Cambodia Launches Campaign to End Child Labor in Brick Industry

Phnom Penh – Cambodia has launched a campaign to end child labor in the brick industry by 2020, a move industry observers cautiously welcome while expressing doubts the goal will be achieved, and calling for more structural changes.

The industry drew international attention last year when a report, Blood Bricks: Untold Stories of Modern Slavery and Climate Change from Cambodia, asserted poverty, often caused by climate change, forced tens of thousands of Cambodians into debt bondage at brick kilns, and again in March when a 9-year-old girl lost her arm working in one of the factories.

The government fined the factory and issued a directive barring children from brick kiln production line compounds. Children often live with their families in accommodation provided for by the brick factory, which often is in the direct vicinity of the kilns.

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