Children have to fend for themselves
Often highly visible, being concentrated in the country’s major business and tourism centres, a total of between 10,000 and 20,000 children live or work on the street, primarily in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap [i]. They must overcome the difficulties of city life and perilous conditions. Street children, particularly those without any education, are exposed to a wide range of dangers: drugs, alcohol, exploitation, physical abuse and pressure from national and international child traffickers.
Child trafficking and child prostitution are issues of grave concern in Cambodia. The United Nations estimates that there are 200,000 victims of human trafficking in South-East Asia each year. They are exploited to beg, or to work as labourers or prostitutes.
[i] LANOUE Ariane, Les enfants vivant et travaillant dans les rues de Phnom Penh [The children living and working on the streets of Phnom Penh], May 2009, p. 10.
Krousar Thmey’s involvement
Krousar Thmey gradually reintegrates street children into a social and familial structure with its comprehensive support programme.
- Involvement begins directly on the streets, where Krousar Thmey offers the children care.
- The educators invite the children to follow them to temporary street children centres where they can settle in. This provides time for the teams to undertake an in-depth study of their family and social situation.
- The educators identify a long-term solution with the child. Once this has been conceived, priority is given to family reintegration, potentially with financial or material support.
- Should this not be possible, Krousar Thmey takes the children into their care within their own reception centres: the permanent protection centres or the family houses.
- Krousar Thmey is also proactive, with a prevention campaign to combat child trafficking and child prostitution. Moreover, regular contact is maintained with countless partners to ensure the coherence of activities and the establishment of lasting solutions in the field.
Long-term measures are put in place to support the children in their transition from their past on the streets to an independent and responsible adult life.
Geographical distribution of activities relating to child welfare