Child deaths in Cambodia spark call for construction freeze

Growing crowds of tourists and investors have fuelled a construction boom that officials valued at $6.4bn in 2017.

After six children died when a building site collapsed, the Cambodian workers’ union on Wednesday called for a halt to a construction boom that has killed more than 60 people in seven months, while the government vowed to tackle child labour.

The disaster – in which 36 workers and their families died on Friday at an unfinished guest house in coastal Kep Province – has shone a spotlight on the problem of children living and working on building sites, a common practice in Cambodia.

“Do we want this to become known as normal in Cambodia?” said Sou Chhlonh, vice president of the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia, after the building’s owners were charged with unintentional homicide.

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