Garment Workers Open University: Can Education Better Factory Conditions?

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By Anne Elizabeth Moore:

Bright and extremely early one Sunday morning in January, slightly more than 400 young women and a handful of young men trundled out of bed to attend class on the east side of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. (While the notion of a Christian day of rest doesn't exist in the Buddhist country, it was their day off - for some, the only one they have for weeks.) Students sat in classes, repeated lessons back to instructors, took breaks to laugh and play in the courtyard and dreamed about their futures. It looked and felt like any college campus in the world - at least, any low-income college campus. Except that these women were learning about labor law. Because - oh yeah, did I forget to mention this? - they're garment factory workers...

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