Cambodia is a kingdom and neighbor of Thailand in Southeast Asia. Cambodia is still struggling to recover from decades of conflict that culminated when the Khmer Rouge held the country in an iron grip from 1975-1979. Between 1.5 and 2 million people died of starvation, torture and executions.

Despite the bloody past, Cambodia’s economy is now growing at around seven percent a year thanks to high-tech industry, the construction sector, agriculture and tourism. Unfortunately, the benefits are very unequally distributed, and especially the rural population is affected by poverty due to limited income opportunities and lack of infrastructure. This means that Cambodia must make an effort if the country is to live up to the new World Goal 1 of eradicating poverty. Trafficking is also a problem in Cambodia. Poor people are lured from the country to the city or to abroad, where they are promised good jobs with high salary. In reality, they end up – often without payment – in factories, in agriculture, as servants or in prostitution.

Children in Cambodia

8.8 percent of all children have lost one or both parents, and even more live alone or with relatives because their parents have sought legal or illegal employment in Thailand or other countries. Some children live on the streets begging or working to survive. Some end up in prostitution. More than one in three children work in agriculture, fishing, mining, street markets, as servants og become beggars.

This means that Cambodia must make a special effort to live up to World Goal 8, which will promote jobs for all and which states that all countries must stop the worst forms of child labor. At the same time, from 2025, all countries must completely end all forms of child labor. Right now, 637 children and young people are growing up in SOS village communities in Cambodia. One of them is Po. Po was born at a maternity clinic in Phnom Penh. Immediately after the birth, his young mother left him, and the doctor was left with an infant. The doctor knew there was an SOS village community in the neighborhood and contacted the director. Only seven days old, the little boy got a new mother and a new family at the orphanage.

My Foundation -ngo, charity foundation, non profit and non governmental organization

Facts about children

  • Almost every third Cambodian is under the age of 14.
  • 8.8 percent of Cambodia’s children have lost one or both parents.
  • On average, almost 29 children out of 1,000 die before the age of five.
  • About 73 percent of all children complete schooling. 40 percent complete the intermediate stage and schooling. 20 percent get a high school diploma.
  • 23 percent of all children are malnourished, and just over 32 percent of all children do not develop as they should due to malnutrition.
  • Only every fifth child under the age of 5 is treated for dehydration if they have diarrhea.

Country facts

  • Over 15 million people live in Cambodia.
  • A Cambodian earns an average of 1,000 euro a year or about 3 euro a day.
  • 0.6 percent of all Cambodians between the ages of 15 and 49 live with HIV or AIDS.
  • For every 100,000 children born, 161 Cambodian women die from complications during pregnancy or childbirth.
  • The birth rate in Cambodia is 24 alive births per 1,000 Cambodians.

Children's village in Cambodia

Support MY FOUNDATION's work in Cambodia, or become a partner in a project or a village community in the country.