“rural Cambodian Women’s Perspectives

Workers stated that manufacturing unit managers refused to hire visibly pregnant employees, echoing findings from a 2012 International Labour Organization report on gender equality in garment factories. Pregnant women on quick-time period contracts had been unlikely to have their contracts renewed, allowing their managers to avoid offering maternity benefits. For instance, in November 2013, a factory dismissed 40 workers for refusing to do overtime till 9 p.m. It subsequently reinstated half the workers, nevertheless, after protests and negotiation with an independent union.

But some staff informed Human Rights Watch that they dropped out of the seventh or eighth grade — at ages starting from 12 to 14 — so they could start stitching for worldwide brands. Endemic corruption in any respect ranges of presidency severely limited the flexibility of particular person officers to make progress in holding traffickers accountable. The Cambodian nationwide police maintained a mechanism for NGO employees to report incidents of corruption among anti-trafficking police, nevertheless it did not area any complaints through the reporting period. Local officials facilitated cross-border trafficking by accepting bribes for forging identity documents. One NGO famous legislation enforcement raids on intercourse trafficking establishments have been sometimes unsuccessful as a result of advance warning from working-level police.

Economic Characteristics Of U S. Cambodian Population, 2015

Human Rights Watch spoke to five employees from one subcontractor factory who stated they have been supplying to manufacturing facility 1 or one of its branches. They knew they had been producing for H&M because the managers had mentioned the brand name and designs with employees. The factory additionally subcontracted with different giant factories within the Svay Rolum and Sethbau areas in Kandal province that produce for international manufacturers. The staff were paid on a chunk-fee basis and when the factory received many orders, workers said they have been compelled to work extra time on Sundays and public holidays.

Such disclosure is neither unimaginable nor prohibitively costly and there seems to be no legitimate reason for brands to withhold this info. For instance, Adidas wrote to Human Rights Watch that it first started privately disclosing its provider record to teachers and nongovernmental organizations in 2001 and moved to a public disclosure system in 2007. H&M started publicly disclosing its supplier list in 2013 and updates it yearly. Workers, independent union representatives, and labor rights activists stated that sexual harassment in garment factories is frequent. The 2012 ILO report found that one in 5 women surveyed reported that sexual harassment led to a threatening work setting.

Only two women Human Rights Watch spoke with stated that visibly pregnant women were recruited to work. Both these were workers who had been engaged on a day by day wage foundation by labor-only contractors and rotated among factories to do evening time work. Because of the informal nature of the work, they felt the contractors have been more lenient with visibly pregnant workers in addition to with “old workers”—staff they described as being above age forty. In principle, informal and common employees get pleasure from all rights offered for under Cambodian labor law besides the place in any other case mentioned. The law defines casual staff as staff employed to perform an unstable job or “specific work”—momentary, intermittent, or seasonal— that can be accomplished within a brief interval.

Cambodian Women’s Development Agency

Brands draw a distinction between approved and unauthorized subcontracts and their legal responsibility for every. While international apparel buyers understandably seek to avoid unauthorized subcontracts, their response to the invention of unauthorized subcontractor factories should be according to the precept of improving human rights for all employees concerned in manufacturing their merchandise. In practice, brands generally rely upon unions to alert them to unauthorized subcontracts. For instance, H&M acknowledged that workers who report subcontracting arrangements play a whistleblower function. It has distributed a translated copy of its suppliers’ record to local unions and labor rights groups to encourage such whistle-blowing. A 2012 ILO report on Cambodian garment factories found that one in five women workers surveyed reported that sexual harassment led to a threatening work setting. Workers, independent union representatives, and labor rights activists mentioned that sexual harassment in garment factories was common.

The authorities demonstrated growing efforts in comparison with the previous reporting period; due to this fact Cambodia remained on Tier 2. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. Endemic corruption continued to impede legislation enforcement operations, criminal proceedings, and victim service provision. Authorities didn’t issue formal steering allowing using undercover investigative techniques in anti-trafficking operations—a factor that continued to impede officers’ ability to completely hold sex traffickers accountable. “You have done a great factor!” an ambassador told her after giving an impassioned speech on the importance of female representation in the authorities. Seeing her commitment and potential, Phearong was provided an internship after which a contract with the European Union, the place she is a fierce champion for girls’s rights.

Accommodation Of The Needs Of Pregnant Workers

In many factories, managers repeatedly use short-term contracts beyond the legally permissible two years as a way of controlling staff, discouraging union formation or participation, or avoiding paying benefits. This follow dating cambodian girls has turn out to be a key point of contention, fueling tense industrial relations. Recent occasions linked to labor rights in Cambodia have attracted international attention.

Phearong Rejected Her ‘destiny’ And Became A Leader For Women’s Rights In Cambodia

Human Rights Watch interviews with staff from factories 3, 4, 5, 29, and sixty nine, Phnom Penh and Kandal provinces, November 2013. Human Rights Watch group interview with workers from factories 19 and 28, Phnom Penh, November and December 2013. Workers from manufacturing facility 28 described how factory managers colluded with a professional-administration union to have all employee contracts modified from UDCs to FDCs misrepresenting that workers had demanded it. Above all, we thank all the workers who recounted their experiences of working in factories. We additionally acknowledge the government officials, manufacturing unit, and model representatives who agreed to be interviewed at size for this report. In the Cambodian context, subcontracting might contribute to employee exploitation and subcontractor factories should be included within the purview of normal and ongoing due diligence by international attire manufacturers. Due diligence must also embody an assessment of the human rights dangers posed by potential unauthorized subcontracting, in addition to any potential harm to workers which may observe from company efforts to address unauthorized subcontract preparations when they are discovered.

Cambodian labor law deems brief-time period contracts which are renewed a number of times past two years as contracts of indeterminate duration. But it does not specify that brief-time period contracts not necessitated by the “nature of the work” or circumstances of the duty are indeterminate. In any occasion, even the 2-12 months outer limit for repeated renewal of FDCs is flouted by many factories. Authorities ought to protect each male and female staff from being discriminated against using shorter-time period FDCs. BFC supplies technical steering to factories to facilitate compliance with labor laws through a remediation plan that is developed in consultation with a committee, the Performance Improvement Joint Consultative Committee, comprising factory managers and employee representatives. The program is voluntary.Only about 10 p.c of the factories registered with BFC use its advisory providers.

Union representatives and labor rights activists additionally complained that BFC’s detailed manufacturing unit inspection reports were obtainable to managers and types however had been inaccessible to employees. Workers and labor rights activists who acknowledge BFC’s contributions nonetheless have raised considerations about its manufacturing facility monitoring methods, protection of factories, and transparency. For instance, the employees at one massive factory that subcontracted work to smaller factories informed us that a translator employed on the manufacturing unit used her private connections as the wife of a neighborhood district police chief to silence worker issues from subcontractor factories.

However, some provincial police chiefs reportedly worked to reduce these leaks by turning over instances to the AHTJP, which carried out unbiased raids with out notifying the local authorities till moments earlier than they started. Some corrupt officials may have profited instantly from establishments suspected of sex and labor trafficking. NGO observers claimed Cambodian cops also solicited business sex with minors during the reporting interval. One NGO alleged prosecutors and judges accepted bribes in return for dismissal of charges and acquittals. Corrupt officials often thwarted progress in instances where the perpetrators had been believed to have political, criminal, or economic ties to government officials. The Government of Cambodia does not totally meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; nevertheless, it is making important efforts to do so.

A key challenge for staff and labor rights advocates is that BFC lacks enforcement powers. Its effectiveness primarily is dependent upon the federal government’s dedication to comply with-up on BFC findings and take applicable enforcement actions. Many workers emphasized the necessity for a stronger mechanism for reporting concerns about manufacturing facility working circumstances to BFC displays off web site, without fear of surveillance by management or retaliation.

In January 2014, police, gendarmes, and army troops brutally crushed industry-broad protests for a better minimum wage. And the authorities have launched extra burdensome union registration procedures. In latest years, Cambodian garment employees have fought for a residing wage of $one hundred sixty a month. Under pressure from unions and consumers corresponding to H&M, the Cambodian government raised the month-to-month minimal wage from $128 to $a hundred and forty in January, falling in need of the amount demanded by the unions. According to the report, one woman at a manufacturing facility supplying H&M garments “estimated that 20 of the 60 employees had been kids.” Others informed Human Rights Watch that “children labored as onerous as adults” and would sew lengthy hours into the night.