A new agreement involving manufacturers and Better Factories Cambodia aims to eliminate child labour in the country’s garment industry.

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) is due to sign the agrement with the ILO programme on Thursday (18 December), with an emphasis on identifying and eliminating instances of child labour through a collaborative approach.

When workers aged under 15 are identified, they are offered access to vocational training and paid the equivalent of their monthly factory salary until they reach 15, with GMAC ensuring financial support for age confirmation and remediation costs from member factories.

Labour and Vocational Training Minister Ith Sam Heng has previous outlined plans to reduce the incidence of child labour across all sectors from 16.5% in 1999 to 8% by next year, with the “worst forms” of child labour completely eliminated by 2016.

“We have a zero tolerance policy towards child labour and have been working very closely with Better Factories Cambodia over the past 14 years in this regard,” said Van Sou Ieng, GMAC chairman.

“This agreement further solidifies our commitment and provides a positive remediation for those underage workers that slip through the crack and are found working in our member factories.”

News of the agreement comes after textiles from Cambodia were included on an annual list of goods produced using child labour, compiled by the US Department of Labor and released earlier this month.