About the programme
- Our Cambodia programme began in 2001, emerging from a trade agreement between the United States and Cambodia, under which the US provided Cambodia better access to its markets in exchange for improved working conditions in the garment sector. The ILO was requested to establish a project to monitor factories and help them maintain improvements. Early successes of Better Factories Cambodia later inspired the Better Work programme.
- Better Factories Cambodia covers all exporting garment factories in the country and some shoe factories, currently in the region of 500 factories encompassing 500,000 workers.
- The garment and footwear industries are Cambodia’s biggest formal sector employer and make up more than 80% of exports.
- Better Factories Cambodia’s monitoring has contributed to greater scrutiny of the industry and changes such as near-universal correct payments of wages, and the emergence of the first generation of Cambodian supervisors. It has also played a role in assisting the development of national legislation, such as a regulation on prison labour which was enacted in 2012.
- The programme has been the architect of many worker empowerment programmes including a soap opera and comic entitled “At the Factory Gates,” a garment workers open university training program, a radio labour law competition for workers, an Experts by Experience worker advocacy group, and a mobile phone education programme aimed at two-way communication with workers.
- In 2013, the programme launched an online transparency database detailing the progress of individual factories on key working conditions.
See a current list of all programme donors here