Sustainability Update from H&M - Visit to Cambodia

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Sustainability Update from H&M - Visit to Cambodia

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Helena Helmersson


Cambodia is an important production market for H&M. As the workers’ wellbeing is of outmost importance to us, we are much engaged in the current situation in the country. I want take the opportunity to update you on our latest actions in Cambodia.

Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 11:00am


Last week I visited Phnom Phen to meet with the ILO/Better Works Cambodia on how to improve working conditions in the export garment factories. The lack of dialogue between workers and factory management on the one hand, and unions and the employers’ association on the other, seems to be one of the main reasons for the incidents we have seen recently. Hence, right now we are focusing on getting a functioning dialogue system in place.

I also visited M&V4, to see the improvements being made according to the action plan to address the mass illnesses, and to discuss the importance of dialogue between employers and workers and how they can benefit from an open dialogue. Currently, we are, in collaboration with stakeholders, working on a social dialogue project to strengthen knowledge about negotiation skills and conflict resolution at our suppliers’ factories. Lasting improvements in working conditions require a continuous, well-functioning dialogue, and parallel it is important to educate the factory management to overcome the communication gap.

The week prior to my trip to Cambodia I met with the Vice Premier Minister of Cambodia on his visit to Stockholm, to discuss the importance of a frame work for dialogue and negotiations. A dialogue that everyone would benefit from; workers, suppliers, governement, the country as a whole as well as us - the buyers.

Helena Helmersson is our Head of Sustainability. Opinions expressed are her personal views and do not necessarily represent the official views of H&M. Do you have questions or feedback? Please click here.