August 27, 2018
AIP Foundation staff accompanied researchers from the Center for Policy Studies (CPS) and the Solidarity Center to 40 driver interviews in Bavet, Cambodia where the introduction of buses for transporting factory workers is slowly starting to replace flat-bed trucks as the main means of collective transport. The town of Bavet borders Vietnam and includes a Special Economic Zone. These interviews are part of a larger research project, which commenced in 2017, with 600 truck drivers across eight provinces in Cambodia.
The objective of the research is to inform the industry, policymakers and stakeholders of the current challenges and opportunities to improve the transport situation for commuting workers – including the potential role of driver associations and Trade Unions. This research will contribute to the body of knowledge and initiatives supported by the Transportation Working Group (TWG) – a group of garment and footwear brands and concerned stakeholders, including the Solidarity Center, who are collaborating to find ways to improve transport safety for commuting workers. With the support of the TWG, AIP Foundation is implementing a 12 month pilot program at five factories which aims to improve transport safety for commuting workers.
The TWG seeks to better understand the informal system of collective transport providers and document the issues facing drivers who transport commuting workers of the garment and footwear sector. In Cambodia there are approximately 4,500 collective transport vehicles, many of them are flat-bed trucks, providing transport to more than 200,000 workers every day. In the 12 months between 1 July 2017 and 1 July 2018, Cambodian media reported 6 deaths and 503 injuries involving garment and footwear workers, most of them involving unsafe and over-crowded trucks.
Please view more photos from the field here