Ministry checking brick factories

The Ministry of Labor has established a working group to investigate the use of child labor at some brick-making factories to the north of the capital, but has yet to find a case about debt bondage and child labor as mentioned in a recent report by rights group Licadho. On December 2 – International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – Licadho published “Built on Slavery: Debt Bondage and Child Labor in Cambodia’s Brick Factories,” which presents evidence of the widespread use of contemporary forms of slavery in Cambodia’s brick-manufacturing industry. On the same day of the report, the Ministry of Labor released an announcement, establishing a working group to investigate the claims and expressed disappointment that Licadho had not immediately reported incidents of child labor to authorities. Ministry spokesman Heng Sour told Khmer Times yesterday that the assigned working group had investigated some brick-making factories along national roads 6A and 1 near Phnom Penh, but had not discovered any of the cases raised by Licadho. He said the ministry would wait for cooperation and detailed information from the rights organization if they decide to share their findings, adding that the ministry would absolutely prevent the use of child labor in the form of slavery in Cambodia.

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