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PHNOM PENH – A survey of suspended factory workers, whose sites have closed either temporarily or permanently in light of the coronavirus pandemic, highlights the severity of their financial difficulties with respondents suggesting they’re eating less and have been forced to sell land in some cases to repay debts.

Of the 162 people surveyed, 73 per cent said they’re currently paying off long-standing loans with new loans from microfinance institutions (MFIs), with life on the poverty line leading many to curtail their family’s food needs, and bring their children out of school in order for them too to work.

“Hundreds of thousands of heavily indebted workers are now out of work, after hundreds of factories suspended their operations, putting them at risk of land loss and other human rights abuses,” said the report, conducted by rights groups Licadho and Central, and the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU).  

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