Child Labor Prevention Program
CCPCR currently works in the Kampot and Kampong Thom Provinces to help combat child labor.
About 90 per cent of the poor population of Cambodia live in rural areas, and 71 per cent are employed mainly in subsistence agriculture. The vast majority of workers in the country are either self-employed or are engaged in unpaid family labour. Only 15 per cent of those aged over 15 years of age are paid workers. This poverty situation leads to child labor. The consequences and social cost of child labor for Cambodia cannot be over emphasized. The impairment to physical, mental and social health and education at the critical early stage of life has permanent effects on the quality of adult life. The overall consequence to society is even more severe. In the long run, an under-educated society cannot meet the demands for advanced skills and higher technological standards of a global economy and hence has a lower national capacity to fight poverty, perpetuating the cycle of poverty.
The elimination of child labor and, as a matter of priority, its worst forms, is therefore a key strategic measure to reduce poverty and insure economic growth.
The government has placed the following agreements in place to help eliminate child labor:
- Ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in1992;
- Ratified the ILO Convention No. 138(Minimum Age for Admission to Employment) in 1999;
- Ratified the ILO Convention No. 182(Worst Forms of Child Labour) in 2005;
- Implemented provisions that seek to protect the rights of children based on the 1993 Constitution;
- Set the minimum age for employment at 15 years in the Cambodian Labour Law;
- Promulgated 7 Prakas or Ministerial Orders that lay down the conditions of work in various sectors of employment, all of which have specific clauses on the employment of children.
- Adopted and approved for implementation an ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organisation Resolutionto prevent and eradicate the worst forms of child labour in 2004; and
- Established a Department of Child Labour, which exclusively works towards eliminating child labour.
- Tasked all the Provincial/Municipal Departments of Labour and Vocational Training to pay special attention and actively work towards eliminating child labour in coordination and collaboration with all relevant agencies.
The Kampot project, “Towards the Elimination of the Child Labor in Salt productiona nd Fishing Sectors in Kampot Province of Cambodia" started in 2002. CCPCR worked on the project with ILO/IPEC and other NGOs, with the aim to achieve the following:
Develop workplace monitoring and structure: team members were instructed in child labor monitoring and a computer database was developed to keep track of each targeted child.
The child labor team conducts awareness raising workshops on child labor among employers, parents and working children.
With technical input from the ILO, all workplace monitors were trained on occupational health and safety and risk assessment at workplaces.
Children removed from hazardous working conditions have been reintegrated into formal education system, given non-formal education or attempts have been made to reduce their working hours and the work hazardous to their health.
The Child Labor Monitoring team regularly monitors and provides counseling to both employers and children. Help has been given to families to set up small business for new income generation so that they were able to send their children to school.
Children have been educated on the harms of child labor and are used as peer advocates to combat the situation.
Assist poor families to set up Self Help Groups and build their capacity for increasing income. Link families to financial services to obtain credit for setting up and sustaining their income generating activities.
Provide vocational skills for at risk children and their families such as repairing general machines, motorbikes, sewing clothes, hairdressing and raising animals.
A Provincial Committee on Child Labor was established to oversee the project implementation, it also plays a supporting role in discussions on child labor related policies, programs and other emerging issues facing stakeholders. A draft Prakas (Ministerial Order) on employment of young workers in Salt production was forwarded to the Sub-Committee and Child Labor and Labor Advisory Committee for their endorsement.
Kampong Thom Project
The Kampong Thom project, "Towards the Elimination of Child Labour in the Inland Fishing Sector in Kampong Thom Province" started in 2010. CCPCR is responsible for implementing the Action Program as set by ILO/IPEC.
CCPCR's main objectives are to
Identify children working in the inland fishing sector in Phat Sanday Commune in Kampong Thom, and children at risk of joining such a work force in the near future and their families in the commune and villages
Consult with parents and schools to help at risk children to remain in school
Work with parents and schools to remove children currently working in the inland fishing sector in Kampong Thom and help them enroll in schools or provide opportunities for non-formal education through the Community Learning and Child Labour Rehabilitation Centers
Assist poor families to set up Self Help Groups and build their capacity for augmenting income and link the families to financial services to obtain credit for setting up and sustaining their income generating activities.
Identify Community Child Labor Monitors and train them to continuously monitor the situation in the inland fishing sector in target areas.