In response to your article ‘Brand aid’ failing workers, published on Wednesday, November 9, our trade-union colleagues are to be commended for highlighting the crucial issue of labour conditions in sub-contract garment factories.
They correctly point out that the International Labour Organisation’s Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) program may have limited effectiveness if it does not cover sub-contract factories that produce in Cambodia but do not have export licences.
Although BFC is in its 10th year of operation and has demonstrated that its monitoring and training services can make sustainable improvements in working conditions, sub-contract factories have not come under its mandate. This, however, is set to change.
The Royal Government of Cambodia recently issued a prakas on Sub-Contract Management in Garment and Textile Industry. Article 3 states that “Only the members of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) that have registered with Better Factories Cambodia in compliance with the Ministry of Commerce are entitled to the entry into a sub-contract.”
BFC looks forward to working closely with our key partners – including trade unions – as we develop a new program that will drive change in sub-contract factories.
Our ethos is one of continuous improvement. The garment industry is a rapidly changing landscape, and BFC needs to adapt and intensify its efforts to address the needs of Cambodian workers.
The path has never been easy, and new challenges will continually arise. We look forward to standing together with trade unions, employers, buyers, the RGC and others to ensure that, as the industry expands and changes, we join hands to ensure respect for the legal rights of workers.
Chief technical adviser
Better Factories Cambodia, Phnom Penh
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