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GMAC: Cambodia Committed to Labor and Social Compliance

More than a month after the Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report on Cambodia’s labor rights abuse, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) released a statement declaring it is committed “towards maintaining a high level of labor and social compliance.”

HRW’s report published in March, said garment factory workers in the country, who are mostly women, often experience discriminatory and exploitative labor conditions, including forced overtime, pregnancy-based discrimination and anti-union practices.

The statement, which marked International Labor Day May 1, said the country “continues to be recognized as the pioneer in setting standards for labor and social compliance and the ground-breaking initiative of linking trade to labor standards is currently being emulated by other apparel producing countries all over the world.”

Cambodia’s garment industry is its largest industry and employer, creating jobs for more than 15 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

GMAC said in Cambodia, only employees in the garment and footwear industries are guaranteed a minimum wage, along with other legally mandated allowances including, the attendance bonus and a house and transport allowance. The association said this makes its garment workers some of the best paid in the region.

“The industry is also keenly aware of its critical role in helping drive social development in Cambodia, and we work hard to make positive contributions to the local community. GMAC is pleased to work alongside with other stakeholders including the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, the International Labor Organization as well as trade unions to continue to ensure that the rights of workers and employers are being upheld,” the statement noted.