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Cambodia: Labour rights groups point to violence against garment workers

Date: 9 Jan 2014

Cambodia garment factory

Global clothing brands have been called upon to use their influence to achieve an end to what campaign groups describe as repression against workers involved in wage protests.

The groups include the Clean Clothes Campaign, International Labor Rights Forum, Worker Rights Consortium and Maquila Solidarity Network. They have said that companies should contact the Cambodian government demanding an immediate end to violence against workers, and a respect for their right to protest against low wages.

Violence broke out after unions called a national strike in late December last year. At a demonstration outside the office of the Council of Ministers' office, shootings took place leading to several fatalities. Workers were demanding an increase in the minimum wage to the equivalent of $160 per month.

Jeroen Merk of the Clean Clothes Campaign said: “Until brands recognise that these practices contribute to the poverty wages received by workers in Cambodia, and in turn the demonstrations we are witnessing, then no brand sourcing from Cambodia can claim to be acting fairly or decently.”

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