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Cambodia: Leading apparel & footwear brands meet with govt. to express concerns about labour rights

"Leading apparel and footwear brands meet with government to express concerns about worker rights", Oct 23, 2018

Representatives from major apparel and footwear brands, including adidas, New Balance, Nike, Puma, Under Armour, and VF Corporation...met with senior Cambodian government officials to discuss the current state of worker rights...throughout the Cambodian garment, footwear, and travel goods sector. The sector employs more than 700,000 Cambodians – most of whom are women – making it one of the largest sources of employment in the country. "Cambodia has been a good partner to our brands through the years,” said Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association... “[t]hat said, we are increasingly concerned about specific policies and actions the government has taken in the past year."

The [representatives] called on the government to drop criminal charges in the cases of several labor leaders, charges that have been pending for years and are widely viewed as politically-motivated. They also urged amendments of the 2016 Law on Trade Unions (TUL) and implementing regulations that limit the ability of Cambodian workers to form and engage freely in trade unions. The protection of fundamental human rights will be critical if Cambodia is to maintain and enhance the confidence of international brands sourcing in Cambodia.  

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