IFWEA Essay Competition “Worker education for building democratic participation” 2018 by Loeung SreyLeak – Runner up YGAP 2018 Scholarship

“How our Education Project help built democratic participant?” by Loeung SreyLeak – IDEA Cambodia 

extract: “IDEA was established on 30 April, 2015 by informal economy group including Tuk Tuk drivers, taxi drivers, moto-taxi drivers, vendors, and small restaurant workers. The association was formally recognized by Ministry of Interior on 18 April, 2006 with registration letter No.479 N. IDEA aims at promoting rights and living conditions of the members through legal capacity building related to their working areas, health and safety at work places, protest for freedom, and advocacy.

Since its establishment, the association has extended to six target locations, supported by central office in Phnom Penh. The 5 branch offices are in Siem Reap, Bonteay Mean Chey, Sey Haknuk, Battambong and Kamport province with more than 8,000 members. The Assocation has been working closely with national and international partners, local government and other stakeholders to meet their goals. The Association have experienced in mobilizing member to organize trainings, advocacy activities, and lobbying government through various campaigns and negotiations.

We work toward the promotion of our members’ rights, human rights, and social justice. Throughout our effort, we have found some achievement of the working in group for informal economy workers’ rights promotion. The achievements include the perception and behavior change of IDEA’s members, they began to recognize their rights in forming the group, form their own informal economy worker groups by themselves, and have capacity in negotiating with local authority and their employers as well as actively participate in various advocacy campaigns.

The Association have been well-recognized by its strong  contribution through different media, which make this sector have more voice and power in negotiating and lobbying in the future works. The level of violent clashes has decreased and the other cases related to excessive fines or expulsion from the workplaces and worker’s right violation has been reduced considerably.

The Association have also facilitated discussion meetings on the impacts of NGO draft law and created working group for the campaign to stop the law. From 2009 and 2010, the Association  successfully mobilized tuk tuk driver in 4 districts in Phnom Penh to advocate over the excessive payment for vehicle tax requirement. We also succeeded in protesting to decrease the gasoline price in Cambodia.”