Edwards in Cambodia
Release Date : August 23, 2011
In July and August, Dean Daphne Taras and Adjunct Professor Allen Ponak provided four days of intensive training to 35 arbitrators and professional staff at the Arbitration Council of Cambodia in Phnom Penh. At the end of the training, participants received certificates from the Edwards School of Business for completing the program.
The Arbitration Council is an independent, national institution with quasi-judicial authority derived from the Labour Law of Cambodia. Established in 2003 with the support of the Ministry of Labour, employers and unions, and with funding from the ILO and World Bank, the Arbitration Council is empowered to assist parties in resolving collective labour disputes in Cambodia. Decisions of arbitrators are final and binding for 450,000 garment workers and their employers. There are many other sectors that rely on the Arbitration Council, and even where decisions are not binding, they provide the context for eventual dispute resolution. Every day, the Arbitration Council decisions are featured prominently in both Khmer and English media.
The Arbitration Council plays a crucial role in helping establish rule of law, and good governance, to Cambodia. The country is still recovering from civil war and the genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s.
The minimum wage in Cambodia is $61 (US) per month, and there is a six-day workweek.
The Edwards training program covered topics such as code of ethics, handling conflicts of interest, ensuring fairness, mediation, clear decision writing, discipline and discharge, union discrimination, and emerging issues in employment. Materials and lectures were simultaneously translated between Khmer and English. Professors Taras and Ponak volunteered their time and made a donation to the Arbitration Council Foundation at the conclusion of the training program.