(New York) – Cambodia’s government should improve enforcement of its labor law to remedy rights violations in the garment industry, said Human Rights Watch in a March 17, 2015 letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The government should improve coordination between different ministries to ensure that all garment factories are registered and regularly monitored by labor inspectors.
“We welcome more transparency around government measures to hold factories accountable,” said Nisha Varia, women’s rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “But the government should also publicly disclose the names of factories, the labor rights violations found, amount of fine imposed on each factory, and whether it was actually paid by the factory.”
On March 13, the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training said that it “greatly regrets and would like to reject” Human Rights Watch’s report “‘Work Faster or Get Out’: Labor Rights Abuses in Cambodia’s Garment Sector.”
Human Rights Watch stands by its research, which includes interviews with 270 workers across 73 factories in 5 provinces, and which corroborated findings by independent monitors such as Better Factories Cambodia and the International Labor Organization.
In its statement, the Ministry of Labor and Vocation Training provided new information about the number of inspections conducted and fines imposed in 2014. This updated data covering 2009-2013 and the first 11 months of 2014 that the ministry previously provided to Human Rights Watch, and was reflected in its report.