Options for enforcing labour standards: Lessons from Bangladesh And Cambodia
Article first published online: 4 NOV 2008
Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of International Development
Volume 22, Issue 1, pages 56–85, January 2010
How to Cite
Berik, G. and Rodgers, Y. V. D. M. (2010), Options for enforcing labour standards: Lessons from Bangladesh And Cambodia. J. Int. Dev., 22: 56–85. doi: 10.1002/jid.1534
- Issue published online: 23 DEC 2009
- Article first published online: 4 NOV 2008
- United Nations Development Programme
- working conditions;
- labour laws;
- female workers;
- gender and trade
This study examines labour standards enforcement and compliance in two Asian economies (Bangladesh and Cambodia) that have amongst the lowest labour costs in the world but are experiencing strong pressures to improve the price competitiveness of their textile and garment exports. Analysis of survey, focus group and inspection data indicate differing trajectories in compliance with basic labour standards. While extremely low wages and poor working conditions have persisted in Bangladesh, compliance has begun to improve in Cambodia following a trade agreement with the United States that linked positive trade incentives with labour standards enforcement. These contrasting experiences suggest that in less developed countries, governments consider trade-linked schemes to achieve improvements in working conditions without hindering export growth or job growth. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.