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Cambodia: Apparel groups warn restrictions on freedom of association will make Cambodia unattractive & expensive place to do business

Author: Daphne Chen, The Phnom Penh Post (Cambodia), Published on: 23 March 2018

"Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen",  21 Mar 2018

A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern”...over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen, the apparel groups also call for amendments to the contentious 2016 Trade Union Law and ask the government to strengthen the Arbitration Council...In the letter, the group, which includes... American Apparel & Footwear Association and... Ethical Trading Initiative, warns that restrictions on freedom of association “will make Cambodia an unattractive and expensive place to do business”. The groups also call for an end to the harassment of labour activists like Central Director Moeun Tola and Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union President Ath Thorn, both of whom are facing criminal charges. In addition, the organizations also ask the government to drop a proposed ban on independent research during the minimum wage negotiation process, as well as a controversial draft law on labour disputes... [and ask] for a meeting with the premier to discuss its concerns.

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Related companies: ASOS Gap Hennes & Mauritz (H&M)