Garment factories

Improving worker well-being

CARE has been working in the garment industry in Cambodia since 1998 and has conducted activities in 48 factories to date. Our staff are familiar with the needs of garment workers, particularly young female migrants, and how these can impact their work. CARE has well-established relationships with key groups within the sector and has built networks of peer educators within factories who are conducting skills training with their co-workers.

 

Factory managers who have engaged with CARE have reported improved attendance and increased productivity among project participants, as well as much better communication and teamwork. Workers have also had improved access to health and hygiene information through life skills training. CARE’s success in other business sectors, such as the beer promotion industry, has included reducing harassment, improving worker confidence in their abilities and improved occupational health and safety by supporting the creation of industry standards.

 

 

Timeframe

March 2012 – February 2015

 

Location

Kampong Cham & Prey Veng provinces

 

Beneficiaries

Community members in two provinces – young women and girls, young men, and parents

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There are approximately 600,000 people employed by garment factories in Cambodia
 

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Female factory workers have diverse reproductive health needs and many do not currently have adequate access to affordable, high quality information and services 

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Cambodia has over 550 garment factories
Workers in garment factories perceive a regular & daily risk of sexual harassment

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90% of garment factory workers are female & 90% are aged 18-29 
Sexual harassment in the workplace is not well-defined in Cambodian Labor 

CARE's work in garment factories

With almost 20 years of experience in the garment sector and a number of high-quality, proven engagement models to offer, CARE has become the partner of choice for many businesses wishing to address common challenges facing workers, particularly women, and ensure they have a stable and healthy workforce.

 

CARE’s expertise is in working with garment workers, particularly young female migrants who face unique challenges which often impact their ability to remain in work. CARE has a recognised track record of training both workers and managers and well-established relationships with key stakeholders within the sector.

 

CARE focuses on empowering women to make informed choices and to be able to do so in an equitable environment. As a result CARE is primarily concerned with ensuring women working in garment factories have the knowledge and opportunities to develop as individuals while influencing policies and creating an enabling environment which will support this. Learn more about specific activities in factories by choosing a project from the box on the right.

 

CARE has expertise in a number of key areas. Many of these have proven models for addressing the challenges faced by factories and can be adapted to meet companies’ specific needs.

 

Improving workers’ sexual, reproductive and maternal health
  • Package of interactive materials for training workers on sexual and reproductive health.

  • Referrals to quality health services.

  • Engagement for improving standards in factory infirmaries.

 

Reducing sexual harassment
  • Training for factory HR staff on understanding gender-based violence and addressing situations in the factory.

  • Standardised workplace sexual harassment policy.

  • Package of interactive materials for training workers on sexual harassment.

 

Improving workers’ nutrition
  • Package of interactive materials for training workers on nutrition.

  • Engagement with food vendors around factories.

  • Awareness and behaviour change activities.

 

Promoting financial literacy
  • Training for factory workers on financial planning.

  • Promoting access to formal financial services.

 

CARE's engagement with garment factories contributes to CARE's global goal of women's economic empowerment, while also addresing their right to a life free from violence and their sexual and reproductive health rights

Funding partners
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Download an overview of CARE's garment industry expertise

Read research from the PSL program on workers' 
reproductive health 

Download an overview what CARE can offer garment factories

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Human Rights Watch, "Work Faster or Get Out: Labor Rights Abuses in Cambodia’s Garment Industry (March 2015).

Cambodian Center for Human Rights, "Workers' Rights are Human Rights" Policy Brief: The Grament Industry in Cambodia (January 2014)PSL Cambodia, Baseline Survey Report: Reproductive, Maternal and Neonatal Health Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices among Female Garment Factory Workers in Phnom Penh and Kandal Provinces (2014)

CARE Cambodia, Safe Workplaces Safe Communities: Baseline for program indicators (2014).

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CARE Cambodia makes key pieces of research publicly available for the benefit of partners and other organisations working in similar fields. All content contained on these pages should be considered the property of CARE unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without prior consent. Where specific information detailed in any of CARE Cambodia's research or publications is referred to in other work, CARE Cambodia should be referenced as the original source. 

Photo credits: CARE/Josh Estey/

© CARE Cambodia 2018

CARE is an international development organisation fighting global poverty, with a special focus on working with women and girls to bring sustainable changes to their communities. 

Defending dignity. Fighting Poverty.