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

  • Cambodia’s image problem

    In opening remarks at a recent event, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luy David said information can be a double-edged sword. He told a European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) briefing seminar that the media has unfairly presented

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Bumpy road for local ride apps

    Ride-hailing services seem to have grown into a dominant player in the capital’s transportation sector. Relatively unknown and little used in the Kingdom at the beginning of this year, services like PassApp, Grab and ExNet are now commonplace on Phnom Penh streets. However, the

  • Hun Sen lays out party’s platform

    Caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday credited liberating Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge as among the reasons why people will vote for his ruling Cambodian People Party (CPP) in the July 29 national elections. Hun Sen, who has held the reins of power in Cambodia