Labor Rights Abuses In Cambodia’s Garment Business

And “Versatile” Labor Arrangements

Human Rights Watch group interview with That Senai and eight different staff, manufacturing unit code withheld, Phnom Penh, November 29, 2013. Human Rights Watch group interview with 9 staff, factory code withheld to protect employees, Phnom Penh, November 29, 2013.

Human Rights Watch interviews and group interviews with staff from factories 1, three, 7, 9, 21, 32, 34, 40, forty three, 46, 49, fifty one, 60, and sixty eight, Phnom Penh and other provinces, November and December 2013, and April 2014. Human Rights Watch group interview with 12 staff, manufacturing facility 21, Phnom Penh, April 2, 2014. Human Rights Watch group interview with Chhau San and eight other staff, factory 15, location withheld, November 24, 2013.

Treatment Of Pregnant Staff

Human Rights Watch group interview with seven staff, manufacturing unit 57, location withheld, December 3, 2014; group interview with six employees, manufacturing facility fifty eight, location withheld, December 4, 2013. For instance, Human Rights Watch group interviews with employees from factories 3, 15, 30, 60, Phnom Penh and Kandal provinces, November and December 2013. Human Rights Watch interviews and group interviews with employees from factories 4, 19, 20, 29, 31, and 66, Phnom Penh and different provinces, November and December 2013, and April 2014. The latest BFC synthesis report states the discrimination against male staff cambodian bride has turn into an growing problem. Human Rights Watch group interview with 12 male workers, factory 4, location withheld, November 20, 2013. Human Rights Watch interviews and group interviews with staff from factories 1, 2, three, 4, 5, 9, 15, 19, 21, 26, 27, 31, 32, 35, 37, forty one, forty four, 49, 50, fifty three, 55, 56, 60, 61, sixty four, Phnom Penh, Kandal, and Kampong Speu provinces, November and December 2013, and April 2014. Human Rights Watch interviews with eleven labor rights activists and attorneys in Cambodia, Phnom Penh, November and December 2013.

Human Rights Watch gathered numerous accounts showing that Cambodia’s labor inspectorate system has been significantly undermined by corruption and abuse of energy. Two former labor inspectors independently informed Human Rights Watch about the “envelope system” where factory managers sought favorable reports by thrusting an envelope with money to inspectors after they visited factories. Allegations of corruption and collusion between government inspectors and manufacturing facility management have reduced the credibility of the labor inspectorate system and native authorities. But the Labor Ministry’s efforts proceed to be weak in several critical respects—tackling authorities corruption and collusion with garment factory administration, lack of transparency about its inspections and outcomes, and poor accountability. Factory 60 is a small subcontractor manufacturing facility that was periodically producing for Gap when we spoke to employees there in December 2013. Joe Fresh did not present information on its method to remediation for staff in an unauthorized manufacturing unit when the existence of such a unit was dropped at its consideration. They reiterated that their suppliers have been conscious that unauthorized subcontracting would lead to a termination of the enterprise relationship.

In concept, these factories should have additionally been subject to multiple government labor inspections and enforcement actions. Labor Ministry officials refused to release information about the end result of those labor inspections, however, incorrectly citing article 348 of the Labor Law, which protects sources of complaints however not the end result of labor inspections.

Human Rights Watch group interview with staff from factories 18, fifty seven, and 66, Phnom Penh and one other undisclosed location, November and December 2013, and April 2014. Human Rights Watch group interview with 10 staff, manufacturing facility 60, Phnom Penh, December 7, 2013. Human Rights Watch group interviews with workers from factories 15, 57, and 60, Phnom Penh and different undisclosed areas, November and December 2013. Human Rights Watch group interview with nine staff, manufacturing unit 15, location withheld, November 24, 2013. Human Rights Watch group interview with Nov Aem and 4 other staff, factory forty, Phnom Penh, December 6, 2013.

They supplied info on measures they took to stop unauthorized subcontracting, together with implementing the “Green Light Project,” an initiative with DHL’s International Supply Chain Management. As part of this initiative, DHL was alleged to verify the provider name, and the manufacturing-factory name and tackle, in opposition to Joe Fresh’s record of approved factories. Marks and Spencer did not present any details about its method to remediation for staff in unauthorized subcontractor factories dropped at its attention.

Building Solidarity And Safe Spaces For Women

Women staff we interviewed mentioned the contracts of visibly pregnant women weren’t renewed. Pregnant workers and other workers who fell sick were not permitted to take any sick go away without having their entire attendance bonus deducted. Factory 5 is a small subcontractor manufacturing facility that produced for Marks and Spencer and acquired common orders from one or two direct suppliers a minimum of till November 2013, after we met with employees from the factory. Workers mentioned they were scared of forming a union and that eligible workers didn’t receive maternity depart or pay. From worker accounts, some workers were youngsters youthful than 15, the legally permissible age in Cambodia. Children worked as hard because the adults, they said, including on Sundays, nights for overtime work, and public holidays when there were rush orders.

Such measures ought to embody requiring worldwide apparel brands to disclose the names of their suppliers and subcontractors. The fundamental precept that businesses have a responsibility to respect worker rights has acquired widespread international recognition. States are free to prescribe authorized formalities for establishing unions, however they cannot abuse this freedom by prescribing formalities that impair basic labor rights ensures. Where the employer needs to terminate staff due to causes of “financial, technological, structural or related nature,” these ought to be made in accordance with pre-defined standards that factor in the curiosity of the workers as well as the manufacturing facility. Cambodia’s Arbitration Council has as an alternative held that pregnant women workers have the onus of proving such discrimination. In December 2014, Labor Ministry officers informed Human Rights Watch that that they had only imposed fines on low compliance factories that had not taken remedial measures. Information gathered by Human Rights Watch after BFC’s launch of its Transparency Database indicated that as of December 2014 the federal government was but to revoke a single factory’s export license even the place the manufacturing unit had didn’t take remedial measures.

BFC experts told Human Rights Watch that their displays had been aware of factories’ teaching staff. They offered information on procedures geared toward mitigating the impression of coaching on BFC’s monitoring and reporting. Some manufacturing facility managers made announcements utilizing the public announcement system, despatched messages by way of staff leaders, or known as staff and warned them that they should not report their working conditions to guests. Workers we spoke with had multiple considerations about BFC’s monitoring, particularly about worker capacity to take part successfully in on-website monitoring. Irrespective of who was visiting—whether or not brand representatives, other exterior screens, authorities officials, or BFC screens—employees complained that they were coached by factory management and couldn’t have a frank discussion about their working circumstances. Each of those factories had acquired no less than three BFC assessments before their names had been revealed.

BFC screens additionally complement their onsite monitoring with discussions with workers outdoors manufacturing facility premises during lunch hour. Because it is inconceivable to get correct information on all of BFC’s indicators during a one-hour lunch break, BFC displays typically focus on a couple of issues where offsite info would most help them, corresponding to pressured and extreme overtime.

Ministry of Commerce can revoke the export license if the manufacturing facility continues to violate labor legal guidelines. David Welsh, from the international labor rights group Solidarity Center, stated that this was one of the few points on which labor advocates and GMAC agreed. Workers in subcontractor factories usually experience worse working conditions than employees in the large export factories. Human Rights Watch was unable to acquire BFC reviews to independently confirm whether BFC screens precisely recognized and reflected teaching within the factories where staff reported such practices to Human Rights Watch. Tucker also cited no less than one latest instance the place workers contacted BFC displays and reported anti-union practices, which BFC displays followed-up by way of house visits after which negotiated with the manufacturing facility to have the employees reinstated.