The World Bank praised the International Labour Organization’s Better Work program in a report released on Monday, commending the program’s Cambodian operation for its role in improving the job quality and personal independence of the Kingdom’s mostly female garment workers.
“The Better Factories Cambodia program benefitted all the key stakeholders by improving work conditions, supporting the growth of the apparel sector in Cambodia (benefitting all local stakeholders), and boosting developed world buyers’ reputation by sourcing from ethical workplaces,” the report reads.
The main role of BFC, set up in Cambodia in 2001 and then replicated in seven more countries, is to inspect factories for labour violations.
All garment-exporting Cambodian factories must sign on to the program, which has no power to enforce punishments for its findings.
Joel Preston, a consultant with the Community Legal Education Center, said BFC had overseen improvements in operational health and safety, although major issues such as discrimination against unions remained.