The awful human rights abuses in Cambodia


Staff Member
4 Jun 2021
5,123 (4.49/day)
I remember how intolerable I found 40C back in 2022 when it was like that for just two days, but these poor people have to work in temperatures that top that all day long. It's horrible, it's torture and absolutely criminal. Their "employers", I say slave masters, trap them in deliberately unrepayable debt to keep them there, too:

"We borrowed a lot of money after our crops failed. But when they kept failing, we ended up with a lot of debt," she says.
Eventually she had no choice but to migrate to Phnom Penh in the hope of finding a job to repay the loans. More than two million of Cambodia's 10 million adults have outstanding micro-loans, according to the Cambodian Microfinance Association. On average, they each owe $3,320 (£1,955).
This financial insecurity has supplied the vulnerable labour for brick kilns. Owners offer to pay off the loan but, in return, the worker is bonded to the kiln.
Often whole families are bonded to the kiln. The BBC saw children helping their parents in the kiln despite efforts by the Cambodian government to prevent child labour.

"If we leave, we are afraid of being arrested and imprisoned," Chantrea says. "So we must struggle here. If they ask us to enter the fire, we will do even that just so we can earn more money for food and to pay off our debt."
But the wages are too low for the debt to ever be repaid. Chantrea earns 10,000 Cambodian riel (£1.92; $2.45) for stacking around 500 bricks.

Sounds like prison might actually be better than this hell. One guy even had a heart attack because of the heat and then was forced to return there when he got better. These "jobs" are literally killing people in a particularly horrible way.

And of course, the biggest travesty of all, is that there are so many other countries with abuses like this, eg little kids recovering precious metals from electronic waste from polluted, poisonous rivers, but with no protection whatsoever. The list goes on.

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