Vulnerable factory workers in Cambodia find relief through road safety charity

January 28, 2021

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – January 25-28, 2021

As part of the Commuting Safety for Cambodian Workers (CSCW) program, funded by USAID and in partnership with Solidarity Centre, AIP Foundation hosted a two-day workshop series for technical staff of union federations and trade unions, focusing on commuting safety training. The workshop had two groups, on January 25-26 and January 27-28, 2021, as a safety measure in light of the pandemic. Following the workshop series, participants will practice training in factories.

Every day, around 700,000 factory workers in Cambodia put their lives at risk commuting to work on high-traffic, dangerous roads in order to provide for their families. Cambodian workers make up almost 20% of all crash-related casualties, many of whom are women.

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Report on Annual Achievements 2019 and Action Plans 2020 revealed that 36% of all reported workers’ occupational risks involved commuting crashes, highlighting the need for intervention.

AIP Foundation sought after leaders who would become advocates for better work conditions for factory workers. Leaders who attended these workshops learned about their workers’ commuting safety context, where they are able to make more informed decisions and apply it in their daily program for safety improvement.

Secretary of State of the Ministry of Public Work and Transportation and Secretary-General of the National Road Safety Committee, H.E Min Meanvy, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Public Work and Transportation and Secretary-General of the National Road Safety Committee shared, “Federation and trade union leaders play an important role in communicating the risks of unsafe road behavior and protecting workers by advocating for road safety policy adoption and effective enforcement at factory level. These workshops empower worker representatives to create positive changes to commuting safety.”

The training provided an opportunity for participants to learn and share experiences in an open format deepening their knowledge on risks of unsafe behavior and conditions on the road. The second day will include practical activities where participants will draw ideas on how to effectively disseminate commuting safety messages to workers.

Pam Wharton, Deputy Country Program Director of Solidarity Centre, remarked, “Workers’ rights include being able to travel safely to and from work. Increasing awareness of this important issue and highlighting the safety improvements needed to prevent commuting crashes is an important part of ensuring decent work conditions for factory workers in Cambodia.”

To view more photos from the event, please click here.

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