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Recommended: Ken Silverstein on T-Shirt Jobs vs. the Sex Trade in Cambodia

If you are considering buying a shirt made in Cambodia — or any shirt on a webpage like this one at CafePress where country of origin is obscured to keep you in the dark — I encourage you to read Ken Silverstein’s recent article on women who enter the sex trade to escape the worse conditions in t-shirt sweatshops. Contrary to Nicholas Kristof’s notorious assertion in 2009, sweatshop apparel jobs are not a “dream.” Silverstein point us to research findings by Sukti Dasgupta and David Williams of the International Labor Organization, who found a majority could not save money for their families, a significant portion were mired in debt which kept them trapped, many were regularly laid off and left to their own devices, and those who continued to work in the apparel factories reported long days at low pay with no daylight in conditions they said were getting less safe.

If you don’t need another Cambodian t-shirt, consider a donation for the same amount to the International Labor Rights Forum or Sustainable Cambodia to improve infrastructure, education and labor rights in the country.

2 thoughts on “Recommended: Ken Silverstein on T-Shirt Jobs vs. the Sex Trade in Cambodia”

  1. Tom says:

    Hey, it ain’t easy livin’ here either:

    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/allison-kilkenny/36465/starve-the-bums

    and for the lucky people with jobs, still:

    http://www.financialarmageddon.com/

    http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2011/05/28/difis-secret-law/

    and, finally, the “real Patriot Act” the secret one we know nothing about (it’s broad interpretation):

    http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2011/05/28/difis-secret-law/

  2. Khmer music says:

    Although extreme poverty and the lack of law enforcement are mainly to blame for child sex trafficking in Cambodia, I think the Cambodian people’s casual attitudes toward sexual predation also contribute to the problem. Cambodians generally look up to foreigners, especially Westerners, as wealthy and benevolent. It’s unfortunate that some foreigners are in the country to take advantage of children.

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