Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Cambodia

Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Cambodia

2015 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Significant Advancement

In 2015, Cambodia made a significant advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training adopted a new regulation on the recruitment of young workers that strengthens protections against hazardous work for children ages 15 to 18. The Government also established a policy to reduce child labor in agriculture, a sector in which many Cambodian children are known to work. In order to strengthen efforts to combat human trafficking, including the trafficking of children, the Government adopted a National Plan of Action on the Suppression of Human Trafficking, Smuggling, Labor, and Sexual Exploitation, and allocated funding to the National Committee for Counter Trafficking to ensure its implementation. The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation also approved guidelines to standardize procedures for identifying and protecting victims of human trafficking. To better inform policies and programs that address child labor in Cambodia, a study was published in 2015 on child labor in the sugarcane sector. However, children in Cambodia are engaged in child labor, including in agriculture, and in the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation. Cambodia does not have a compulsory education requirement, which leaves children vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor. In addition, insufficient financial and human resources hinder the labor inspectorate’s efforts to enforce child labor laws.

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Children in Cambodia are engaged in child labor, including in agriculture, and in the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation.(1-9) Table 1 provides key indicators on children’s work and education in Cambodia.

Table 1. Statistics on Children’s Work and Education

Working children, ages 5 to 14 (% and population):

9.4 (276,583)

Working children by sector, ages 5 to 14 (%)

 

Agriculture

62.1

Industry

15.7

Services

22.2

School attendance, ages 5 to 14 (%):

85.4

Children combining work and school, ages 7 to 14 (%):

9.1

Primary completion rate (%):

96.3

Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2014, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015.(10)
Source for all other data: Understanding Children’s Work Project’s analysis of statistics from Labour Force and Child Labour Survey, 2012.(11)

Based on a review of available information, Table 2 provides an overview of children’s work by sector and activity.

Table 2. Overview of Children’s Work by Sector and Activity

Sector/Industry

Activity

Agriculture

Fishing, including deep-sea† and night fishing*† (1-4, 12)

Peeling shrimp and shucking crabs* (1, 4, 13)

Production of tobacco, cassava, rubber, rice,* and sugarcane (5-8, 12-15)

Logging for the production of timber† (2)

Industry

Making bricks† (2, 5, 13, 16, 17)

Production of salt (5, 16, 18)

Construction,† including operating transportation equipment (2, 16)

Production of textiles, including bleaching, dyeing, and finishing with chemicals;† and garments* (2, 19-21)

Production of footwear* (13, 22, 23)

Production of alcoholic beverages† (2)

Work in slaughterhouses for the production of meat† (2)

Manufacturing of wood*† and metal*† products (2, 5)

Services

Domestic work (24-27)

Work as security guards† and in entertainment,† including as bartenders, masseurs, dancers, and waiters (2)

Street work, including begging, vending, shoe polishing, scavenging, and portering* (5, 16, 19, 27)

Work as garbage pickers* (28, 29)

Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡

Commercial sexual exploitation sometimes as a result of human trafficking (5, 9, 16, 30-34)

Street vending as a result of human trafficking* (35)

* Evidence of this activity is limited and/or the extent of the problem is unknown.
† Determined by national law or regulation as hazardous and, as such, relevant to Article 3(d) of ILO C. 182.
‡ Child labor understood as the worst forms of child labor per se under Article 3(a)–(c) of ILO C. 182.

Children are trafficked to, from, and within Cambodia for commercial sexual exploitation and labor exploitation.(33) Trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation occurs primarily from Cambodia to Thailand, from Vietnam to Cambodia, and within Cambodia, where children are exploited in brothels and other venues, such as beer gardens, massage parlors, salons, and karaoke clubs.(9, 16, 31, 33, 34) Children are trafficked from smaller villages to larger cities and primarily to Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam to work as domestic servants.(24, 31, 36, 37) Children are also trafficked to Thailand and Vietnam, where they are forced to beg and work as street vendors.(16, 33, 38)

Access to education remains a challenge in Cambodia. Although the Education Law establishes free basic education, children may be charged additional fees for exams, tutoring, and even class time. These costs are prohibitive for some families.(5, 39-42) In remote areas, children must travel long distances to reach school, and transportation is limited.(5, 27) Children living in relocation sites due to economic land concessions, as well as ethnic minority children living in the northeastern highland provinces, lack sufficient access to educational services.(43, 44) For ethnic minorities, language barriers in schools and an insufficient number of teachers are additional obstacles.(44, 45)

Cambodia has ratified all key international conventions concerning child labor (Table 3).

Table 3. Ratification of International Conventions on Child Labor

Convention

Ratification

ILO C. 138, Minimum Age

ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor

UN CRC

UN CRC Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict

UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons

 

The Government has established laws and regulations related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 4).

Table 4. Laws and Regulations Related to Child Labor

Standard

Yes/No

Age

Related Legislation

Minimum Age for Work

Yes

15

Article 177 of the Labor Law (46)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Yes

18

Articles 173 and 177 of the Labor Law; Regulation on the Prohibition of Hazardous Child Labor; Articles 339–340 of the Penal Code (46-48)

Prohibition of Hazardous Occupations or Activities for Children

Yes

 

Article 2 of the Regulation on the Prohibition of Hazardous Child Labor (47)

Prohibition of Forced Labor

Yes

 

Article 15 and 16 of the Labor Law; Articles 10, 12, 15–17, and 19 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation (46, 49)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

Yes

 

Articles 10, 12, 15, 17, and 19 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation (49)

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Yes

 

Articles 15, 28, 33–37, and 41 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation; Articles 284 and 289 of the Penal Code (48, 49)

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities

Yes

 

Articles 344–345 of the Penal Code (48)

Minimum Age for Compulsory Military Recruitment

Yes

18

The Law on General Statutes for the Military Personnel of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (50, 51)

Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service

Yes

18

Article 42 of the Law on General Statutes for the Military Personnel of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (50, 51)

Compulsory Education Age

No

 

 

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Article 31 of the Education Law (42)

 

In November 2015, the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MOLVT) issued a regulation that establishes procedures for recruiting and employing children between the ages of 15 and 18, referred to as young workers. The regulation reiterates that employers must not require young employees to work under dangerous conditions or in the worst forms of child labor.(52) It also describes the employer’s specific responsibilities with regards to young employees, including verifying identity documents, issuing employment contracts, and providing appropriate vocational training.(52)

The Labor Law’s minimum age protections do not apply to domestic or household workers, which leaves children vulnerable to child labor in this occupation.(46, 53) Although the Penal Code prohibits the use of a minor to transport, keep, or supply drugs, Cambodian law does not criminally prohibit the procuring or offering of a child for these purposes, nor does it ban the use, procuring, or offering of a child for the production of drugs.(25, 48) Laws do not sufficiently prohibit commercial sexual exploitation of children, as the use, procuring, or offering of a child for pornographic performances is not criminally prohibited.

Education is free, but not compulsory, through grade nine.(42) The lack of compulsory schooling makes children under age 15, the legal age to work, particularly vulnerable to child labor, as they are not required to be in school but are not legally permitted to work either.

The Government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor, including its worst forms (Table 5).

Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement

Organization/Agency

Role

Department of Child Labor within the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MOLVT)

Enforce child-related provisions of the Labor Law and train Commune Committees for Women and Children who oversee local child labor monitoring systems.(19)

Cambodian National Police’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department (Anti-Trafficking Police)

Enforce laws against trafficking, child sexual exploitation, and criminal activities, along with municipal and provincial anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection offices.(54) Commanded by the Ministry of the Interior.(55) Field complaints about human trafficking, which can be filed through the anti-human trafficking hotline, 1288.(32)

Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation (MOSAVY)

Accompany the police on investigations, during which child victims may be found, and subsequently refer child victims to NGO services.(4)

 

In 2015, the MOLVT expanded the number of interdepartmental inspection teams, which each include a child labor inspector, from 24 to 29. The MOLVT reserves five of these teams for urgent inspections.(56-59)

Labor Law Enforcement

In 2015, labor law enforcement agencies in Cambodia took actions to combat child labor, including its worst forms (Table 6).

 Table 6. Labor Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor

Overview of Labor Law Enforcement

2014

2015

Labor Inspectorate Funding

Unknown (56)

Unknown (60)

Number of Labor Inspectors

342 (61)

408 (60)

  • Number of Child Labor Dedicated Inspectors

58 (56)

58 (60)

Inspectorate Authorized to Assess Penalties

Yes (46)

Yes (60)

Training for Labor Inspectors

 

 

Initial Training for New Employees

Yes (60)

Yes (60)

Training on New Laws Related to Child Labor

Yes (60)

Yes (60)

Refresher Courses Provided

Yes (60)

Yes (60)

Number of Labor Inspections

5,517 (60)

8,181 (60)

Number Conducted at Worksite

1,971 (60)

2,713 (60)

Number Conducted by Desk Reviews

3,546 (60)

5,468 (60)

Number of Child Labor Violations Found

46 (56)

Unknown (60)

Number of Child Labor Violations for Which Penalties Were Imposed

Unknown (60)

Unknown (60)

Number of Penalties Imposed That Were Collected

Unknown (60)

Unknown (60)

Routine Inspections Conducted

Yes (27)

Yes (60)

Routine Inspections Targeted

No (60)

No (60)

Unannounced Inspections Permitted

Yes (60)

Yes (60)

Unannounced Inspections Conducted

Yes (60)

Yes (60)

Complaint Mechanism Exists

Yes (60)

Yes (60)

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Labor Authorities and Social Services

Yes (56)

Yes (60)

 

In 2015, 24 out of the Department of Child Labor’s 58 inspectors were based in Phnom Penh, with an additional 9 inspectors responsible for investigating urgent complaints. One child labor inspector was also stationed in each of Cambodia’s 25 provinces to conduct local and regional inspections.(60) Although inspectors from the Department of Child Labor are trained on relevant laws and inspection techniques to identify child labor, the MOLVT lacks standardized guidelines for conducting labor inspections.(56, 62) In 2015, the Department of Child Labor reported that it did not receive any funding for inspection-related costs and that due to these financial constraints, the inspectorate was only able to conduct inspections in and around the capital city of Phnom Penh.(56, 60)

The Department of Child Labor reported that following the adoption of the MOLVT’s new regulation on the recruitment of young workers in 2015, 13 new enterprises requested permission to register 557 young workers. Labor authorities also removed 114 young workers from dangerous work.(60) While the MOLVT has other regulations regarding acceptable work for children in agriculture, fishing, tobacco, and cassava production, government officials report that they have not yet begun to enforce these regulations.(19, 62)

Criminal Law Enforcement

In 2015, criminal law enforcement agencies in Cambodia took actions to combat the worst forms of child labor (Table 7).

Table 7. Criminal Law Enforcement Efforts Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Overview of Criminal Law Enforcement

2014

2015

Training for Investigators

 

 

Initial Training for New Employees

Yes (60)

Yes (60)

Training on New Laws Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Yes (60)

Yes (60)

Refresher Courses Provided

Yes (60

Yes (60)

Number of Investigations

Unknown (63)

33 (60)

Number of Violations Found

Unknown (60)

73 (60)

Number of Prosecutions Initiated

Unknown (60)

Unknown (60)

Number of Convictions

Unknown (60)

Unknown (60)

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Criminal Authorities and Social Services

Yes (63)

Yes (60)

 

In 2015, the Anti-Trafficking Police employed 500 police officers, with approximately 20 in each province, to enforce laws against the worst forms of child labor.(56) The National Committee for Counter Trafficking, in collaboration with several government ministries and NGO partners, provided training for more than 4,000 commune and provincial officials, law enforcement officers, and judicial staff on a variety of anti-human trafficking topics, including legislation, investigative techniques, and evidence collection. Also, during the reporting period, the National Committee for Counter Trafficking and partners provided training courses for 2,495 staff members working at entertainment establishments known to pose high human trafficking risks, such as hotels, guesthouses, and karaoke parlors.(38) These trainings provided instruction on child-safe tourism and the prevention of child labor, among other topics.(38) The Ministry of Interior, however, has not yet introduced anti-human trafficking training into the curriculum of the Cambodian National Police academies.(38, 63)

The Ministry of Justice reported that as a result of investigations, police rescued 73 children engaged in the worst forms of child labor in 2015.(60) The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation (MOSAVY) and the Cambodian Center for the Protection of Children’s Rights also identified 152 child trafficking victims, most of whom were forced to beg or sell lottery tickets in Vietnam. In 2015, the total number of violations related to the worst forms of child labor, as well as data on the number of prosecutions and convictions for these crimes, is unknown, as the Government does not have a comprehensive system in place to collect and report these data.(38) Law enforcement officials refer victims of human trafficking, including children, to NGOs or to provincial social affairs offices to receive assistance. During the reporting period, the MOSAVY finalized and approved guidelines on victim identification, which aim to streamline procedures for identifying victims and referring them to the appropriate services.(38)

In Cambodia, judges have discretion to determine whether perpetrators of crimes related to the worst forms of child labor will be imprisoned or fined, as well as the amount of the fine. In part due to high levels of corruption within the judicial system, the penalties imposed are not uniformly administered and do not adhere to the parameters prescribed by law.(4, 64, 65)

The Government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor, including all its worst forms (Table 8).

Table 8. Mechanisms to Coordinate Government Efforts on Child Labor

Coordinating Body

Role & Description

National Committee on Child Labor of the Cambodian National Council for Children

Coordinate child labor issues at the national level. Ensure that projects and programs follow the national policy on child labor.(49) Includes all concerned ministries, businesses, trade unions, and NGOs. Provincial Committees on the Protection of Child Rights and Provincial Committees on Child Labor coordinate efforts to address child labor at the provincial level.(49)

National Committee for Counter Trafficking

Coordinate government efforts to address human trafficking.(38) At the national level, includes six interministerial working groups, each chaired by a technical ministry, with a selected representatives from civil society serving as a vice chair.(38, 66, 67) Working groups focus on the following areas: prevention; protection, recovery, reintegration, and repatriation; law enforcement; justice; international cooperation; children’s affairs; and migration.(67) Member agencies include the Ministry of Education, MOSAVY, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and the MOLVT.(38)  Oversee a network of Provincial Committees for Counter Trafficking composed of local government officials in each province.(38) In 2015, the Government dedicated greater financial and human resources to the National Committee for Counter Trafficking, including a budget allotment of $500,000 to implement Cambodia’s National Plan of Action. Provincial Committees for Counter Trafficking developed action plans to guide human trafficking protection and prevention efforts at the local level, and four of these committees received modest funding from the central government to support anti-human trafficking activities.(38)

Migration Working Group

Coordinate multi-sector participation to address migration issues, gather and monitor data on migration, facilitate information exchange, and provide recommendations on the formulation of agreements with relevant countries. Chaired by the Ministry of Interior and includes representatives from the Government, UN, and NGOs.(66)

The Government of Cambodia has established policies related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 9).

Table 9. Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy

Description

National Plan of Action to Tackle Child Labor in Inland and Coastal Fisheries

Incorporates child labor into the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries’ policies and legal frameworks for fisheries and aquaculture. Assesses work hazards for children in fisheries and aquaculture. Ensures that children who work in fisheries and their families have access to education and livelihood opportunities.(68) Draft guidelines defining types of hazardous activities prohibited for children in the fisheries sector and establishing fines for employers who violate them are awaiting official approval from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries.(69, 70)

Action Plan for Gender Equality Promotion and Child Labor Elimination in the Fisheries Sector (2016–2020)†

Seeks to eliminate child labor and promote gender equality in the fisheries sector nationwide. Focuses on building the capacity of stakeholders to address three issues: (1) promoting economic empowerment for both men and women working in small-scale fishing, (2) preventing and withdrawing children from child labor and hazardous work, and (3) improving mechanisms to monitor and evaluate efforts related to gender equality and the prevention of child labor.(71)

Policy and Strategic Framework on Childhood Development and Protection in the Agricultural Sector (2016–2020)†

Establishes a strategic framework to promote the protection and development of children working in the agricultural sector. Goals include preventing and reducing child labor, especially in hazardous work involving the use of agrochemicals and sharp tools, and improving agricultural vocational training for youth ages 15 through 17.(12)

National Plan of Action on the Suppression of Human Trafficking, Smuggling, Labor, and Sexual Exploitation (2014–2018)†

Aims to coordinate efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of human trafficking by strengthening law and policy enforcement, enhancing prevention efforts, improving criminal justice responses to human trafficking, and protecting victims by providing age- and gender-appropriate support services. Specific activities include strengthening labor law enforcement to protect children from exploitation in entertainment venues, developing standard operating procedures to promote child safety in the tourism industry, integrating anti-human trafficking and child safety issues into the public school curriculum, and promoting the inclusion of vulnerable children in both formal and informal education.(67) Launched in 2015.(38)

Policy and National Minimum Standards for the Protection of the Rights of Victims of Human Trafficking

Establishes guidelines to improve the treatment of victims of trafficking in persons.(72) Lists children among those identified as victims of trafficking in Cambodia and includes the Ministry of Interior’s Safety Village Commune/Sangkat Policy Guide, which mandates that local governments take action to end the trafficking of women and children to ensure safe communes.(68, 73)

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) (2015)†

Establishes a regional anti-human trafficking framework among 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations Member States, including Cambodia, to improve coordination on investigation and prosecution of trafficking in persons cases and enhance assistance for victims. Unanimously adopted in June 2015, the Convention was signed by the relevant heads of state on November 21, 2015.(74, 75)

The Education Strategic Plan (2014–2018)

Outlines a plan to ensure equitable access to educational services, enhance the quality and relevance of learning, and ensure effective leadership and management of educational staff at all levels. Includes programs and activities aimed at improving the response to human trafficking and child labor.(76) Additionally, includes a multilingual education initiative that allows non-native speakers of Khmer language to learn primarily in their mother tongue until grade four.(77)

Multilingual Education National Action Plan (2015–2018)*†

Serves as a roadmap for the implementation of multilingual education in five target provinces in northeastern Cambodia. Aims to improve quality of education for ethnic minority students; strengthen the monitoring and implementation capacity of Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport officials; and build support for multilingual education among school committees, parents, and local authorities.(44, 78)

National Youth Policy

Aims to afford meaningful opportunities to young adults ages 15 to 30 and provide them with the skills to enhance economic participation.(79)

Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency Phase III (2013–2017)

Defines Cambodia’s socioeconomic policy agenda and outlines a strategy for sustainable development and poverty reduction. Includes social protection programs to ensure poor children have access to education; promotes sustainable development of the health sector, including improved sanitation, health, and nutrition of children; and focuses on strengthening law enforcement to be more effective against human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children.(80)

National Employment Policy (2015–2025)*†

Seeks to increase decent and productive employment opportunities for all, to promote skills and human resources development, and to strengthen labor market governance. Addresses the need to provide enhanced education and technical and vocational training, especially for young workers.(81, 82)

National Social Protection Strategy (2011–2015)

Aims to protect the poorest and most disadvantaged populations, mitigate risks by providing coping strategies, and promote poverty reduction by building human capital and expanding opportunities such as access to health, nutrition, and educational services, which will benefit child laborers and their families.(83)

* Child labor elimination and prevention strategies do not appear to have been integrated into this policy.
† Policy was approved during the reporting period.

In 2015, the Department of Child Labor finalized a draft of the second National Plan of Action on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, which replaces the lapsed first National Plan. The draft is currently awaiting formal approval from the Council of Ministers.(70)

In 2015, the Government of Cambodia funded and participated in programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms (Table 10).

Table 10. Social Programs to Address Child Labor

Program

Description

Commune Committees for Women and Children†

MOLVT and provincial government program that establishes and trains committees at the commune and village levels to raise awareness about child labor regulations, promote school attendance, and report employers who violate child labor laws.(19)

Cambodians EXCEL: Eliminating Exploitative Child Labor through Education and Livelihoods (2012–2016)

$10 million, USDOL funded, 4-year project to combat child labor in agriculture, fishing, and domestic service. Targets 28,000 child laborers and at-risk children to receive educational services; 14,000 households also receive livelihood services.(84) Addresses a complex set of factors causing child labor, including poverty, limited education access, cultural acceptance of child labor, debt, migration, and lack of regulation in the informal sector.(84) In 2015, contributed to the finalization of the draft National Plan of Action on the Worst Forms of Child Labor.(70)

Counter Trafficking in Persons II (CTIP II) (2011–2015)

$5.4 million, USAID-funded, 4-year program implemented by Winrock International to improve the Government and civil society’s coordination and capacity to effectively combat all forms of human trafficking. Focuses specifically on addressing the needs of victims of forced labor and sexual exploitation.(85)

Expanding the Evidence Base and Reinforcing Policy Research for Scaling-up and Accelerating Action Against Child Labor

USDOL-funded research project implemented by the ILO in seven countries, including Cambodia, to accelerate country-level actions to address child labor by collecting new data; analyzing existing data; building capacity of governments to conduct research in this area; and supporting governments, social partners, and other stakeholders to identify areas of policy intervention against child labor.(86) In 2015, the ILO published the results of a rapid assessment on child labor in the Cambodian sugarcane sector. The study aims to advance knowledge on child labor in a sector in which little information is publicly available in order to shape policies and programs that address the issue.(14)

Street People Committee†

Interministerial committee chaired by MOSAVY that provides direct support for street children. Responsible for determining the number of people living and working on the street, including children, and providing for their needs.(55, 87)

Better Factories Cambodia

Program to monitor garment factories’ compliance with national and international labor standards and to work with factories on implementing remediation plans. Works with tripartite partners, including the Government of Cambodia, trade unions, and the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, and is part of a global partnership between the ILO and the International Finance Corporation.(88) In 2015, identified 18 cases of underage workers in garment factories. Of these 18 children, 10 child workers were provided with compensation and vocational training until they reach the minimum age for employment, and 8 were removed from work.(60)

ILO Decent Work Country Program (2011–2015)

Framework to enhance policies, laws, and enforcement mechanisms to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. Endorsed by MOSAVY.(40)

Bilingual Education Programs†

Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport’s bilingual education program for ethnic minority children in preschools and primary schools in three provinces. Targets 2,359 students from grades 1–3 in 27 schools.(87, 89)

UN WFP Country Program (2011–2016)

Australian-funded, 5-year program implemented by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport to improve food security and nutrition, which includes providing breakfast and take-home rations to vulnerable primary school children, and off-season income-generation activities for the poor.(90) Includes a cash scholarship transfer pilot program through a mobile banking system, in partnership with Angkor Microfinance of Kampuchea. Beneficiaries of the program must attend 80 percent of their classes to receive cash assistance that can be used for food or school supplies.(91)

† Program is funded by the Government of Cambodia.

Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor, including its worst forms, in Cambodia (Table 11).

Table 11. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor, Including its Worst Forms

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Legal Framework

Institute a compulsory education age that is at a minimum equal to the minimum age for work.

2009 – 2015

Ensure that the law’s minimum age provisions apply to children working as domestic workers.

2009 – 2015

Ensure that the law comprehensively prohibits the procurement, offering, and use of a child for the production and trafficking of drugs.

2015

Ensure that laws criminally prohibit the procurement, offering, and use of a child for pornographic performances.

2015

Enforcement

Make information publicly available on the amount of funding for the labor inspectorate, the total number of child labor violations found, the number of penalties imposed and collected for child labor violations, and the number of prosecutions and convictions for crimes related to the worst forms of child labor.

2015

Strengthen the labor inspectorate by initiating targeted inspections based on analysis of data related to risk-prone sectors and patterns of serious incidents.

2009 – 2015

Ensure that a sufficient number of labor inspectors are trained to inspect for child labor violations.

2014 – 2015

 

Develop and implement standardized guidelines for conducting child labor inspections.

2011 – 2015

 

Provide sufficient resources for the enforcement of child labor laws to ensure inspections are conducted throughout the country.

2010 – 2015

 

Enforce regulations regarding child labor in agriculture, tobacco, cassava, and fishing.

2012 – 2015

 

Increase anti-human trafficking training for law enforcement officers, including at Cambodian National Police academies.

2014 – 2015

 

Uniformly administer penalties for violations of child labor laws in accordance with the parameters prescribed by law.

2009 – 2015

Government Policies

Approve the new National Plan of Action on the Worst Forms of Child Labor.

2013 – 2015

Integrate child labor elimination and prevention strategies into the Multilingual Education National Action Plan and the National Employment Policy.

2015

Social Programs

Ensure all children have access to free basic education, including by ensuring school fees are not charged and addressing issues related to distance, limited transportation to school, and language barriers.

2013 – 2015

1.         Mathew, S. "Children’s Work and Child Labour in Fisheries: A Note on Principles and criteria for employing children and policies and action for progressively eliminating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in fisheries and aquaculture," in FAO Workshop: Child Labor in Fisheries and Aquaculture; April 14-16, 2010; Rome; http://www.fao-ilo.org/fileadmin/user_upload/fao_ilo/pdf/WorkshopFisheries2010/WFPapers/MathewICSFChildLabourFisheriesFinalNote.pdf.

2.         National Institute of Statistics of Cambodia and ILO. Cambodia Labour Force and Child Labour Survey 2012: Child Labour Report. Phnom Penh; November 2013.

3.         Mam, K. "A River Changes Course," Cambodia: January 21, 2013; 83 min., film; http://ariverchangescourse.com/.

4.         U.S. Embassy- Phnom Penh. reporting, January 28, 2013.

5.         Understanding Children's Work. aThe twin challenges of child labour and educational marginalisation in the South-East and East Asia region: an overview. Rome; May 2014. http://www.ilo.org/ipec/Informationresources/WCMS_IPEC_PUB_25520/lang--en/index.htm.

6.         Hodal, K. "Cambodia's sugar rush leaves farmers feeling bitter at 'land grab'." The Guardian, July 9, 2013. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/09/cambodia-sugar-land-grab-claims.

7.         Sovuthy, K. "Child Labor Probe on Preah Vihear Sugar Plantation Moves Forward." The Cambodia Daily, April 3, 2014. https://www.cambodiadaily.com/archives/child-labor-probe-on-preah-vihear-sugar-plantation-moves-forward-55643/.

8.         Hul Reaksmey, and Alex Consiglio. "Sugar Company Says No Child Labor; Workers Say Otherwise." The Cambodia Daily, Phnom Penh, February 27, 2015. https://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/sugar-company-says-no-child-labor-workers-say-otherwise-78766/.

9.         Shaw, D. COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN IN CAMBODIA. Washington, DC, International Justice Mission; 2013. https://www.ijm.org/sites/default/files/resources/CSEC%20Prevalence%20-%20Cambodia%20-%20FINAL%20-%2012%20Sept%202013%20(1).pdf.

10.       UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary. Total. [accessed December 16, 2015]; http://data.uis.unesco.org/. Data provided is the gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary school. This measure is a proxy measure for primary completion. This ratio is the total number of new entrants in the last grade of primary education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the population at the theoretical entrance age to the last grade of primary. A high ratio indicates a high degree of current primary education completion. Because the calculation includes all new entrants to last grade (regardless of age), the ratio can exceed 100 percent, due to over-aged and under-aged children who enter primary school late/early and/or repeat grades. For more information, please see the “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” section of this report.

11.       UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Original data from Labour Force and Child Labour Survey, 2012. Analysis received December 18, 2015. Reliable statistical data on the worst forms of child labor are especially difficult to collect given the often hidden or illegal nature of the worst forms. As a result, statistics on children’s work in general are reported in this chart, which may or may not include the worst forms of child labor.  For more information on sources used, the definition of working children and other indicators used in this report, please see the “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” section of this report.

12.       Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Policy and Strategic Framework on Childhood Development and Protection in the Agriculture Sector 2016-2020. Phnom Penh, Government of Cambodia; August 2015. [source on file].

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