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The mobile phone project entitled Kamako Chhnoeum (‘Outstanding Worker’ in Khmer) received 3,245 valid phone calls in its first two months of operation (September and October 2013). The project uses an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system to educate garment and footwear workers about labour rights, occupational safety and health, and personal health. The program includes a monthly lucky draw to encourage workers to participate.
The first report from the project provides details of the level of knowledge workers possess on specific labour-related topics. Findings from the report demonstrate that callers displayed good knowledge of much of the occupational safety and health and personal health issues featured in the program’s quiz questions.
However, knowledge gaps were found in some areas related to workers’ rights. For example, 32% of callers incorrectly believed that workers on strike are entitled to receive their wages and 47% incorrectly believed that workers who have worked for less than one year are entitled to paid maternity leave.
Jill Tucker, BFC’s Chief Technical Advisor says: “There are nearly 500,000 workers across Cambodia’s garment and footwear industries. Each of them has a mobile phone, thus phones provide a real opportunity to educate workers about rights and entitlements.”
She continued: “While this project delivers information to workers, it simultaneously gathers information about the level of knowledge that they possess, as well as recorded factory-specific information. We are hopeful that other actors in the garment and footwear industry will find the information useful to inform their work.”
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