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Care for Child Domestic Workers

The Convention of the Rights of the Child, Article 32 Child Labor, states that “States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development?.

Child Domestic Work is one of the worst forms of child labor. In cities, especially Phnom Penh, most of the workforce consists of young girls. Their employers usually expose them to corporal punishment; they work long hours, and have no opportunity to go to school. Another major risk is sexual abuse perpetrated by their employers. They have no training or life skills for the service they provide. Most of the parents are in debt, or have borrowed advance money from the homeowners, and have sent their children in to work off the debt.

Phnom Penh: Child Domestic Workers drawing a picture on domestic violence on a child domestic worker

Child Domestic Worker receiving hardressing skill
Phnom Penh: Child domestic workers receiving hairdressing skill training in the center

Child domestic workers receiving sewing skill in the center
Phnom Penh: Child domestic workers receiving sewing skill training in the center

The house owners are usually rich people, high-level government officials, and high ranking policemen or soldiers. They cannot usually be reached by social workers, unless there is intervention from Municipal Authorities. Neighbors of the homeowners are often good sources of information about the situation, and social workers can work with these sources. Local authorities dare not tackle the issue with homeowners.

Workshop on Child Domestic Workers and Village Safety Net
Phnom Penh: Village Safety Net Program Workshop of the awareness on child issues and child domestic worker’s situation

Child Participants joining the Workshop
Phnom Penh: Child participants joining the workshop

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