Cambodia Youth: A vital force for change

Converting youth vulnerability to a youth force for change

according to the UNICEF 2009 youth situation analysis:

15-24 years old youth represent 26% of Cambodia’s population. They represent 32.4% of the labor force. 35% of these youth live below poverty line and come from families that are landless, and/or in debt.The health, education and employment issues confronting Cambodian youth today are highly inter-related.

For example, youth employment is inextricably linked with access to education and skills training, and access to health services and information is directly correlated with income. The children of poor and very poor households are more vulnerable to problems associated with poverty and social exclusion.

Without policies aimed at disrupting the intergenerational disadvantages of poverty, such patterns are self-perpetuating.

UNICEF report:
Unicef report:

From the words of Romdoul, a 26 year-old elected deputy commune chief: “I struggle to put myself through university. When I apply for a scholarship, I am stuck because I come from a poor family, I have no contact, I am excluded. This is the same situation with my friends. We are rural youth of today. But, I am active with politics and I am now elected. I fight to represent the poor. Rural youth must have opportunity, rights and justice”.


The Cambodian National Rescue Party proposal for efficient tax collection, efficient use of the national budget for free education and health care is part of the solution for youth to be part of development and to benefit from the economic growth for social and economic justice.

Freedom of speech and expression as part of promting and protecting human rights help engage the youth to be take part in politics and push for accountability.

CNRP has developed its youth and women’s platform that offer concrete solutions.

The full CNRP platform wil be launched in Mid-janusary 2013.


2 responses to “Cambodia Youth: A vital force for change

  1. Dorian Roffe-Hammond

    My experience from communicating with the youth of Cambodia strongly suggests that they strive for greater representation through their local governments. And they also desire greater levels of education and health services for themselves and their families. I favor the principal message of the National Rescue Party as a legitimate counter to the current political regime.

    • We will launch our youth and women’s platform in January. Working on the message, video clips and other campaign materials that will attract this special group of voters.

      Any ideas are welcome.

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