An analysis of the situation of children and adolescents in Cambodia 2023

UNICEF commissioned an analysis of the situation of Cambodian children. It draws on government data, secondary sources, interviews and consultations with adolescents.

© UNICEF Cambodia/2022/Bunsak But
UNICEF Cambodia/2022/Bunsak But


In 2022, UNICEF commissioned an independent analysis of the situation of Cambodian children and their rights. The goal is to support the full achievement of those rights, as well as identify the challenges that stand in the way. A commitment to human rights is enshrined in the Cambodian Constitution, and the Kingdom of Cambodia is a signatory to all nine core human rights treaties.

This analysis adopts a human rights-based approach underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and guided by key human rights principles. It draws on government data, secondary sources, semi-structured interviews, consultations with 1,414 adolescents, and focus group discussions.

Cambodia is a very young society. In 2019,children constituted 34.8 per cent of the population, a percentage that is growing rapidly. The situation of children has improved as the country achieved significant economic growth over the past two decades and reached lower-middle income status in 2015. Unfortunately, the pandemic and oil price shocks slowed growth, and poverty is common, particularly in the informal labour market, with 81 per cent of all jobs considered vulnerable. Young people are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults.

Most families remain at risk of poverty, and – based on the Cambodia Socioeconomic Survey of 2019/20 - about 17.8 per cent of Cambodians live below the poverty line. Children are particularly at risk, and when poverty is measured using a comprehensive multiple overlapping deprivation analysis (MODA) methodology, almost half (48.7 per cent) of Cambodia’s population aged 0-17 years falls within the definition of multidimensionally poor.

UNICEF Cambodia
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