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Blood Bricks: untold stories of modern slavery and climate change from Cambodia

Disclaimer: This research was not funded by the Australian Government

Blood Bricks is a research project (2017-2019) undertaken by Royal Holloway, University of London, and funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council and Department for International Development (ESRC-DFID) Development Frontiers Research Fund.

The research highlights how climate change and modern slavery converge in Cambodia. It documents the structural factors that ‘facilitate debt bondage, from the impacts of climate change.’ Brick kiln owners repay farmers’ debts and offer a consolidated loan. Farmers and their families are compelled to enter into debt bondage until those loans are repaid, with an average debt of workers in the study of US$712. Unseasonal rains then halt brick production and deepens levels of debt. The excavation of clay for bricks, and the emission of noxious gases into the atmosphere through the burning of pre-consumer garment waste in the kiln, also contributes to the dynamic relationship between modern slavery, environmental degradation, and climate change.

Download the research below, or visit projectbloodbricks.org for further information.

Published by Royal Holloway, University of London · 2017-2019