Kingdom of Cambodia 

Nation Religion King

We, as representatives of trade union confederations, trade union federations, associations and civil society organisations working in the labour and human rights sectors in Cambodia,

Respectfully Address

His Excellency Ith Samheng, Minister of Labour and Vocational Training

Subject:        To request the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training to convene, as soon as possible,                          a meeting with civil society organisations, trade union federations and all relevant parties,                            for a new review of additional amendments to the Law on Trade Unions.


Reference:        – Core conventions of the International Labour Organisation. 

                          – The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

                          – The Labour Law of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

                          – The Law on Trade Unions.

                          – The Law on Amendments.

          Based on the subject above, we have the honour of informing His Excellency, the Minister, that on 3 January 2020, the Law on Amending Article 3, Article 17, Article 20, Article 21, Article 27, Article 28, Article 29, Article 54, Article 55 and Article 59 of the Law on Trade Unions was promulgated by Royal Krom No. NS/RKM/0120/001. We have observed that this law has made only minor amendments, such as removing requirements for trade unions and employer associations to submit annual activity and financial reports to the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, removing some requirements for leaders, managers and those responsible for the administrative affairs of trade unions and employer associations, changes to requirements for applications for most representative status and opening rights for minority unions to represent their members in resolving collective labour disputes not stemming from a collective bargaining agreement.

         Through a joint analysis of the amendments to the Law on Trade Unions, we have found that there are only minor improvements which are insufficient to make the law compliant with international labour standards determined by International Labour Organisation core Conventions Nos. 87 and 98, which Cambodia has ratified since 1999. Our analysis provides recommendations for amendments to 25 Articles of the Law on Trade Unions (including the 10 Articles which were recently amended) as well as Chapter 15 of the Law on Trade Unions, including the below:

  • Extension of rights to form trade unions to all workers working in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
  • Special provisions for domestic workers, informal economy workers and workers in workplaces which have less than 10 employees so as to allow them to form trade unions.
  • Changes to registration procedures and statute requirements to ensure that these procedures and requirements do not amount to previous authorisation from the authorities.
  • Removal of a number of requirements for trade union leaders and shop stewards.
  • Changes to regulations regarding the preparation of annual activity and financial records and the maintenance of financial records to require trade unions and employer associations prepare and maintain these documents in forms determined by them themselves.
  • Empowering the Arbitration Council to decide cases relating to termination of shop stewards and trade union leaders, as well as protests relating to shop steward elections.
  •  Provision of full rights to minority unions to represent their members for the purposes of resolving collective labour disputes.
  •   Protection from termination for trade union leaders employed on fixed-duration contracts.

          Additional amendments to the Law on Trade Unions incorporating the recommendations of this analysis to ensure the promotion of freedom of association for all workers working in Cambodia will prove that Cambodia has properly fulfilled its obligations for the responsibilities and guarantees as stated in Convention Nos. 87 and 98.

          As has been informed above, we request His Excellency, the Minister to convene a meeting as soon as possible with civil society organisations, trade union federations and all relevant parties for new discussions on additional amendments to the Law on Trade Unions based on the recommendations of this analysis.

          Please, Your Excellency, the Minister, favourably accept our request as in the subject above and receive the highest respect from us.


Phnom Penh, 20 February 2020

Attached with:
– Analysis and requests for changes to the Law on Trade Unions.


  1. Cambodia Youth Network (CYN)
  2. Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU)
  3. Independent Trade Union Federation (INTUFE)
  4. Cambodia Labor Confederation (CLC)
  5. Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia (BWTUC)
  6. Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers Democratic Unions (C. CADWU)
  7. Independent Democratic of Informal Economy Association (IDEA)
  8. Cambodia Tourism Workers Union Federation (CTWUF)
  9. Cambodia’s Independent Civil-Servants Association (CICA)
  10. Cambodia Intellectual Federation (CIF)
  11. Free Independent Trade Union Federation (FUFI)
  12. Coalition of Cambodian Farmers Community Association (CCFC)
  13. The Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation (CFSWF)
  14. Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL)
  15. Union Alliance of Labor (UCL)
  16.  Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employee of Nagaworld (L.R.S.U) 
  17. Coalition Free Trade Union of the Women Textile (CFTUWT)
  18. Collective Union Movement of Workers (CUMW)
  19. National Independent Federation Textile Union of Cambodia (NIFTUC)
  20. Cambodia Independent Teacher Association (CITA)
  21. Cambodia Confederation of Union (CCU)

Download full Analysis and requests for changes to the Law on Trade Unions.

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