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A Quest to Regain Citizenship: Statel...
Phum Kandal
By vincenzo floramo
01 Aug 2014

Thou Yien Son, 61, was born in Kompong Thom, a village located on the mainland. He was deported by the Khmer Rouge in 1975. When he came back in 1983 he was not allowed to buy a house on the mainland and so was forced to move to the water.

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A Quest to Regain Citizenship: Statel...
Phum Kandal
By vincenzo floramo
01 Aug 2014

Villagers normally work from dawn to late night but they take a rest during the hottest hours of the day.

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A Quest to Regain Citizenship: Statel...
Phum Kandal
By vincenzo floramo
01 Aug 2014

Every day around 180 students attend this private floating school to learn basic skills on writing and reading Khmer and Vietnamese. Most of them leave the school after one year to start helping their fathers catch fish to provide for their family.

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A Quest to Regain Citizenship: Statel...
Phum Kandal
By vincenzo floramo
01 Aug 2014

Small boats are the main means of transport around the floating villages. Children sometimes use buckets to travel short distances between houses.

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A Quest to Regain Citizenship: Statel...
Phum Kandal
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jul 2014

The contamination of the water in the Tonle Sap, due to inappropriate waste disposal, can lead to disease among the population.

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A Quest to Regain Citizenship: Statel...
Phum Kandal
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jul 2014

Families in the Vietnamese floating villages normally consist of 4 or 5 members. Different generations of the same family live one next to the other.

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A Quest to Regain Citizenship: Statel...
Phum Kandal
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jul 2014

Yim My was born two months ago on a floating house. Her mother had only a local midwife to assist her during delivery. The family says that they cannot afford to pay the USD 2.5 cost for the registration process for the baby.

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A Quest to Regain Citizenship: Statel...
Phum Kandal
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jul 2014

Most of the villagers in the floating villages make their living from fishing. Fish are allowed to grow in the lake for several months, then are caught and prepared to be sold in the market on the mainland.

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A Quest to Regain Citizenship: Statel...
Phum Kandal
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jul 2014

Houses are usually connected to a precarious grid hanging of thin sticks a few meters over the water. Some of them just have small batteries for the front-door light.

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A Quest to Regain Citizenship: Statel...
Phum Kandal
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jul 2014

Most of the houses in Phum Kandal are wooden platforms floating on bamboo rafts. They usually consist of two small rooms, a kitchen and, sometimes, a latrine that drains directly into the water.

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A Quest to Regain Citizenship: Statel...
Phum Kandal
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jul 2014

Without papers, ethnic Vietnamese cannot find jobs on mainland Vietnam. This means that many of them are unemployed or have to face terrible working conditions.

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A Quest to Regain Citizenship: Statel...
Phum Kandal
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jul 2014

Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake, is home to most of the ethnic Vietnamese living in Cambodia. They are forced to live on the water as their lack of citizenship means that they are not allowed to buy land.

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A Quest to Regain Citizenship: Statel...
Phum Kandal
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jul 2014

In Phum Kandal there are no shops only small boats that go house to house offering fresh vegetables, bread, cooked food, sweets and small medicines to the inhabitants.

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Blood Sugar: life in the Cambodian su...
Cambodia
By Ruom
04 Jul 2014

Human rights organisations have estimated that 12,000 people in Cambodia have been forced off their land to make way for a new surge of sugar production. The European Union’s initiative ‘Everything but Arms’, which allows Cambodian sugar to be sold duty-free on the European market at a minimum price per tonne, has created a “sugar rush” in Cambodia. As a result, crops have been razed. Animals have been shot. Homes have been burned to the ground. Thousands of people have been left destitute. Some have been thrown in jail for daring to protest. Given no option but to accept inadequate compensations, villagers gave up their homes and farmlands.

The EU is, to date, yet to investigate these reports.

In the meantime, families forced off their land, who have lost their only source of income, have little choice but to work for the very companies who have claimed their land, either at factory level, or cutting and bundling sugar canes for rates as low as US$2.50 per day. The dire economic situation means that children also work in the cane fields but still the families earn barely enough money to survive.

On March 2013, a lawsuit was filed in the UK against Tate&Lyle, the multi-national sugar giant, to which the majority of exports from the Koh Kong plantation are being sent. 200 Cambodian farmers are suing the company for violating their rights as, under Cambodian law, the fruits of the land belong to the landowner (or lawful possessor in this case). According to humanitarian organizations Tate&Lyle is knowingly benefiting from the harvest of stolen land, and the rightful owners of the harvest are not receiving their share of sugar sales.
Land ownership in Cambodia is difficult to establish, due to the country’s evolving legal and political structures following the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, and the country is slowly trying to re-establish land titling through government programs. Though in the past, and still for the time being, small-scale farmers and poor households are often forced to give up their land for little compensation.

Fair development and industrialization is a struggle for this South East Asian nation, where, for the right price, powerful landowners, wealthy businessmen, and foreign investors have their pick of the country’s prime real estate.

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Long Road Home 1
Poipet
By George Nickels
21 Jun 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. Soldiers hold signs bearing the names of the home-towns of migrant workers returning back to Cambodia on the Thai-Cambodia border town of Poipet.

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Long Road Home 2
Poipet
By George Nickels
21 Jun 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. Cambodian families who fled Thailand are waiting in immigration police vehicles. About 200 000 Cambodian migrant workers have fled the country over the last week. The Thai military junta has denied that it is forcing Cambodians to leave.

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Thousands of Cambodian Workers Flee T...
By George Nickels
20 Jun 2014

About 200,000 migrant workers from Cambodia have fled Thailand over the last week, amid rumors of violent crackdown on illegal workers in the country. Thailand’s military junta said it would tighten restrictions on migrant employment to prevent illegal workers, forced labor and human trafficking. Cambodian migrant workers are a key component of the work force in Thai industries including construction, fishing and agriculture.

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Long Road Home 3
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. An unconscious child with heatstroke receives treatment in a Cambodian Red Cross ambulance in the Thai-Cambodia border town of Poipet.

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Long Road Home 4
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. An unconscious child, suffering from heat stroke, receives treatment in a Cambodian Red Cross ambulance in the Thai-Cambodia border town of Poipet.

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Long Road Home 5
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. Cambodian armed forces hold signs to direct returning Cambodian nationals to their home provinces.

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Long Road Home 6
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. Cambodians wait in trucks in the Thai-Cambodia border town of Poipet. Hundreds of thousands of them fled Thailand amid rumors of a violent crackdown on illegal workers. Many of them left the country on the back of military trucks with very little ventilation or open top trailers with no protective cover.

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Long Road Home 7
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. A child looks outs of a truck carrying the Cambodian migrant workers that are fleeing Thailand.

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Long Road Home 8
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. A child looks outs of a truck carrying the Cambodian migrant workers that are fleeing Thailand.

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Long Road Home 9
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. Cambodians wait in trucks in the Thai-Cambodia border town of Poipet. Hundreds of thousands of them fled Thailand amid rumors of a violent crackdown on illegal workers. Many of them left the country on the back of military trucks with very little ventilation or open top trailers with no protective cover.

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Long Road Home 10
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. A child in an immigration police truck in the Thai-Cambodia border town of Poipet. Poipet, Cambodia. Hundreds of thousands of Cambodians fled Thailand amid rumors of a violent crackdown on illegal workers. Many of them left the country on the back of military trucks with very little ventilation or open top trailers with no protective cover.

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Long Road Home 11
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. A child in an immigration police truck in the Thai-Cambodia border town of Poipet. Poipet, Cambodia. Hundreds of thousands of Cambodians fled Thailand amid rumors of a violent crackdown on illegal workers. Many of them left the country on the back of military trucks with very little ventilation or open top trailers with no protective cover.

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Long Road Home 12
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. A family in the back of an immigration police truck in the Thai-Cambodia border town of Poipet. Hundreds of thousands of Cambodian labourers fled Thailand amid rumors of violent crackdown on illegal workers. Many of them left the country in the back of military trucks with very little ventilation or on open-top trailers with no protective cover.

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Long Road Home 13
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. A child looks out of a truck carrying Cambodian migrant workers fleeing Thailand.

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Long Road Home 14
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. A young girl carries a baby in the Thai-Cambodia border town of Poipet. Cambodian labourers are a major component of the work force in Thai industries including construction, fishing, and agriculture. Hundreds of thousands fled Thailand over the last week amid rumors of violent arrests and deportation of illegal foreign workers.

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Long Road Home 15
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. Cambodian military personnel help families to retrieve their baggage. On arrival, the workers are warned to protect their precious belongings against thieves who have been taking advantage of the chaotic situation.

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Long Road Home 16
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. Cambodian families wait in the back of the police immigration vehicles, as they attempt to flee Thailand.

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Long Road Home 17
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. Cambodian families wait in the back of the police immigration vehicles, as they attempt to flee Thailand.

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Long Road Home 19
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. Cambodian families get out of the immigration vehicles as they arrive at the Thai-Cambodia border town of Poipet.

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Long Road Home 21
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. A child in a Thai immigration police vehicle.

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Long Road Home
Poipet
By George Nickels
20 May 2014

Poipet, Cambodia. Cambodian families get out of Thai immigration police vehicles as they arrive at the Thai-Cambodia border town of Poipet.

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River Be Dammed: Laos Expands its Hyd...
Mekong
By David Tacon
04 Apr 2014

Laos is moving full steam ahead with a series of dams on the Mekong River and its tributaries, despite objections from the governments of Cambodia and Vietnam and concerns from environmental groups. Construction is already underway on the Xayaburi Dam, a 810 meter long and 32 meter high Laos-Thai mega dam, which is expected to be completed in 2019. Around 95% of the electricity from the hydropower dam will be exported to Thailand as part of a massive development drive by the communist one-party state to lift the nation of Laos from the ranks of Asia’s poorest countries.

Along with the immediate environmental impacts of such a huge project, hundreds of villagers have been resettled to make way for construction of the Xayaburi Dam. The first group of around 300 people was shifted to Natornatoryai, an arid site around 35km from the river. Despite retraining programs and new homes, those relocated lament that they are unable to earn a living away from the river and that their compensation from the dam authorities was withdrawn after one year instead of their promised three. More than twenty families have already left the site to return to the river.

Further downstream, more than 60 million people in the Lower Mekong Delta depend on the Mekong for food, income and transportation. Cambodia's Tonle Sap, South East Asia's largest freshwater lake is already under threat by overfishing and climate change. A total of eleven large hydropower dams are planned by the governments of Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia - while China has already completed five dams on the Mekong’s upper reaches with another three under construction. China is also the driving force behind a cascade of dams on the Nam Ou River, a tributary of the Mekong in northern Laos.

Environmentalists fear that these dams’ impact on fish populations may have a devastating effect on food security and bio-diversity in the region.

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Child Labor in Southeast Asia 02
Battambang, Cambodia
By Stephane Grasso
23 Mar 2014

Girl living and collecting waste in a garbage dump near Battambang, Cambodia.

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Tuberculosis In Cambodia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By U.S. Editor
14 Jul 2013

Cambodia is one of the 22 countries most affected by tuberculosis in the world. The country ranks second in the prevalence rate of tuberculosis, after South Africa. To get cured, the patients have to go through a stringent six-months daily-dose therapy of multiple medications. Often, these medications cause severe side-effects and co-infections with other diseases like HIV/AIDS, Cancer, etc make the lives of patients impossible due to drug interactions. This leads to lack of compliance which may result in multi-drug resistant TB, a lethal form of the disease and almost a death warrant. Once infected, the cure from this disease under the public sector of such a country is not a small hope to live by. Therefore, there is a stark dejection in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis.

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Loss of Livelihood | Tuberculosis in ...
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Aman Singh
12 Jul 2013

A young tuktuk driver suffering from tuberculosis in the slums of Phnom Penh. Tuberculosis render patients weak with severe weight-loss (unable to perform physical work) and stigma at work place (infectious disease, loss of job). Tuberculosis is a slow killer and health condition affect the self-employed people as well.

Cambodia is one of the 22 countries most affected by tuberculosis in the world. The country ranks second in the prevalence rate of tuberculosis, after South Africa. To get cured, the patients have to go through a stringent six-months daily-dose therapy of multiple medications. Often, these medications cause severe side-effects and co-infections with other diseases like HIV/AIDS, Cancer, etc make the lives of patients impossible due to drug interactions. This leads to lack of compliance which may result in multi-drug resistant TB, a lethal form of the disease and almost a death warrant. Once infected, the cure from this disease under the public sector of such a country is not a small hope to live by. Therefore, there is a stark dejection in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis.