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Accident claims boy, 9, working as brick maker

Accident claims boy, 9, working as brick maker

A 9-year-old boy died after being mangled by a piece of machinery on Monday while working with his parents at a brick-making facility in Battambang’s Mong Russey district, police said yesterday.

Deputy district police chief Keo Sokhum said that victim Rorm Ra was loading earth into a machine that churns out formed bricks when his right arm became entangled in the machinery and was torn off. He was rushed to the provincial referral hospital, but was bleeding profusely, and died shortly after arriving.

“This is the first case of this happening in Mong Russey district,” Sokhum said.

Sokhum maintained that officers did not need to take action against the facility where the fatal accident occurred because Ra had been brought there by his parents, and was not formally employed.

Dangerous forms of child labour are strictly prohibited under the Kingdom’s Labour Law, but Sary Bothchakrya, a lawyer with the labour rights group Central, said yesterday it was unclear how much responsibility the company bore without knowing for certain whether it employed Ra directly.

“I don’t think the company has 100 per cent responsibility for the child, because the child is also under the control of the parents. I think there should be some kind of responsibility,” though it is unclear whether it is criminal or civil, Bothchakrya said.

Regardless, “police should investigate the site”, she added.

Contact information for the company and parents was not available yesterday.

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