SXH Delivers Gap Analysis Report on Grievance Mechanisms in Cambodia

Sok Xing & Hwang has delivered a technical report to its client—an international initiative based in Europe among global garment brands and retailers and an international trade union—providing a gap analysis of grievance mechanisms in Cambodia’s garment, footwear and textile industry.

Effective grievance procedures and dispute resolution processes are considered essential to the recognition of fundamental principles and rights at work, critical for the prevention and resolution of labor disputes and conflicts, and vital for strengthening industrial relations and building trust between workers and management.

SXH was approached to design and conduct a study of grievance mechanisms based on our technical expertise of the Cambodian regulatory framework and international labor standards, our understanding of industrial and employment practices in this country and comparative contexts, and our extensive work experience and professional networks among the tripartite partners (represented by the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, TAFTAC and confederation trade unions) and key stakeholders (including global buyers and international development agencies and organizations).

SXH’s report maps the landscape of grievance mechanisms in Cambodia, identifying the principal laws, regulations, policies and practices, as well as institutions and actors active in the subject area, and analyzes gaps compared against international standards including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and provides recommendations to address those gaps.

Among the report’s findings are that, in practice, grievance mechanisms in Cambodia’s garment sector are relatively more effective for resolving minor, straightforward grievances or complaints, and relatively less effective for resolving serious, complex grievances or disputes. Adding to the complexity are challenges in the broader industrial relations and regulatory environment—including global compliance demands and trends toward Human Rights Due Diligence—and economic headwinds impacting Cambodia’s garment sector. The report identifies concrete actions for enterprises to improve grievance mechanisms design, operations and monitoring, while also specifying recommendations for collaboration and a data-supported and holistic approach to grievance resolution.

SXH Senior Director Hans S. Hwang was primary author of the report; and SXH Advisor Helena Horal and SXH Associate Kong Puthnita provided assistance.