Cambodia labour issues continue to concern brands

After ongoing concerns over the deteriorating labour and human rights situation in Cambodia prompted a number of brands and retailers to again call on the government to set out steps to bring the country in line with international standards, garment manufacturers now say such a narrative puts workers at risk.

Importers of garments, footwear and travel goods from Cambodia – including Adidas, Levi Strauss, Ralph Lauren and Under Armour – fear that if the issues are not addressed, Cambodia risks losing its trade preferences.

The European Union is currently reviewing Cambodia’s Everything but Arms (EBA) duty-free benefits, while members in the US Congress have introduced bills that would require the US government to review Cambodia’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits. Both actions are based on the declining respect for labour standards, including freedom of association, and other issues related to respect for human rights issues in Cambodia.

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