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

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at

  • ‘Golden’ Angkor Wat likely due to natural phenomenon: ANA

    Pictures and video clips of the Angkor Wat temple, its spires seemingly coated in gold, have been shared tens of thousands of times on social media, prompting a sense of wonder among those who have seen them. Hong Sam Ath, who took the pictures and

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway