The report said the number of Critical Issues violations fell 35% to 87 over the last three months

The report said the number of Critical Issues violations fell 35% to 87 over the last three months

Transparent reporting of garment factory compliance in Cambodia is helping to improve conditions for workers, according to a new report. 

In its second online transparency report, the International Labor Organization (ILO's) Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) programme said three of 12 factories in the Low Compliance group had made 33 improvements and moved off the list.

The Low Compliance group covers factories whose performance falls two standard deviations below the mean for compliance on 52 key issues.

One-third of the 92 facilities on the programme’s 'Critical Issues' list had made improvements on 21 basic legal requirements, with the number of Critical Issues violations in the group down 35% to 87 over the past three months.

Meanwhile, 24 of those 92 factories were already in compliance on all 21 requirements, with another 19 making sufficient improvements to move into this group.

As a result of the transparency reports, the ILO said, the proportion of factories conducting emergency evacuation drills had risen from 57% to 79%, while the proportion discriminating against workers had fallen from 20% to 7%.

“Through transparency we are seeing changes in factories that have resisted change for years,” said BFC chief technical advisor Jill Tucker.

“Some of the benefits that are newly being given – such as proper seniority allowances – put money in workers’ pockets, and these benefits cannot be taken away once they are provided.”

Through its BFC initiative, the ILO launched its online transparency database in March showing how individual garment factories measure up on key working conditions.

In addition to this, BFC issued its 31st Synthesis Report this week, in which Tucker said it has seen "some encouraging changes" at the factory level following BFC’s return to transparent reporting.