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Cambodian textile workers suffer malnourishment

Cambodian garment workers stitching clothes that supply to UK high street are malnourished to the point of collapse.A recent study reveals a third of Cambodian garment workers producing clothes sold in the UK by global brands, including clothing giant H&M, are not getting enough food. Some 25 per cent are so underweight they would be classified as anorexic were they diagnosed in the UK.The findings of the report by worker rights group LabourBehind the Label follow a spate of mass fainting over recent years, when groups of up to 300 at a time have passed out.Researchers attributed the incidents to the serious malnourishment of the industry’s 400,000-plus mostly female employees who work for a monthly minimum wage of around $80 (£50) – too little to fund an adequate diet, the researchers say.

According to the report, Shop ‘Til They Drop, employees consumed around half the calories needed for garment factory work, while protein intake fell well below half the basic human need. The recommended 3,000-calorie diet alone would cost some $75 a month, leaving just $5 for all other costs.Although some factories offer allowances for food, these are often spent on other essential expenses, which for many include sending a share home to family members, the report states.


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