Debts of Garment Workers

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Posted by: | Posted on: July 6, 2020

Worked to Debt: Over-Indebtedness in Cambodia’s Garment Sector

Released in June 2020, original source for reference: LICAHDO

Enlarge this picture Many out-of-work garment workers are struggling to pay back unmanageable microloans, a joint briefing paper between CATU, CENTRAL and LICADHO has found.

Tens of thousands of garment workers in Cambodia will struggle to repay microfinance debts during work stoppages and factory suspensions caused by COVID-19, creating a mounting human rights crisis as they struggle to feed their families and hold onto their land under immense pressure from microfinance institutions (MFIs). Without immediate debt relief, many of these workers will resort to selling their land or their homes, eating less food or taking out even more loans to repay their debts.

In Worked to Debt, a joint briefing paper between the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU), the Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL) and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), researchers surveyed more than 150 workers – most of them women – from three factories in Phnom Penh and Kampong Chhnang to investigate how workers were coping with their debts as hundreds of factories suspended operations as a result of the global pandemic.

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