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Debt Bondage in Cambodia 2017

The rapid economic growth in Cambodia has boosted the construction industry.
The largest cities have expanded and all the construction projects require bricks in
large quantities. This industry relies on a slave labor force, trapped in the so-called
debt bondage: employers extinguish the debt that workers have with the banks, in
exchange for their work in the factories. Usually, indebted workers receive
extremely low pay, often insufficient to settle their obligations with the employer.
Many of the workers reported that they had first gone into debt to pay medical bills,
rice seed or animal stock and had been unable to repay because of crop failure.
Because of their dependence on the provider of the loan, they are likely to be
subject to exploitation and many are forced to work in brutal and dangerous
conditions. Worker accommodation is rudimentary and unsanitary, and accidents
occur regularly.
Debt bondage and child labour are unlawful under Cambodian legislation as well
as several international treaties that Cambodia is party to, and yet the practices are
flourishing in Cambodiaʼs brick factories. The full scale of brick factory production in
Cambodia is not known, but it is likely that factories exist in nearly every province
and that the nationwide workforce is in the tens of thousands.
The Cambodian government has a duty to end debt bondage and child labour and
it is within its power to do so. Nevertheless, no action is pursued by any authority
and the factory owners face no sanctions.
People at work on the conveyor belt of a brick cutting machine.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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People at work on the conveyor belt of a brick cutting machine.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
Child plays among the bricks. Entire families live and work inside the factories and children grow up in this environment.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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Child plays among the bricks. Entire families live and work inside the factories and children grow up in this environment.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
Child at work on the conveyor belt of a brick cutting machine. These machines can be dangerous, especially for children.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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Child at work on the conveyor belt of a brick cutting machine. These machines can be dangerous, especially for children.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
Two young boys prepare a truck to load bricks.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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Two young boys prepare a truck to load bricks.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
People working on the transport of bricks.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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People working on the transport of bricks.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
Workers' dwellings inside a factory. The workers of a brick factory live in poor-quality constructions of wood and corrugated iron, that barely fit for habitation. 
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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Workers' dwellings inside a factory. The workers of a brick factory live in poor-quality constructions of wood and corrugated iron, that barely fit for habitation.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
A family in front of their home, during the lunch break.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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A family in front of their home, during the lunch break.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
A common area of workers in a factory. The workers of a brick factory live in poor-quality constructions of wood and corrugated iron, that barely fit for habitation. 
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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A common area of workers in a factory. The workers of a brick factory live in poor-quality constructions of wood and corrugated iron, that barely fit for habitation.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
A woman feeds her daughter while working inside a furnace.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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A woman feeds her daughter while working inside a furnace.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
Child at work inside a furnace.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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Child at work inside a furnace.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
Two young boys at work inside a furnace.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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Two young boys at work inside a furnace.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
A woman at work in a factory brings her newborn baby with her.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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A woman at work in a factory brings her newborn baby with her.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
Workers place the bricks in the sun for drying.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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Workers place the bricks in the sun for drying.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
Overview of houses inside a factory. The workers of a brick factory live in poor-quality constructions of wood and corrugated iron, that barely fit for habitation. 
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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Overview of houses inside a factory. The workers of a brick factory live in poor-quality constructions of wood and corrugated iron, that barely fit for habitation.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
Woman inside a common kitchen for workers.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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Woman inside a common kitchen for workers.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
A woman with her children during the lunch break.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories
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A woman with her children during the lunch break.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories
A child cooks lunch during a break from work.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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A child cooks lunch during a break from work.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
Children outside a dwelling. The workers of a brick factory live in poor-quality constructions of wood and corrugated iron, that barely fit for habitation. 
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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Children outside a dwelling. The workers of a brick factory live in poor-quality constructions of wood and corrugated iron, that barely fit for habitation.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
Young girl at work inside a factory.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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Young girl at work inside a factory.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
Drawings made by children on the wall of a furnace,
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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Drawings made by children on the wall of a furnace,
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
People at work inside a factory.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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People at work inside a factory.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
People at work inside a factory.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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People at work inside a factory.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
Children on playing at parents workplace in a brick factory
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Children on playing at parents workplace in a brick factory
A woodpile used to fuel the furnaces of a factory.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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A woodpile used to fuel the furnaces of a factory.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
Workers inside a furnace.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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Workers inside a furnace.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
A child playing at parents workplace in a brick factory
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A child playing at parents workplace in a brick factory
A boy of fifteen at work, in the factory he works all his family.
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A boy of fifteen at work, in the factory he works all his family.
A child playing at parents workplace in a brick factory.
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A child playing at parents workplace in a brick factory.
Children load a truck.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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Children load a truck.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
A child stay on parents workplace in a brick factory
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A child stay on parents workplace in a brick factory
A child playing at parents workplace in a brick factory
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A child playing at parents workplace in a brick factory
A child plays with a kite in the courtyard of a brick factory, which is also where he lives.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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A child plays with a kite in the courtyard of a brick factory, which is also where he lives.
The expansion projects of large Cambodian cities require a large production of bricks. Factories use a labor force based on slavery. Debt bondage is a person's pledge of labour or services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation. This condition is passed on from generation to generation. In Cambodian brick factories, debt bondage is a normal condition and entire families live and work within the factories.
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