Cambodia: Research study finds surge of child labour in brick factories

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14 September 2019

Cambodia: The Ministry of Labour fines a brick kiln for using child labour after inspection

Author: Long Kimmarita, The Phnom Penh Post

"Brick kiln is fined $1,250 for exploiting child labour", 11 September 2019

A Kandal province brick kiln was fined five million riel ($1,250) for using child labour, after some 100 such facilities were inspected as part of an ongoing check into illegal practices in the industry.

Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training working groups carrying out the inspections also banned the dangerous working conditions found at several other locations…

Veng Hieng, the director of the Child Labour Department at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training who leads the working groups, told … that checks on brick kilns are being carried out nationwide…

“Any facility found to seriously breach the law will be fined. So far, we have imposed a fine of five million riel on a brick kiln in Kandal province that was found to be using child labour. This was not found at other locations, but some were banned due to their dangerous working conditions,” Hieng said.

There are around 400 brick kilns in the Kingdom employing between 5,000 and 6,000 workers, most of which are in Phnom Penh and Kandal province. Some 31 per cent of them use modern technology, he said.

Brick kiln owner Soeurng Rany, who employs 20 people in Oddar Meanchey province’s Samrong town, said she was not concerned about being inspected, and insisted that her facility met all technical standards and the law.

… Am Sam Ath, the monitoring manager for rights group Licadho, applauded the inspection of brick kilns and said it was something his organisation had been calling for…

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16 May 2008

Child labor surges with building boom [Cambodia]

Author: Cheang Sokha & Tracey Shelton, Phnom Penh Post

Behind the glitz and glamour of Cambodia’s recent construction boom is an army of under-aged, under-paid workers…The surge in demand for cheap labor has prompted thousands of children, some as young as six, to abandon their schooling and accept hazardous work in factories or on construction sites. A new research local rights NGO Licadho and World Vision draws attention to the gross child rights violations that underpin Cambodia’s latest burst of economic development…Conditions in the brick factories meet the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) criteria for the “worst forms of child labor,” the report claims. Factory work hinders education opportunities …and carries health risks ranging from third degree burns from the kilns to respiratory problems from brick dust.

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8 May 2008

[PDF] "Child Workers in Brick Factories: Causes and Consequences"

Author: Dr. Poch Bunnak, Centre for Population Studies at Royal University of Phnom Penh

As part of the campaign against the worst forms of child labour for the wellbeing of Cambodian children, LICADHO and World Vision Cambodia have commissioned the research team, led by Dr. Poch Bunnak, to conduct a study on children working in brick factories…Data were collected using interviewer-completed questionnaires from three main sources (132 child workers, 43 parents, and 15 brick factory owners ormanagers) from 26 brick factories. It is estimated that between 400 and 500 children work daily in these brick factories during the high labour-demand season.

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