John Ciorciari quoted in TIME article about factory conditions in Cambodia, Bangladesh

May 20, 2013

John Ciorciari was interviewed by TIME in an article—"A Tale of Two Factory Disasters: What Cambodia Can Teach Bangladesh"—comparing factory conditions in Cambodia and Bangladesh.

In the wake of the deadly April 24, 2013 Dhaka factory collapse, some wonder if Bangladesh could learn something from Cambodia's Better Factories. Better Factories is a program through which the International Labor Organization (ILO) audits factory and labor conditions. Up until 2005, the U.S. and Cambodia had a special trade agreement where the ILO would provide reports to U.S. officials in exchange for tariff-free trade.

Some argue that factory conditions have degraded since 2005 because Better Factories has lost leverage, but Ciorciari told TIME the responsibility should be shared.

Weak local governance, exploitative factories and retailers, and bargain-hunting consumers all share some responsibility for the burdensome conditions placed on garment workers, John Ciorciari told TIME. "But when you get to the question of who, realistically, I would trust to be most effective … to make positive change," he says, the greater influence of Better Factories prior to 2005 suggests that the governments of valuable markets are the linchpin because of their commanding heights to influence all actors involved.