Competition and monitoring challenges of apparel manufacturing in Cambodia

An article in the Wall Street Journal (July 6, 2013) describes the evolution of the role of “Better Factories Cambodia” and its monitoring of working conditions in Cambodia’s apparel factories. Though initially focused on public release of its reports, the demise of the Multi-Fiber Agreement in 2005 and global competition meant less leverage for the US and increased global competition faced by Cambodian manufacturers. The result has been that reports are submitted by manufacturers as confidential documents, and these have to be purchased by interested retailers. This lack of transparency has also affected wage rates, overtime rules and work environment as manufacturers compete globally to win orders. How should the International Labor Organization and retailers organize the monitoring of Cambodian factories to ensure compliance with agreed upon laws ? How should employees be given a chance to share their information without suffering consequences ? Can technology enable consumers to be assured that their clothing is manufactured in an humane environment ?

About aviyer2010

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