Experts Urge Boosting Child Labor Laws

Child labor advocates are urging the government to strengthen laws to protect children from the worst forms of exploitation, according to an organizer of workshops on international child labor law.

Participants urged Cambodia to amend the law on trafficking to strengthen the protection of children under age of 18, said Hans van de Glind, the International Labor Organization’s Bangkok-based regional program officer.

They argued sexual exploitation of children below 18 should be considered a crime and those children should be treated as victims. The participants also said the government should create a juvenile court and set up “child friendly” court procedures, van de Glind reported. The participants included parliamentarians, government officials, workers, employers and lawyers.

Child labor experts have said that Cambodian laws are relatively acceptable from international labor law standards, but implementing the laws is problematic. In the course of the discussions which ended Tuesday, participants urged the government to create sub-decrees and ministerial orders to strengthen the implementation of the laws, according to the organizer.

Recommendations will be submitted to the National Steering Committee on Child Labor, which is to meet next month.


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