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Factory Owner in Cambodia Seeks to Empower Female Workers

A maverick Dutch owner of a factory in Cambodia is trying to demonstrate that socially responsible entrepreneurial enterprises, not reliance on non-governmental organizations, is the Southeast Asian nation’s best path out of poverty.
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The factory is SA8000 certified -- the highest standard in social compliance, a rarity for a company in Cambodia. (S. Herman/VOA)
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The factory is SA8000 certified -- the highest standard in social compliance, a rarity for a company in Cambodia. (S. Herman/VOA)

The Pactics' Siem Reap factory recruits applicants no younger than 18 years of age. (S. Herman/VOA)
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The Pactics' Siem Reap factory recruits applicants no younger than 18 years of age. (S. Herman/VOA)

Fabric in Tiffany's signature blue color being unfurled in a machine. (S. Herman/VOA)
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Fabric in Tiffany's signature blue color being unfurled in a machine. (S. Herman/VOA)

As is standard in the industry in Cambodia, workers are on the job six days per week for eight hours per day. (S. Herman/VOA)
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As is standard in the industry in Cambodia, workers are on the job six days per week for eight hours per day. (S. Herman/VOA)

A covered parking lot for employees -- most of whom have traded in their bicycles for motorized transport. (S. Herman/VOA)
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A covered parking lot for employees -- most of whom have traded in their bicycles for motorized transport. (S. Herman/VOA)

The factory offers day care so young mothers can continue their employment after a paid maternity leave. (S. Herman/VOA)
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The factory offers day care so young mothers can continue their employment after a paid maternity leave. (S. Herman/VOA)

Factory owner Piet Holten checking the handiwork of one of his employees. (S. Herman/VOA)
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Factory owner Piet Holten checking the handiwork of one of his employees. (S. Herman/VOA)

Nearly all those who apply for jobs at Pactics are young women, but there are some male employees, as well. (S. Herman/VOA)
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Nearly all those who apply for jobs at Pactics are young women, but there are some male employees, as well. (S. Herman/VOA)

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