The climate change - modern slavery nexus in Cambodia

The climate change - modern slavery nexus in Cambodia

This Research Impact brief focuses on Cambodian brick kilns to examine how a high vulnerability to climate change can facilitate trafficking into new industries and greater susceptibility to modern slavery.

Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh, has experienced an incredibly fast construction boom. Building projects demand bricks in large quantities, and there is a profitable domestic brick production industry supplying them. But the bricks are cheap and the labour is even cheaper; workers are typically paid a piece rate of approximately US$0.007 per brick. In fact, this industry relies upon a multigenerational workforce of adults and children trapped in debt bondage – the most prevalent form of modern slavery in the world. Research enabled by the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research on ‘Blood Bricks’ focuses on Cambodian brick kilns to examine how a high vulnerability to climate change can facilitate trafficking into new industries and greater susceptibility to modern slavery.

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