Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - GIZ pumps euros into workplace inspections

GIZ pumps euros into workplace inspections

A garment worker measures templates at a Phnom Penh garment factory in 2014.
A garment worker measures templates at a Phnom Penh garment factory in 2014. Vireak Mai

GIZ pumps euros into workplace inspections

In a bid to reassure European shoppers concerned with unfair labour practices, Germany’s state aid agency GIZ has pledged €1.2 million ($1.3 million) to a new program focused on enhancing Cambodia’s labour inspections system for the garment sector.

GIZ-Cambodia announced the implementation of the two-year initiative at a signing ceremony with the government in Phnom Penh yesterday.

Dr Monika Lueke, the program’s coordinator for GIZ, said that the money will primarily be spent on advice and technical support to the Ministry of Labour.

“Why now? Because in Europe, there is more and more attention being paid to sustainable production, fair wages, factories where the workers can stay in good health, and good environmental standards,” she said, noting the Cambodian economy’s heavy reliance on garment exports.

“We’re at a crossroads. Cambodia needs to do something to remain competitive.”

GIZ’s program is also operating in Pakistan, Bangladesh and China, Lueke said.

Cambodia’s inspection system is often beset by a lack of qualified staff and funding.

Last October, the US State Department reported that due to budget constraints, the Labour Ministry’s child labour department only conducted inspections in the Phnom Penh area.

William Conklin, country director of the Solidarity Center, welcomed GIZ’s program but warned that a lack of either funds or technical expertise was far from the only challenge.

“The inspectors . . . need to be able to objectively report and need to do it without fear or repercussions or reprisals, and obviously without the temptation of bribes,” he said.

“You can throw all the money you want and it won’t necessarily do much.”

MOST VIEWED

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Kingdom calls on Japan to increase number of direct flights to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh

    Cambodia is requesting Japan to increase the number of direct flights from Japanese cities and provinces to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, so as to contribute to increasing cooperation and tourist numbers between the two countries. During the opening ceremony of 3rd Japan Travel Fair

  • Court orders Sokha to stand trial on January 15 for treason

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has set January 15 as the trial date for Kem Sokha, the former president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) who is under court-supervised bail on a treason charge. In a press release issued on Monday, the municipal