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Pictures | Thu Jul 4, 2013 | 1:10pm EDT

Cambodia's garment industry

<p>A garment worker collects clothes hanging on a fence between a factory and a building where workers live, as the monsoon rain begins, in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. Most garment workers who arrive from the provinces to work at factories in Cambodia's capital live in tiny apartments packed into crowded buildings. Four or even more people can share a room, costing around $35 per month, usually three by three meters with one light and one electric fan. The garment industry has become by far Cambodia's biggest export earner, with shipments up 10 percent in 2012 to $4.44 billion. As investment in the country's textile industry is surging, so is labour unrest, putting pressure on suppliers to the world's big garment brands to raise wages and improve sometimes grim conditions in one of the last bastions of low-cost factories.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

A garment worker collects clothes hanging on a fence between a factory and a building where workers live, as the monsoon rain begins, in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. Most garment workers who arrive from the provinces to work at factories in...more

A garment worker collects clothes hanging on a fence between a factory and a building where workers live, as the monsoon rain begins, in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. Most garment workers who arrive from the provinces to work at factories in Cambodia's capital live in tiny apartments packed into crowded buildings. Four or even more people can share a room, costing around $35 per month, usually three by three meters with one light and one electric fan. The garment industry has become by far Cambodia's biggest export earner, with shipments up 10 percent in 2012 to $4.44 billion. As investment in the country's textile industry is surging, so is labour unrest, putting pressure on suppliers to the world's big garment brands to raise wages and improve sometimes grim conditions in one of the last bastions of low-cost factories. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Garment workers hold signs during a gathering of workers from Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing Corp, which produces clothing for U.S. sportswear company Nike, at their union headquarters in Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. The sign reads "We, all together, support Nike to put orders in Cambodia".   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Garment workers hold signs during a gathering of workers from Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing Corp, which produces clothing for U.S. sportswear company Nike, at their union headquarters in Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. The sign reads "We, all...more

Garment workers hold signs during a gathering of workers from Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing Corp, which produces clothing for U.S. sportswear company Nike, at their union headquarters in Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. The sign reads "We, all together, support Nike to put orders in Cambodia". REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>A woman prepares food at a building where garment workers live in Phnom Penh June 28, 2013.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

A woman prepares food at a building where garment workers live in Phnom Penh June 28, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A woman prepares food at a building where garment workers live in Phnom Penh June 28, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Garment worker Sim Channan, 22, washes clothes as she sits between plastic buckets and pipes marked with room numbers inside a building where garment workers live in Phnom Penh June 28, 2013.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Garment worker Sim Channan, 22, washes clothes as she sits between plastic buckets and pipes marked with room numbers inside a building where garment workers live in Phnom Penh June 28, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Garment worker Sim Channan, 22, washes clothes as she sits between plastic buckets and pipes marked with room numbers inside a building where garment workers live in Phnom Penh June 28, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Garment worker Maen Sopeak, 24, smiles during a lunch break in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Garment worker Maen Sopeak, 24, smiles during a lunch break in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Garment worker Maen Sopeak, 24, smiles during a lunch break in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Unemployed women wait for information about possible jobs as garment workers outside an industrial zone where factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Unemployed women wait for information about possible jobs as garment workers outside an industrial zone where factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Unemployed women wait for information about possible jobs as garment workers outside an industrial zone where factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>A toy hangs up to dry at an apartment building where garment workers live in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 29, 2013.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

A toy hangs up to dry at an apartment building where garment workers live in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 29, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A toy hangs up to dry at an apartment building where garment workers live in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 29, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>A woman holds her child as they lie on the floor, underneath dresses for sale at a market outside one of the industrial zones where factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

A woman holds her child as they lie on the floor, underneath dresses for sale at a market outside one of the industrial zones where factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A woman holds her child as they lie on the floor, underneath dresses for sale at a market outside one of the industrial zones where factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Fish lies in a colander as it is prepared for lunch, at apartment building where garment workers live in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 28, 2013.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Fish lies in a colander as it is prepared for lunch, at apartment building where garment workers live in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 28, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Fish lies in a colander as it is prepared for lunch, at apartment building where garment workers live in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 28, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Garment workers react as they listen to a union representative tell them the results of a strike, outside a factory in Phnom Penh June 25, 2013.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Garment workers react as they listen to a union representative tell them the results of a strike, outside a factory in Phnom Penh June 25, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Garment workers react as they listen to a union representative tell them the results of a strike, outside a factory in Phnom Penh June 25, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>A child is held by its grandmother, as the baby's father checks a mobile phone, in their home next to a garment factory in Phnom Penh June 29, 2013. The family of four, who left their province searching for a better life, live in a four by four meter wooden shack paying $25 per month rent.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

A child is held by its grandmother, as the baby's father checks a mobile phone, in their home next to a garment factory in Phnom Penh June 29, 2013. The family of four, who left their province searching for a better life, live in a four by four meter...more

A child is held by its grandmother, as the baby's father checks a mobile phone, in their home next to a garment factory in Phnom Penh June 29, 2013. The family of four, who left their province searching for a better life, live in a four by four meter wooden shack paying $25 per month rent. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Garment workers from Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing Corp discuss the next steps of their strike outside a factory in Phnom Penh June 26, 2013.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Garment workers from Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing Corp discuss the next steps of their strike outside a factory in Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Garment workers from Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing Corp discuss the next steps of their strike outside a factory in Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Garment workers shop at a food market outside one of the industrial zones where factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Garment workers shop at a food market outside one of the industrial zones where factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Garment workers shop at a food market outside one of the industrial zones where factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Garment worker Om Srey Soth, 20, sits under a mosquito net in her room in the village of Trapeng Weng, outside Phnom Penh June 29, 2013. Om Srey Soth, a worker at Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing Corp, a factory that produces clothing for U.S. sportswear company Nike, said that she miscarried her baby during recent protests at her factory that turned violent.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Garment worker Om Srey Soth, 20, sits under a mosquito net in her room in the village of Trapeng Weng, outside Phnom Penh June 29, 2013. Om Srey Soth, a worker at Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing Corp, a factory that produces clothing for...more

Garment worker Om Srey Soth, 20, sits under a mosquito net in her room in the village of Trapeng Weng, outside Phnom Penh June 29, 2013. Om Srey Soth, a worker at Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing Corp, a factory that produces clothing for U.S. sportswear company Nike, said that she miscarried her baby during recent protests at her factory that turned violent. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>People wait for garment workers to leave a factory in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 27, 2013.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

People wait for garment workers to leave a factory in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

People wait for garment workers to leave a factory in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>A face mask dries as it hangs on a fence at a building where garment workers live in Phnom Penh June 27, 2013.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

A face mask dries as it hangs on a fence at a building where garment workers live in Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A face mask dries as it hangs on a fence at a building where garment workers live in Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Garment workers from Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing Corp factory hold pictures of their arrested comrades as they discuss the next steps in their strike outside a factory in Phnom Penh June 26, 2013.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Garment workers from Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing Corp factory hold pictures of their arrested comrades as they discuss the next steps in their strike outside a factory in Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Garment workers from Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing Corp factory hold pictures of their arrested comrades as they discuss the next steps in their strike outside a factory in Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Garment workers sit on the floor of their apartment during a lunch break in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. Seven girls, all garment workers at a near-by factory, share a single four by four meter room for $35 per month, in a building packed with similar tiny apartments.    REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Garment workers sit on the floor of their apartment during a lunch break in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. Seven girls, all garment workers at a near-by factory, share a single four by four meter room for $35 per month, in a building packed...more

Garment workers sit on the floor of their apartment during a lunch break in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. Seven girls, all garment workers at a near-by factory, share a single four by four meter room for $35 per month, in a building packed with similar tiny apartments. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Garment workers shop at a food market outside one of the industrial zones where factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 27, 2013.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Garment workers shop at a food market outside one of the industrial zones where factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Garment workers shop at a food market outside one of the industrial zones where factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>A vendor stands in her stall, which sells beauty products, at a market outside one of the industrial zones where factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

A vendor stands in her stall, which sells beauty products, at a market outside one of the industrial zones where factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A vendor stands in her stall, which sells beauty products, at a market outside one of the industrial zones where factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>The head of a mannequin lies in the shop window of a beauty salon in the area where garment factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 28, 2013.    REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

The head of a mannequin lies in the shop window of a beauty salon in the area where garment factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 28, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

The head of a mannequin lies in the shop window of a beauty salon in the area where garment factories are based in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 28, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>A man sells food to garment workers as they arrive at a factory in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

A man sells food to garment workers as they arrive at a factory in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A man sells food to garment workers as they arrive at a factory in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>A man sells food to garment workers as they arrive at a factory in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

A man sells food to garment workers as they arrive at a factory in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A man sells food to garment workers as they arrive at a factory in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Garment workers leave a factory in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 27, 2013.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Garment workers leave a factory in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Garment workers leave a factory in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>A man stands at the doorway of a room inside a building where garment workers live in Phnom Penh June 27, 2013.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

A man stands at the doorway of a room inside a building where garment workers live in Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A man stands at the doorway of a room inside a building where garment workers live in Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Garment worker Eng Chen, 23, waits to receive an intravenous therapy at an one-bed private clinic in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Garment worker Eng Chen, 23, waits to receive an intravenous therapy at an one-bed private clinic in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Garment worker Eng Chen, 23, waits to receive an intravenous therapy at an one-bed private clinic in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>A garment worker swings her sleeping child in a hammock in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

A garment worker swings her sleeping child in a hammock in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A garment worker swings her sleeping child in a hammock in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>A pair of slippers are left outside a room at a building where garment workers live in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

A pair of slippers are left outside a room at a building where garment workers live in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A pair of slippers are left outside a room at a building where garment workers live in a suburb of Phnom Penh June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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