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[Video] New Reality Show Puts Fashion Bloggers To Work In A Cambodian Sweatshop

A new Norwegian reality show set to air this April strays from the typical nature of the genre, transplanting three 17-year-old bloggers into Cambodian sweatshops for one month.

The show, “Sweatshop – Deadly Fashion,” places the trio in the shoes of the country’s 600,000 garment workers, many of whom earn only US$3 per day while putting together products for some of the world’s biggest clothing brands, such as H&M.

“You think you know; you think you know it’s bad,” said Ludvig Hambro, one of the teenagers. “But you don’t know how bad it is before you see it.”

Norway’s largest newspaper, Aftenposten, flew Anniken Jørgensen, Frida Ottesen and Ludvig Hambro to Phnom Penh last year where they were put to work in one of the few factories that would allow filming.

“The awful truth is that this is one of the few places the actually let us in,” said Hambro of the factory, which has no toilet paper, a single fan, and chairs so uncomfortable the workers would rather stand. “I wonder how other places are, where we’re not welcome.”

Cambodian workers have taken to the streets in recent years to voice their opposition of the exploitative practices which cap the minimum wage at $100 per month (up from US$80 in late 2013).

A series of strikes in 2013 and 2014 culminated in the death of four and injury of 29 last January 2 when police shot AK-47s and handguns into a crow of protesters. Though authorities have shown more restraint during recent labor actions, the roots of the tensions have yet to be addressed.

[H/T Ecouterre]