Cambodian government urged to protect workers against COVID-19

Unions and NGOs are calling on the government to tighten safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
By: | May 3, 2021

698 new cases have been reported in Cambodia, bringing the total number of people infected to 11,761 with 88 deaths. Reflecting on this, the 36 trade unions and NGOs said that the government has the responsibility to guarantee workers’ health and safety during the pandemic. 

They have recommended that the government create a monitoring mechanism to keep tabs on COVID-19, especially among construction workers, conduct health and safety inspections, provide face masks and hand sanitisers, as well as other safety materials, and improve COVID-19 prevention measures on transportation where workers commute in close proximity. 

In addition, they have also urged the government to keep a close eye on factory workers. “So far, approximately 2,000 employees have been found to be COVID-19 positive in more than 90 factories in Phnom Penh and a number of other factories. The biggest concern for workers’ health and safety and risks are in other factories which have not yet found COVID-19 cases, and workers will face a risk of returning to their workplace in a situation where there is no guarantee of occupational health and safety,” they said. 

READ: Cambodia’s public servants risk losing jobs if they refuse vaccinations

Other recommendations include clearer communication on health and safety protocols in at-risk facilities, creation of social assistance programmes during periods of lockdown, and efforts to keep street vendors safe. 

Cambodia has imposed a 14-day lockdown in the capital city and surrounding areas due to a recent outbreak, according to Radio Free Asia.