Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Brick kiln is fined $1,250 for exploiting child labour

Brick kiln is fined $1,250 for exploiting child labour

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Authorities inspect a brick factory on Monday. Some 100 such facilities were visited over the last month, with one in Kandal province (not pictured) fined for using child labour. Ministry of Labour and vocational training

Brick kiln is fined $1,250 for exploiting child labour

A Kandal province brick kiln was fined five million riel ($1,250) for using child labour, after some 100 such facilities were inspected as part of an ongoing check into illegal practices in the industry.

Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training working groups carrying out the inspections also banned the dangerous working conditions found at several other locations.

The checks were carried out over the past month in Phnom Penh, Kandal, Kampong Cham, Tbong Khmum, Kratie and Prey Veng provinces.

The efforts are part of a campaign that began on August 12 to enforce the labour law and ensure a child labour-free brick industry by next year.

Veng Hieng, the director of the Child Labour Department at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training who leads the working groups, told The Post on Tuesday that checks on brick kilns are being carried out nationwide.

The move is to crack down on all forms of slavery and forced labour in the industry, with working conditions also being inspected. It was also aimed at spreading awareness of the campaign so all kiln owners comply with the law.

Hieng said 10 to 20 locations each in the capital and the five provinces were inspected. Most of the facilities found to have not been fully compliant with the law had received instruction, he said.

“Around 100 brick kilns have so far been inspected by the ministry’s working groups. Provincial authorities will check any others that the groups have been unable to inspect so that all are visited.

“Any facility found to seriously breach the law will be fined. So far, we have imposed a fine of five million riel on a brick kiln in Kandal province that was found to be using child labour. This was not found at other locations, but some were banned due to their dangerous working conditions,” Hieng said.

There are around 400 brick kilns in the Kingdom employing between 5,000 and 6,000 workers, most of which are in Phnom Penh and Kandal province. Some 31 per cent of them use modern technology, he said.

Brick kiln owner Soeurng Rany, who employs 20 people in Oddar Meanchey province’s Samrong town, said she was not concerned about being inspected, and insisted that her facility met all technical standards and the law.

“Authorities have inspected my kiln regularly, so I am not concerned about being inspected again as I fully follow the law,” she said.

Rany said she had never employed children under 16 years. However, she said it could not be guaranteed that every kiln owner adhered to the law as she did.

Am Sam Ath, the monitoring manager for rights group Licadho, applauded the inspection of brick kilns and said it was something his organisation had been calling for.

He said the inspections should be carried out regularly and without informing the kiln owners or they would have time to prepare. “Regular inspections are needed to ensure brick factories do not exploit child labour.

“It is also necessary to check whether workers owed their employers money as this was a driving force behind the use of child labour,” Sam Ath said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this

  • Crumbling prices, rent ruffle condo segment

    The prolonged decline in international arrivals to Cambodia intensified by renewed Covid-19 fears has driven down condominium sales prices and rental rates in Phnom Penh, a research report said. CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures