©Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom for Unearthed
- pregnancy /PREG-nuhn-see/
- garment /GAHR-muhnt/
- scrap /skrap/
- regulated /REH-gyuh-lay-tuhd/
- entity /EN-ti-tee/
[noun] – the state of being pregnant
The doctor confirmed her pregnancy during the routine check-up.
[noun] – a piece of clothing
She designed a beautiful garment for the fashion show.
[noun] – a small leftover piece or fragment resulting from something larger that has been used, consumed, or produced
After finishing the project, there were several metal scraps left on the workshop floor.
[adjective] – controlled by rules or laws
The factory’s emissions were strictly monitored to ensure they complied with regulated environmental standards.
[noun] – distinct organizations, institutions, or bodies
The new legislation aims to support various entities such as non-profit organizations, government agencies, and private businesses working towards environmental conservation.
LICADHO’s report was based on visits to 21 brick factories in Phnom Penh and nearby Kandal province and discussions with current and former employees between April and September. It highlighted the harmful effects of burning garment waste, warning about the release of harmful substances and the presence of high levels of pollutants in the resulting ashes. These substances, like dioxins, have been identified as potential causes of cancer. Previous studies, including a 2020 UN Development Programme report and a 2018 report by UK academics, also pointed out the dangers of burning garment waste due to the release of toxic elements and the presence of harmful chemicals and metals in clothing scraps. Workers in these factories reported experiencing health issues like migraines and nosebleeds, as detailed in the UK report. Brands such as Primark and Lidl have expressed concern and stated that they are actively investigating the situation. Adidas, for example, has pledged to look into whether waste materials are being improperly disposed of. The company emphasized its stringent environmental policies in Cambodia, directing waste to regulated waste-to-energy plants or government-licensed recycling centers. Despite these concerns from various brands, other entities like WRAP, the Cambodian Ministry of Environment, and waste collection company Sarom Trading Co. Ltd. have not yet provided comments or responses.
- Have you witnessed or learned about any situations involving harmful practices in industries or factories that affected people’s health, akin to the concerns highlighted in the LICADHO report about Cambodian brick factories? If so, how did these revelations shape your perspective on responsible production? If not, can you recall other cases or information you’ve encountered regarding the impacts of unsustainable manufacturing practices?
- Have you or anyone you know experienced health issues or concerns due to workplace conditions or exposure to harmful substances, resembling the reported health effects faced by workers in the Cambodian brick factories? If yes, how did these experiences shape your understanding of the importance of workplace safety and environmental responsibility? If not, what measures do you think could be crucial to ensuring safer working conditions in industries or factories?
- Would you consider the impact of unsustainable manufacturing practices on workers’ health a critical concern that demands immediate attention?
- How can international regulations or agreements be designed to ensure safer waste disposal practices in factories, addressing the health concerns faced by workers in countries like Cambodia? What steps could be taken to enforce these regulations effectively across global industries?
- What actions can consumers take to influence companies to prioritize the health and safety of workers in their manufacturing processes, as highlighted in the LICADHO report? How might consumer choices encourage corporations to adopt better practices for worker well-being?
- human right