Long-awaited changes seem to be happening in Cambodia’s justice system when it comes to protecting children around the country’s brick kiln factories. According to a recent article in the Phnom Penh Post, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has announced their support of the Criminal Code being used in the prosecution of child labor cases.
This is a step in the right direction to keep children safe and hold the factory owners accountable. However, it will require firm and consistent inspections and regulations from the ministry to be effective.
The AIM SWAT Team played an instrumental role in initiating this movement after our assistance in a recent case where a 9-year-old girl lost her arm. She was cutting bricks at a factory in Kandal province where she lived with her family when her right arm was accidentally caught in the machine. Doctors were able to save her life but had to amputate the rest of her arm close to her shoulder.
Our team assisted Kandal police in the following investigation which has resulted in the decision to prosecute the owners of the factory. We will continue to support the girl and her family with the hopes of helping her one day obtain a prosthetic arm.
According to the article mentioned above, 5 children have lost arms to machines in accidents while working at brick kiln factories since 2002 with one child dying from their injuries. We pray that the ministry’s new directive will help to put these horrific events to an end and address the debt slavery and child labor that happens frequently at these establishments.