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Border row cuts school access: NGO

081212_05_2.jpg
081212_05_2.jpg

Group says Preah Vihear dispute has displaced 700 children to areas without schools

Photo by:

Tracey Shelton

Children play at Preah Vihear temple in this file photo.

HUNDREDS of children from farming families forced to move from their

communities due to tensions on the Thai-Cambodian border have been cut

off from access to education, says a local development group.

According

to the NGO Street Children Assistance & Development Program

(SCADP), almost 700 children, aged 6 to 16, cannot attend school

because they have followed their parents to live in recently

established villages in Samroang district,  Oddar Meanchey province,

where there are no schools.

"The result is these people's children

have lost their access to education," said Yim Sokhary, executive

director and founder of SCADP.  

She explained that most of the new

migrants who have arrived in Samroang district  this year were drawn to

the remote area because the government provided social land concessions

for poor families.

According to Hun Phoapveasna, Samroang district

deputy governor, the majority of new migrants to his district this year

have arrived seeking an escape from rising tension in border provinces

due to the military standoff between Cambodia and Thailand. He said,

however, that as the situation calmed down, increasing numbers of

people were going home.

Yim Sokhary said that domestic migration in

Cambodia was very prevelant at the moment, with many families

continuing to move from place to place due to lack of employment

opportunities, lack of land or lack of farming work in their native

provinces.

In order to help reduce internal migration, she urged

local authorities to examine the reasons behind migration patterns in

order to take measures to help vulnerable families.

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