About 52 per cent of children aged between seven and 14, a figure that stands for over 1.4 million children in absolute terms, performed work in economic activities, according to the ITUC.

Seven out of every 10 child workers between the ages of five and 17 work in the agricultural sector. Children work as street vendors, collect rubbish, and perform other types of labor.

Rampant Child Labor in Cambodia

by Bridget Di Certo and Chhay Channyda [from The Phnom Penh Post, Wednesday, 02 November 2011 12:04]
Labour legislation in Cambodia is so weak and so often ignored that half the Kingdom’s children between the ages of seven and 14 participate in the workforce, the world’s largest federation of unions has told the World Trade Organisation General Council in Geneva.

Children, women and ethnic and indigenous minorities suffer the most under the Kingdom’s “corrupt” enforcement of labour law, according to the International Trade Union Confederation, which has 150 million members.

Yesterday it presented its report detailing how Cambodia falls short of international labour standards, along with a list of recommendations to the WTO, which is conducting a trade policy review of Cambodia concluding tomorrow.
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Maid Firm Exposed

Yi Somphose, Tep Nimol, David Boyle and Eak Soung Chhay

Scores of crying women who said they had been forcibly detained and girls who claimed to have received fake documents to conceal the fact that they were as young as 16-years-old were discovered at a centre owned by the SKMM Investment Group labour recruitment firm yesterday.

A group of 47 women told a Post reporter some 20 under-age girls had been hidden at a restaurant to conceal them from police, while eyewitnesses outside another SKMM facility said they had seen recruits jumping out of windows to escape.

With tears pouring down her cheeks, 29-year-old Dam Nhean said SKMM staff told her that if she wanted to leave the centre to visit her baby, she would have to repay by double the US$800 loan she was given, reiterating claims made by many of the recruits. Read more

Prostitution in Cambodia: ‘New law doesn’t protect me’

Guardian Weekly

By: Claire Colley

In March 2008, Cambodia saw the implementation of a new law entitled: Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation. Aimed at offering protection to women in prostitution by making the selling of sex illegal, it has resulted in clean-up operations and police raids of red light areas. Women in prostitution are being arrested, reporting police brutality and imprisonment. It’s also resulted in decreased safety for women as brothels are closed down and women are forced into street work. Mei, a young prostitute in Phnom Penh, describes how she fell into prostitution and the horrific experiences she has had as a result of the new law

My name is Mei and I’m 19 years old. I live in Phnom Penh but I’m from a small village in Prey Veng province. I went to school when I was younger, but I had to leave to work in the rice fields when I was 13. My family is poor and when there is no food to eat, you have to do what you must to support them – as I’m the oldest it’s my responsibility. Read more