Subtle forms of workplace discrimination are on the rise worldwide, raising concerns that in Cambodia, widening socio-economic inequalities could damage the nation’s social cohesion, political stability and growth, an International Labor Office statement said Tuesday.
“Every day, around the world, discrimination at work is an unfortunate reality for hundreds of millions of people,” said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia in a statement.
“Time for Equality at Work,” the ILO’s first global report on workplace discrimination, which will be presented today in Bangkok, shows that inequalities within certain groups—women, ethnic and religious minorities and disabled people—are widening.
Limited opportunities for people facing discrimination often trap them in low-paid jobs in the “informal” economy, the study says.
Prejudices, stereotypes and biased institutions that have resisted decades of legal efforts and anti-discrimination policy measures are to blame for the continuing discrimination, the statement said.
Disability Action Council Deputy Director Ngy San said Cambodia is in need of legislation to protect disabled people against discrimination. “Only one article in the Constitution indicates that people are equal,” he said, adding that most employers hesitate to hire disabled people, believing they lack the skills to be competitive.
Less than 60 percent of the disabled people trained at one of the country’s 18 vocational schools are employed, Ngy San said.