Vote with your pocketbook

While Western clothing consumers are not to blame for the abuse of garment workers in Cambodia, Bangladesh, and elsewhere, they can effect positive changes by becoming educated and helping to raise awareness about the issue.

Like I mentioned before, corporations exist to make money; they don’t exist to promote human rights, fair wages, and humane working conditions. However, they will respond positively if enough consumers are made aware of the abuses.

When the public goes to sleep on this issue, everything will return to business as usual. So, it’s imperative that we keep the issue alive…because real people’s lives are at stake.

To this end users of Facebook may contribute by talking about the issue and sharing relevant news clips.

Major clothing brands call for investigation of Cambodia deaths | theSundailyPHNOM PENH (Jan 19, 2014): Dozens of major international clothing brands expressed “grave concern” to Cambodia over the shooting deaths of five striking garment workers during a protest this month. The brands including Puma, Walmart, Gap, Levi and H&M sent a joint letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen urging an investigation.

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Parents beware!

The so-called “international” schools boasting “native English speakers” are all the rage in Cambodia.

Be careful! Some of them might be international pedophiles preying on your children.

These scumbags are not permitted to live or work near schools and childcare facilities in their native countries. Here in Cambodia they’re treated like gods.

UK Pedophile Came to Cambodia to Teach in SchoolsThe Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday charged convicted British pedophile Richard Fruin, 36, with sexually abusing two brothers, aged 8 and 11, at a guesthouse in Phnom Penh, court officials said. Fruin-who previously served a year in prison in the U.K.

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Cambodia’s trade deficit

Cambodia’s Trade with Various Countries (2011):

CHINA: Exports – $0.184 billion, Imports – $2.31 billion, Deficit: $2.13 billion
VIETNAM: Exports – $0.429 billion, Imports – $2.40 billion, Deficit: $1.97 billion
THAILAND: Exports – $0.176 billion, Imports – $2.9 billion, Deficit: $2.72 billion

Total deficit with these three countries: $6.82 billion

If you’re looking for a reason why goods in Cambodia are so expensive, look no further than the staggering trade imbalance between Cambodia and these countries.

While I’m no economist, I don’t need to be one to recognize that takes ENERGY to move stuff from Point A to Point B. The costs of energy (gasoline), labor, and tariffs needed to transport goods from one country to another get added to the prices that we pay at local retail outlets.

There are wealthy countries like the U.S. that might benefit economically by importing goods from countries with CHEAP labor. The problem with Cambodia is that we ARE the cheap labor, and that’s why people are having such a hard time paying for imported manufactured goods from other countries.

Of course, there are some extenuating considerations, and I’m a believer in free trade. But I don’t think I’m wrong to suggest that Cambodia ought to start producing many of the products we use everyday. This will provide decent paying manufacturing jobs for the people while lowering their costs of living.