15.8 million people live in Cambodia.
5.8 million are children, and 1.8 million
of the children are under five years old.
From the day you are born you have
the right to have a name and to be
registered as a citizen in your country.
368,000 children are born every year in
Cambodia. 3 out of 10 of them are never
registered. There is no documented
proof that they exist!
You have the right to life. Cambodia
must do all it can to allow children to
survive and develop. 1 out of 32
children in Cambodia (11,000 every
year) dies before the age of 5, usually
due to causes that could have been
Channy, 12, fetches water to wash and make breakfast in a pond near her small, square, one-roomed house with a tin roof. Her parents have gone to Cambodia’s neighbouring country Thailand to find work. There are no jobs in Channy’s
small village. © Kim Naylor/WCPF
You have the right to food, clean
water, medical care and to privacy
when consulting an adult about any
health problem. 7 out of 10 children in
Cambodia have water from improved
water sources, and 5 out of 10 have
access to adequate sanitation facilities.
Channy, 12, and her little sister cook and eat in their kitchen area. Channy gets support from Child Rights Hero John Wood
to be able to go to school. © Kim Naylor/WCPF
You have the right to a home, food
and security. 2 out of 100 children in
Cambodia live in extreme poverty
with less than 1.90 US-dollar (7,680
Cambodian Riel) a day to live on.
Sacty, 14, lives in Kompong Phluk, a floating fishing village. She loves school.
“My grandfather keeps nagging me, saying that I should quit school and start
working again, but my mother refuses ... I’m going to build a better future for me and my whole family!” More about Sacty.
© Kim Naylor/WCPF
You have the right to go to school.
Primary and secondary schools should
be free for everyone. More than 9 out of
10 children in Cambodia go to school,
but many of them leave school too
early. And many children, especially
children from minority populations, do
not go to school at all.
During the Khmer Rouge dictatorship in Cambodia, children were both treated violently and forced to use violence. Child Rights Hero Phymean Noun grew up during this dark period.
You have the right to protection against
all forms of violence, including neglect,
maltreatment and abuse. Only 60
countries have forbidden all forms
of corporal punishment for children.
In 2019, Cambodia
committed to reforming its laws to ban
corporal punishment but no law has
been achieved yet. Many schools still
Kean and her sister spend every day looking for trash they can sell. Sometimes they are so hungry that they eat food that others have thrown out. The clothes they wear come from the dump too. More about Kean
© Alexandra Ellis/WCPF
You have the right to be protected
against both economic exploitation and
work that is hazardous to your health or
which prevents you from going to school.
All work is prohibited for children under
12. Some children are forced into the
worst forms of child labour, such as
being debt slaves, child soldiers or used
for commercial sexual exploitation. An
estimated 600,000 children aged 5-14 in
Cambodia have to work.
You have the right to say what you
think about any issue that affects you.
The adults should listen to the child’s
opinion before they make decisions,
which must always be made in the best interest of the child!