Fewer garment workers in Cambodia understood OSH issues between January and March

Fewer garment workers in Cambodia understood OSH issues between January and March

Garment worker understanding of occupational safety and health issues is declining in Cambodia, according to a new study.

The International Labour Organization's Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) programme began the Kamako Chhnoeum (Outstanding Worker) initiative in September last year, using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system to educate factory workers on a number of issues.

In its third report, covering the January to March period, the project reports receiving 14,799 valid calls, with 44% of callers choosing to answer quiz questions on salaries and allowances; 30% on personal health; and 26% on occupational health and safety.

Among the findings, 39% of callers incorrectly believed that workers were not entitled to special leave with seniority of less than one year, while 26% did not know that they were entitled to a full attendance bonus when they took annual leave.

The report recorded a decline in understanding of OSH issues, with 61% of callers understanding correctly that twice a year emergency drills were needed – down from 70% in the last three-month period.

On personal health, 75% understood that abortion is legal in Cambodia up to 12 weeks, 81% knew that Chinese pills were not safe and reliable for abortion, but 26% believed that hormonal contraceptives would protect against STIs and HIV/AIDS.