28 March 2023

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

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.
01 July 2022

Children's Rights to a Healthy Environment in ASEAN

Children and youth are already driving change around the world, voicing their expectations that governments must accelerate ambitious action to ensure a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment for their future. As States emerge from the nightmare of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is time to fulfil the dreams of our children by placing the UN Sustainable Development Goals at the heart of all recovery actions. We trust that the Principles and Policy Guidance in this document will inspire policymakers to meet the challenges that children have laid down for them, motivate all members of civil society to support children and young people to ensure their future, encourage businesses to do their part, and give children and youth in South East Asia and other regions of the world a tool they can use to promote and defend their rights, including a healthy environment. No group is more vulnerable to environmental harm than children. Air pollution, water pollution and exposure to toxic substances, together with other types of environmental harm, cause 1.5 million deaths of children under the age of 5 every year and contribute to disease, disability and early mortality throughout their life. In addition, climate change and the loss of biodiversity threaten to cause long-term effects that will blight children’s lives for years to come. Making matters worse, children are often not able to exercise their rights, including their rights to information, participation and access to effective remedies. Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Environment on the relationship between children’s rights and environmental protection, 2018. These Principles and Policy Guidance were developed through a collaborative, inclusive, multi-stakeholder process initiated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights), with the participation of the Children’s Environmental Rights Initiative (CERI), the ASEAN Youth Organization, the UN Major Group on Children and Youth (UN MGCY), the UNEP Major Group on Children and Youth (UNEP MGCY), and the Asia Pacific Youth Caucus.