Cambodia’s high-rises, slavery and climate change

A legion of Cambodians are trapped as debt slaves in the brick-making industry as skylines and climate change expand.

Chanmony has spent the last 17 years making bricks used to build luxury condos and office spaces mushrooming across this Southeast Asian nation’s rising cities.

Although Cambodia is one of the fastest-growing economies in the region, the 42-year-old mother of four has never enjoyed the bounties of the construction boom that has transformed the skyline of the capital, Phnom Penh, where she works at a brick kiln.

But Chanmony – whose name has been changed to protect her identity – is not one to complain and says she has “no ability to envy” the elites buying the property built on her exploitation.

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