Cambodian garment factories improve working conditions

04 Jul '16
3 min read

The International Labour Organization's Better Factories Cambodia's (ILO-BFC) 33rd Synthesis Report released on Friday, notes that for the second year in a row, the number of confirmed cases of child labour (typically workers between 12 and 15 years old) has dropped from 65 in 2013 to 28 in 2014 and 16 in 2015.

The report presents an overview of the status of compliance with the labour law in the factories where the programme operates. The findings are based on ILO-BFC factory assessment reports on 381 garment factories and cover the period between May 2015 and April 2016.

The findings also indicate that important improvements have been made since early 2014 when the BFC programme resumed the practice of publicly reporting its findings. When comparing the status before and after public reporting, improvements include compliance related to the requirements of holding regular evacuation drills (+13 per cent), unlocked emergency exit doors (+10 per cent), no discrimination against workers (+6 per cent), among other areas. Additionally, 47 per cent of factories, comply with all 21 critical issues since public reporting has resumed, up from 28 per cent in just 2 years.

The report also indicates that the top ten non-compliance issues remain the same as in the previous year including issues related to occupational safety in the workplace, overtime, and temperature levels in the factory.

While an increase of some compliance levels is a positive signal for the garment industry and their workers, there is also a need for further improvement in common areas of non-compliance that are indicated in the report” said Esther Germans, Programme Manager of the ILO-BFC. “As a result, Better Factories Cambodia is placing even more emphasis on supporting factories and workers in identifying and addressing the root-causes of challenges they are facing. The programme is also entering into much closer collaboration with the government around increasing capacity for workplace inspections and the application of the government's role on enforcement and remediation.”

“Collaboration with and between the Royal Government of Cambodia, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, trade unions, factory owners and international buyers remains essential to drive sector wide change. The ILO-BFC programme will continue to collaborate with its constituents to promote the growth and sustainability of the industry,” she added. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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