abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb
Article

6 May 2018

Author:
Radio Free Asia

Cambodia: "Workers Reduced to ‘Slaves’ Amid Rampant Debt Bondage in Cambodia’s Brick Sector"

"Workers Reduced to 'Slaves' Amid Rampant Debt Bondage in Cambodia's Brick Sector", 3 May 2018

Brick workers in southeastern Cambodia’s Kandal province are selling themselves and their families into slavery as “collateral” for debts they owe to factory owners, which can never be repaid due to the seasonal nature of their work, according to sources.

More than 100 brick factories operate in Kandal’s Muk Kampoul district...employing thousands of workers....

...[W]orkers labor under harsh conditions for measly pay...receiv[e] traditional loans through banks, agreed to transfer that debt to brick factory owners...and work for them to repay it.

...Workers are regularly forced to bring their family members to labor at the factories to act as “collateral” for the debts...some have incurred debts so large that multiple generations have been required to toil at the brick kilns...and cannot leave until the debts are satisfied.

...[L]ocal rights group LICADHO released a report on Cambodia’s brick factories, based on interviews with around 50 workers, which said the industry “relies on a workforce of modern-day slaves—multigenerational families of adults and children, trapped in debt bondage.”

“Debt bondage is widely used by factory owners as a way of guaranteeing themselves a long-term, cheap and compliant workforce,” the report says.