Fighting child labour

Young boys wash motorcycles in central Phnom Penh yesterday afternoon. A recently released report found that the Kingdom improved slightly in its fight against child labour last year. Pha Lina

Charles Rollet, The Phnom Penh Post
Wed, 7 October 2015

While Cambodia marginally stepped up efforts to combat child labour in 2014, a lack of resources and corruption remain massive impediments to the fight, according to a report released by the United States Department of Labor last week.

The report rated Cambodia as having made “moderate advancement” in its anti-child labour efforts, the same ranking it received in 2013.

It attributed those improvements largely to beefed-up inspections from the Ministry of Labour, which increased the number of inspectors trained to find child labour from 35 in 2013 to 58 in 2014.

However, the report states that significant shortfalls remained. For example, as of 2014, child labour inspections were only being conducted in the capital region.

“The Department of Child Labor reports that, due to budget constraints, it is able to conduct inspections only in and around the capital city of Phnom Penh,” the report stated, citing the US Embassy.

However, Veang Heang, head of the Department of Child Labor, yesterday denied that account.

“We do have provincial departments of labour who are in charge of child labour in the provinces,” he said, adding that commenting further would require permission from the ministry.

According to the report, the Labour Ministry conducted 723 inspections in 2014, removing a total of 46 children from 613 factories inspected, a noted increase from 2013, when only 153 garment factories were visited. (more…)

Posted on: October 8, 2015 8:35 am