2019 CAPI Student Fellowship awards

July 10, 2019

CAPI is pleased to announce the winners of our 2019 Student Fellowships in support of student research and language study in the Asia-Pacific region

Ratana Ly (2019)

Ratana Ly

PhD Candidate, UVic Faculty of Law

Project title: A Legal Pluralist Approach to Realizing the Occupational Safety and Health of Construction Workers in Cambodia: Regulating Multinational Construction Corporations

Supervisor: Victor V. Ramraj, Professor, UVic Law and CAPI Director, University of Victoria


Approximately 260,000 people work as construction workers in Cambodia in the largely multi-nationally-owned construction companies, including from China, and several Southeast Asian countries. Many of these workers are rural farmers working seasonally. It is hazardous work, often undertaken without proper safety equipment, conditions, and safe working environment, resulting in the injuries and sometime deaths of workers. From a legal perspective, the main problem is not the absence of adequate state legislation, although many state laws can be reformed. Rather, the central problem is ensuring that both state and non-state actors comply with legal norms that are of human rights standards to govern health and workplace safety. Parliaments enact state laws. Non-state actors such as multi-stakeholder organizations, financial institutions, industry associations, trade unions, corporations, and workers create non-state regulations and standards such as company codes and transnational regulations. Cultural norms, especially on gender stereotypes also affect workers’ occupational safety and health.

This research applies a legal pluralist approach to regulations. It assumes that state law is not the only response, and examines what combination of state laws and non-state regulations would provide the most effective legal framework to realize the occupational safety and health of workers.

Proposed activities

To complete my PhD dissertation, I will further review literature on legal norms governing the occupational safety and health of workers. In addition, from September to December 2019, I will conduct interviews in Cambodia with construction workers, trade unions, non-government organizations, employers, and government officers.

Following fieldwork and some data analysis, I will return to the University of Victoria to continue with the data analysis and then to write other chapters for my dissertation.

More info

Will Howling

Will Howling

4th year BCom student, Gustavson School of Business, UVic

This fellowhip will help support Will to learn the Bahasa Indonesia language as part of an international exchange he is undertaking at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia from August to December 2019. In addition to his language training, he will be studying Indonesian culture and approaches to commerce.