No big shift in labour compliance at Cambodian factories

January 14, 2019 - Cambodia

There were no big shifts in compliance, as per the 35th annual report published by Better Factories Cambodia (BFC). The report showed that violations of core labour standards related to forced labour, child labour and discrimination remained low and important issues such as compliance with the minimum wage were universally applied across the garment sector.

The report by BFC provided compliance data for assessments conducted in 464 garment factories in Cambodia for the period from May 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. BFC’s mandate was to assess compliance with labour standards in the garment exporting factories and support factories making improvements in Cambodia. BFC provided a snapshot of non-compliance rates in a range of areas linked to working conditions and fundamental rights at work. It provided a short analysis of the correlation between the quality of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) management systems and levels of non-compliance on legal OSH requirements.

In addition, the report also presented data on BFC’s transparent reporting initiative. BFC has started looking at the root causes of non-compliance as they are often linked to a lack of proper processes, procedures and capacity. BFC has already begun working with its factories in advisory services, supporting them with efforts to strengthen their systems.

The Government of Cambodia has taken some important measures to support improved working conditions both in and beyond the garment sector, such as the issuing of the law on minimum wage, additional measures to protect and support pregnant workers, and revised legislation that define seniority payments to all workers on UDC and FDC contracts to ensure that UDC contracts also give regular seniority payments to workers. The compliance data gathered in recent years seems to suggest that, based on current practices and systems in place; the garment industry has reached a plateau in its performance related to compliance with core labour standards and Cambodian labour law.

Better Factories Cambodia is an initiative by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, and the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC). (PC)