2004: In Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, lies Stung Mean Chey Municipal Waste Dump. 700 tonnes of Phnom Penh's rubbish is dumped here everyday and over 3000 families work and live here, scavenging for recyclables.
Men, women and children risk their lives dodging trucks and bulldozers to find tin cans, plastic, glass bottles and any other scrap that could be sold or recycled.
Their wages come from middle-men who buy the garbage the workers collect. It is then packed and sent to Vietnam where it can be recycled.
Usually, families work in shifts over 24 hours in order to earn as much money as possible. They earn approximately $2 a day for a working family of six, meaning children are forced to work from very young ages. Most children here have not completed primary school and most adults have had little or no access to education or vocational training, so their skill-set is poor and they are unable to find better work.
At night the dump is a very dangerous place where gangs, violence, rape and even traffickers are present.
The health of the people on the dump is severely affected as they breathe in the dangerous toxic landfill gases, and the fumes from burning rubbish, causing cancers, reproductive and development problems, and other serious illnesses.
Children often cut their feet on glass or dirty needles and medical waste hidden amongst the rubbish.
Often unable to earn enough money to feel the whole family, children are left to scavenge for food scraps. A poor diet and little access to clean water means children will suffer from malnutrition, hunger and exhaustion. Their growth is also stunted.
Typhoid is prevalent but children are unable to afford to go to hospital to receive proper medical treatment. They lie under cover in the sweltering heat, hoping to get better.
Children are a prey for drug dealers who come to the dumpsite to sell "yabba", a mixture of meth amphetamine and caffeine that enables the children to stay awake, work longer and offers a brief emotional release or anesthesia, but also leaves children addicted to drugs, indebted to the dealers, depressed and prone to mental health problems.
Young girls are a target for sex-tourists and traffickers. The situation for some families has became so poor that parents sell their children to pimps for approximately $200-300, and are then forced to become sex workers on the streets or in brothels. Many will eventually die from AIDS.
Women are often left alone to struggle to take care of the family as men find new wives or become addicted to alcohol and drugs.
Make-shift huts are set up on the dump as a place to shelter and sort the rubbish during the day. Slums have been built around the dumpsite, where the land is inexpensive and accessible for work. The houses offer little protection from the outside elements and large families will sleep together in one room. They bathe in dirty water and the dump is used as a toilet.
The reasons for poverty in Cambodia have not yet been alleviated. The torn social fabric that exists in Cambodia can be seen as a product of the Khmer Rouge genocide and subsequent civil war which lasted right up to 1998.
Watch the film Cambodia's Dump Children (2004) which tells the story of Mech Sokha, a man whos whole family was killed by the Khmer Rouge and has made it his life's mission to care for the children from the dump.