Thousands of garment and footwear workers in Cambodia have taken part in a pioneering mobile phone call-in project organised by the International Labour Organization’s Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) programme.

In September and October, the first two months of the Kamako Chhnoeum (“Outstanding Worker” in Khmer) project, 3,245 valid calls were received.

The project uses an Interactive Voice Response system to educate the workers about labour rights, occupational safety and health, and personal health, and also has a monthly lucky draw to encourage participation.

BFC said findings from the initiative demonstrated that callers had a good knowledge of many of the issues covered in the quiz questions which feature in the calls.

But 32% incorrectly believed that workers on strike were entitled to receive wages, while 47% wrongly thought workers on the payroll for less than a year were entitled to paid maternity leave.

“While this project delivers information to workers, it simultaneously gathers information about the level of knowledge that they possess, as well as recorded factory-specific information,” said Jill Tucker, BFC’s chief technical advisor.

“We are hopeful that other actors in the garment and footwear industry will find the information useful to inform their work.”