Are the Major Agenda Items for the Visit by the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Three [Vireakchey] National Park Rangers Are Missing in the Jungle in Ratanakiri and Are Not Yet Found [they are missing since 28 December 2008 when they went on a mission against illegal logging]
  • The Ministry of Planning Starts to Identify Poor Families [to ease the provision of services and aid for poor families – Note: The articled does not give any information how this enormous task, similar to a census, is to be implemented]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1843, 10.1.2009

  • Khmer Kampuchea Krom People [in Cambodia and in Vietnam] Plan to Hold Demonstrations to Demand Rights, although They Do Not Have Permissions [by the authorities]
  • The United Nations Said that 257 Palestinian Children Died in the War in Gaza

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #323, 10.1.2009

  • [The member of the Constitutional Council] Son Soubert: The Renakse Hotel Is a Monument of the Architecture during the French Colonial Time That Should Be Kept

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #179, 10.1.2009

  • The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia Expressed Regret over the Corruption Complaint Filed by Co-Defense Lawyers of Nuon Chea at the Municipal Court [Note: Actually, the statement was not released in the name of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, but in the name of the national judges at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6548, 10-11.1.2009

    Police Confiscated More Than 20,000 Drug Tablets Imported from Laos [and arrested a man – Stung Treng]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3662, 10-11.1.2009

  • [Former prime minister of the State of Cambodia and now the vice-president of the Human Rights Party] Pen Sovann Accused Hun Sen of Violating the Right of Parliamentarians to Distribute Donations to Troops at the Preah Vihear Temple
  • Forest Clearings [to create agricultural] Land in Ratanakiri Spreads More Seriously [according to a forest administration official in Ratanakiri]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4791, 10.1.2009

  • 2008: 73 Factories Closed and 64 Opened – 20,000 Workers Were Dismissed and 10,000 Found New Work
  • The Phnom Penh Municipal Court Accepted Complaint of Nuon Chea’s Foreign Co-Defense Lawyers
  • Cambodia Assigned to the Position of the Next Chairperson of the ASEAN Federation of Textile Industries [meeting held at the Hotel Le Royal on 7 January 2009]!

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Thursday, 24.7.2008: Develop Jobs and Provide Vocational Training to Reduce Poverty

Posted on 25 July 2008. Filed under: week 570 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 570

“Phnom Penh: In order to help the citizens from poverty, strategies of the government have to emphasize the provision of jobs which promote productivity and increase family income – this means that jobs and work are important ways to free the citizens from poverty.

“During the third terms (2003 to 2007) of the Cambodian government led by Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, work and vocational training have significantly contributed to develop the national economy and to alleviate poverty of the citizens.

“The labor market is very broad and complicated, covering from work at small villages to work at big enterprises, with workers of different races. Nowadays, Cambodia’s main labor force reserve is in rural areas, so we should not overlook the need of our citizens who need the most basic and simple skills to improve the livelihood of their families.

“According to a report of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, in 2004, the agricultural sector used up to 60% of the total labor force, but this sector contributed only 32% to the GDP. This showed that agricultural productivity was still low, so that citizens working in this sector earned low incomes.

“Mr. Chea Sophoan, secretary of state of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, said recently in an intervention during a national conference about the improvement of the life of citizens through different accomplishments – implementing the Rectangular Strategy of the Royal Government from 2004 to 2007 – that as a result of training and other activities, the number of trainees in the technical and in the vocational sectors increased steadily, in 2005 there were 27,894; in 2006 there were 47,987; and in 2007 there were 88,367.

“In 2006, the number of students studying for university degrees was 94,310, where 92% studied skills related to the service sector, 5% studied related to the industrial sector, and 3% studied agriculture. As for students who studied in vocational technical schools (for ‘associate degrees’), the number was 16,912, equal to only 15%. So the supply of new members of the labor force did not responded to the needs of the labor market.

“At the same time when addressing problems in the agricultural sector, as seen above, also the garment sector faces problems.

“At the time when Vietnam became a member of the World Trade Organization [January 2007], quota for the export of garments came to an end.

“Barriers put up by the United States and by the European Community against garment imports from the People’s Republic of China will expire on 1 January 2009.

“The Generalized System of Preferences [GSP – a system under which industrialized countries grant trade preferences to developing countries] of the United States will continue until 2010.

“The economy of the United States is declining.

“The above factors provide the starting point for the competition of the Cambodian garment industry.

“Based on recent studies, the production efficiency is very low – around only 30% to 40% – but Cambodia should have reached the level of 60% to 70%. The increase in productivity is an important factor to bring success in international competition.

“Generally speaking, the quality and the level of education of the labor force are still low. Studies about the labor market show that the development of capacity and of skills of the labor force are an important factor to increase productivity, increase family income, and reduce poverty.

“To find adequate jobs for young people and to provide the labor market with a labor force that has enough capacity and skills requires to develop a realistic vocational and technical education system as a priority that cannot be disregarded.

“It should be noted that previously, the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training had set certain policy goals: 1. To provide services for those who seek jobs at private enterprises and institutions, and 2. To contribute to create more jobs, to reduce unemployment, and to increase income.

“It is therefore important to assist in training basic skills for citizens in rural areas. Such training not only helps to improve the livelihood of poor citizens, but it also provides opportunities for them to continually promote their levels of knowledge and skills through training, organized from low to higher levels, and the levels move up steadily. Vocational and technical educational systems are the second provider of an opportunity for young people who had lost the possibility for general studies when they were children in the general education system [from grade 1 to grade 12]. To help change the social situation of poor people is an important factor to gain social stability, and this could also bring harmony into the Kingdom of Cambodia.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4649, 24.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 24 July 2008


Deum Tnot, Vol.1, #16, 24-25.7.2008

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Eldest Son [Hun Manet] Was Assigned to a Position in the National Committee on Counter-Terrorism [with the rank of captain, by sub-decree #75, dated 29 January 2008]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1701, 24.7.2008

  • Price of Fuel and Khmer Riel Remain Stable in July 2008 [fuel is Riel 5,750 per liter, and Riel 4,160 is equal to US$1.-]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #205, 24.7.2008

  • The Complaint of Cambodia Is Not Yet Included in the July Agenda of the UN Security Council; Giovanni Boccardi, Chief, World Heritage Committee, Asia/Pacific Unit, Said That They Cannot Intervene in a Border Dispute
  • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Asked the National Assembly [on 22 July 2008] to Consider the Joint Communique between [Deputy Prime Minister and Senior Minister in Charge of the Council of Ministers] Sok An and [former Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs] Nappadon Pattama to Be Invalid
  • Khmer Troops Have Sent Weapons to the Disputed Region to Fight Air Force Planes and to Fight Tanks
  • The Cambodian Confederation of Unions [on 23 July 2008] Called All Taxi Drivers and Bus Companies to Keep Prices of Transportation Normal during the Traveling Period [of workers] to Vote

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #57, 24.7.2008

  • A Very Well-Known Pharmaceutical Company [P.P.M] in Cambodia Calls for the Use of Local Medicines [because most of Cambodian people prefer medicines imported from foreign countries]
  • The UN Considers the Dispute between Cambodia and Thailand as a Hot Agenda


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4649, 24.7.2008

  • Develop Jobs and Provide Vocational Training to Reduce Poverty
  • The UN Will Hold a Meeting on Thursday Morning about the Preah Vihear Dispute
  • [Minister of Information] Khieu Kanharith: Cambodia Takes a High Moral Stand to Solve the Border Issue [by depending on international regulations as policy]
  • An Indian Rice Millionaire [who is a close friend of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Ke Kim Yan] Has Asked to Buy 100,000 Tonnes of Rice per Year from Banteay Meanchey [according to Ung Ouen, Banteay Meanchey governor]
  • Son Killed Father Using a Sickle to Cut His Throat [because his father often caused domestic violence, Prey Chhor, Kompong Cham]
  • A US General [General Norton Schwartz] Warned Russia about Basing Nuclear Weapons Capable Bombers in Cuba [22 July 2008]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3367, 24.7.2008

  • The Second Negotiation of ASEAN about the Khmer-Siam [Thailand] Disputed Region Failed [23 July 2008]
  • There Are Nearly 90,000 National, International, and Political Observers for the Election [on 27 July 2008]

Click here – and have a look at the last editorial – The Cambodian-Thai border crisis develops while the Khmer public is not aware what the Cambodian government representatives had agreed upon, to get the Preah Vihear Temple listed as a World Heritage Site, on a most narrowly defined piece of land.

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Thursday, 17.7.2008: Officials of the Government and of Civil Society Organizations Are Concerned about Employment and Work in Cambodia

Posted on 18 July 2008. Filed under: Week 569 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 569

“Phnom Penh: Civil society organizations and officials of the government have expressed different opinions regarding the right to get jobs in Cambodia in the first three months of 2008.

“An under-secretary of state of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, Mr. Um Mean, said that those who say that nowadays there are no jobs for its citizens in Cambodia, they are not blind, but they pretend to be blind and deaf, because now there are markedly more factories, and Cambodia has a broad range of industries, of tourism, and of transportation and communication jobs; those enterprises even lack workers.

“Though trade unions and garment factories’ representatives had agreed to increase the basic salary up to US$50 per month on 19 October 2006, this increase cannot match with the inflation in the markets.

“According to a 2007 report of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association [ADHOC], about 300,000 persons join the labor force every year, but only 16,000 among them are graduated students who are seeking jobs. However, only 10% of these graduates can get adequate jobs.

“The new laborers who join the labor force face difficulties to get jobs in the areas where they live, forcing 250,000 of them to migrate from rural areas to major cities, especially to Phnom Penh; a large number of them cross the borders illegally to neighboring countries to seek jobs. The garment sector in Cambodia absorbs about 300,000 workers, but it cannot employ all migrant workers.

“[The president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Mr. Rong Chhun said that most investors coming to invest in Cambodia have their own skilled workers and senior managers; their Cambodian staff can only work, for example, as unskilled construction workers. Mr. Rong Chhun added that at the present time, the majority of Cambodian citizens has no paid employment, and this strongly affects their livelihood because of inflation, which makes the prices of all kinds of good skyrocket; this forces parents to stop sending their children to school, so that they rather help to seek additional income to cover daily expenses, and among them are many who work as scavengers at garbage dumps, though they are children.

“According to the survey by ADHOC, the shortage of employment for youth seriously affects children working at certain production areas that are not well organized, like rubber plantations, salt field, brick and tile kilns, and in general in Poipet. Most of the children working there are from 10 to 17 years old, and they do all kinds of work that normally adults do, such as rubber tapping, carrying heavy goods on racks on their shoulders, dragging carts, or carrying salt yokes.

“This ADHOC report added that part of this working situation exists because it does not seem to get proper attention, and nobody respects the rights of the working children, for example, in the work at some mines in Mondolkiri. There is no respect of workers’ rights, the workers get hit as punishment; moreover, those companies do not allow human rights organizations to gather information or to observe all kinds of abuse of workers’ rights. Furthermore, some mines broke in and workers were killed. Those companies can do so, because the government does not observe and check whether all contracts between the companies and the government are implemented, and the government is also not caring to monitor the abuses of workers’ rights.

“Mr. Rong Chhun said that at the present in Cambodia, Khmer citizens are facing many difficulties when seeking jobs. He said that if Cambodia had a lot of employment opportunities, Khmer citizens would not migrate to work in other countries; the majority of migration leads to Thailand and to Malaysia, and a smaller number people goes to work in South Korea. Among those who go abroad, some do it legally and some are illegal workers; they are mistreated, oppressed, and threatened, both mentally and physically, by people from those countries who accuse them of coming into their countries illegally; they may be detained, until there are interventions on their behalf to help them return to their home countries.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #51, 17.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 17 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1695, 17.7.2008

  • Cambodia and Thailand Plan to Negotiate at High Level to Lessen the Tense Situation along the Border; 250 Black-Clad Thai Border Protection Unit Troops Have Not Withdrawn from Tuol Prasat Pagoda in Khmer Territory
    Thai Soldiers Came to Check Border Markers at the Site of a Bridge on Khmer Territory at the Poipet International Border Crossing [16 July 2008]
  • Radio and Television Channels Are Accused of Disregarding the Instructions of the National Election Committee [about sale, rent, or provision of air time to political parties, and to disregard broadcasting policies – those channels are: Bayon Television, Apsara Television, Phnom Penh Municipal Television, Cambodian Television Network CTN, Radio FM 88 MHz, Radio FM 90 MHz, Radio FM 95 MHz, Radio FM 97 MHz, Radio FM 98 MHz, Radio FM 99 MHz, Radio FM 103 MHz, Radio Free Asia, and Voice of America [most of them, except for the last two, are Cambodian People’s Party oriented]
  • Cambodian Mine Action Center [CMAC] Has Cleared 15 Million Square Meter of Landmines in the Period of Six Month in 2008 [according to General Director of CMAC Mr. Khem Sophoan]
  • Man, 42, Raped Six-Year-Old Girl, Killed Her, Gouged Her Eyes, and Threw Her into a Pond [Thma Puok, Banteay Meanchey]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #51, 17.7.2008

  • Officials of the Government and Civil Society Organizations Are Concerned about Employment and Work in Cambodia
  • Civil Society Organizations Raised Human Trafficking as an Issue for Political Parties to Find Solutions
  • Meat of Wild Animals Is Famous in Restaurants [Siem Reap]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6399, 17.7.2008

  • Another New Bank from Korea Inaugurated [‘Best Specialized Bank’]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3514, 16.7.2008

  • Information about the Release of Tim Sakhan Is Kept Secret [he had been defrocked on an accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, he was accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia and arrested – but later released: no information about where he is]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4643, 17.7.2008

  • Royal Academy of Cambodia Publishes Homonyms [a word that both sounds and is spelled the same as another word but has a different meaning] and Paronyms [a word derived from the same root, or with the same sound, as another word] Dictionary
  • Opposition Party President of Malaysia [Anwar Ibrahim] Arrested [on 16 July 2008 on the Accusation of having sex with his male assistant – he denies it and calls it a fabrication to exclude him from politics]
  • Thai Supreme Commander General Boonsang Niempradit Told the Military to Maintain a Neutral Position in Politics [after the Chief of the Air Force, Air Chief Marshal General Chalit Phukpasuk, had twice participated in events of the opposition movement of the People’s Alliance for Democracy in his military uniform]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3361, 17.7.2008

  • The US Federal Bureau of Investigation [Phnom Penh office] and US Embassy Want to Help to Arrest the Real Murderers Who Killed the Journalist [Mr. Khim Sambo and his son, aged 21], but the Government Does Not Need Them [the government is reported to have responded that it will ask for help when it needs it]
  • Officials of the Ministry of Water Resources Accuse One of [Minister of Economy] Keat Chhon’s Followers, the Official Hul Ponnarath, of Destroying what Khmer Citizens Are Interested in [by not cooperating with project management officials, and claiming two new pick-up cars for his personal use, which stalls the project implementation at seven locations in the east of the country]
  • Kandal Fishery Official [Khlaing Vanthol] Allows Yuon [Vietnamese] Merchants to Use Illegal Fishery Tools

Have a look at the last editorial – The struggle towards openness and access to information happens in many places – and it may help to mutually learn from other experiences.

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Wednesday, 2.7.2008: Australia Announced to Provide US$30 Million to the Electric Energy Sector in Indochina

Posted on 2 July 2008. Filed under: Week 567 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 567

“The Australian Foreign Minister announced that his government will provide US$30 million to help develop electric energy in the three countries of Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.

“According to the announcement by the Australian Embassy on 1 July 2008, Mr. Stephen Smith, the Australian Foreign Minister, spoke about providing these funds during his visit in Vietnam.

“Mr. Stephen Smith announced that Australia will provide funds to countries in Asia to meet their urgent needs for the supply of electricity with sustainability.

“Mr. Stephen Smith said that ‘Australia will proved more than US$30 million through the World Bank for the period of four years, in order to improve the supply of electric energy in rural areas, to reduce the loss of energy during distribution, and to push the development of methods to use new sources of electric energy in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.’

“He added, ‘In Cambodia, only 6% of all families have access to electricity. Australia will provide US$12,300,000 to support the expansion of the supply of electricity to 13,000 families and to some enterprises in rural areas.’

“He continued, ‘Some funds will also be provided as loans to guarantee new investments for new energy resources, and to provide cookers using bio-substances to reduce the effect by greenhouse gas and by the pollution of the atmosphere.’

“This initiate was made based on the basis of a strong cooperative program which has been used previously in Cambodia. The government of Australia will provide approximately Australian Dollars 61,200,000 (approx. US$56,600,000) as development aid for Cambodia from 2008 to 2009 (from June 2008 to July 2009). The priority sectors of this cooperation include agriculture, rural development, the health sector, and law and judicial reforms.

“Nowadays, Cambodia has only about 230 megawatt of electricity for the supply in cities and other populated areas, and in order that all citizens have access to electricity, Cambodia needs more than approximately 1,000 megawatt.

“According to the plan, the Cambodian government intends to distribute electricity countrywide by 2010, and important electric sources are to come from investment in hydro-electric plants and from imports from other countries.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4630, 2.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #126, 2.7.2008

  • Environment Protection Organization in Battambang Puts Limits on Seize of [illegal] Wood and Extorts Money
  • Kampuchea Krom Khmers Remembered the Day on which Yuon [Vietnam] Arrested Tim Sakhan


Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #75, 2.7.2008

  • Thailand Withdrew Support to List the Preah Vihear Temple; Cambodia Warns to Boycott Thai Goods and Close Border Crossing at the Temple Forever


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1682, 2.7.2008

  • [Former Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Kompong Thom who left the party to join the Cambodian Peoples Party] Sok Pheng Will Sue Khmer Machas Srok [a pro-Sam Rainsy newspaper], if It Continues to Publish News which Affect His Honor


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #36, 2.7.2008

    Corruption and Nepotism Are Barriers for Youth to Seek Jobs

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6386, 2.7.2008
Nowadays, There Are More Than One Million Illiterate Citizens in Cambodia, and more than 820,000 of Them Are Women
Most Poor Citizens of Cambodia Work in the Agricultural Sector
Hearing Was Opened over the Case of the Explosion [on 29 July 2007] at the Cambodia-Vietnam Monument [1 July 2008]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3501, 2.7.2008
People in the Law Profession and Civil Society Believe that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will Not Release the Chief of the Murderers [of “Democratic Kampuchea”] Ieng Sary [on bail]

Raksmei Angkor, Vol.11, #1329, 2.7.2008
The [Phnom Penh] Municipality Warned [on 30 July 2008] about the Uses of Chemicals Which Are Illegal, to Retain the Quality [of food]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4630, 2.7.2008
Australia Announced to Provide US$30 Million to the Electric Energy Sector in Indochina
Cambodian Economy Rises after Joining the World Trade Organization
Senior Minister Keat Chhon Attended the Europe-Asia Meeting [ASEM] in South Korea
Oil Price Increase to Nearly US$144 per Barrel

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3348, 1.7.2008
Police Official of the Cambodian People’s Party Used a Car with a Number Plate of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces for Election Propaganda; He Twisted an Arm of Ms. Mu Sochua [deputy secretary-general of the Sam Rainsy Party] and Pulled Her Blouse Away to Expose Her [to prevent her from taking pictures of that car – Kampot]

Have a look at the last editorial – Preah Vihear still in the headlines – more information about Thailand’s and Cambodia’s documents.

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