How we uncovered child labour in Cambodia’s brick kilns

The Thomson Reuters Foundation investigated child labour at Cambodia's brick kilns after the government said all furnaces were free of underage workers.

The row of brick kilns was hidden from sight, off the paved roads and at the end of an unsigned dirt track to nowhere else. Two previous attempts to find them had failed, but the third paid off thanks to a chance encounter with an off-duty cop.

“There, you will find children working,” he told me, a reporter for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, giving directions to the patch of land where over a dozen hot and dusty brickyards pump out the foundations of Cambodia’s construction boom.

I was on the lookout for child labour, almost a year after the government banned children from making bricks and vowed to inspect kilns nationwide to ensure there were no kids on site.

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