Project location: Cambodia
Funding: £44,580
Year / duration: 2012 / 1 Year
Partner: Labour Behind the Label

Over 450,000 people work in Cambodia’s garment industry, with 95% of them women. Since 2010, there have been 38 recorded incidents of mass fainting in factories involving 2,788 workers. Unions say that many more mass fainting incidents go unrecorded. Unions, workers’ rights groups and government representatives have attributed the phenomenon to inadequate salaries, poor nutrition and excessive working hours in poor conditions.

The main barriers to change include a lack of willingness on the part of international brands and factory owners to support wage increases. At the same time, there is little knowledge or confidence amongst the largely female garment work force to advocate for rights and change.

TRAID is funding Labour Behind the Label to enable garment workers to secure a living wage and improved working conditions. 200,000 workers will be educated about their right to a living wage by local partners with support given to resolve 80 urgent cases of workers’ rights violations relating to cases of mass fainting and poverty wages.

The evidence collected throughout the project from investigating complaints, communications with brands, legal cases and first person accounts will be compiled into an international report to be published in the UK and Cambodia.

The findings will be presented to the brands, unions, government, factory owners and employers’ associations at a round table meeting, and will deliver worker-led recommendations to address the root causes of mass fainting among garment workers.