Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Alcohol a concern, say children

Alcohol a concern, say children

Nine of the 110 children from Cambodia who participated in the survey conducted by ChildFund
Nine of the 110 children from Cambodia who participated in the survey conducted by ChildFund. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Alcohol a concern, say children

Though a bit young to be socio-political analysts, Cambodia’s children are major believers in the social value of education, are wary of the negative side effects of alcohol on their communities and place a high priority on honest government, a study released yesterday says.

Small Voices, Big Dreams, commissioned by the ChildFund Alliance, is a worldwide survey of the outlook of children aged 10 to 12 in both the developed and developing worlds.

According to the study, 90 per cent of Cambodian children believe that alcohol is the main cause of violence in their communities, while a third believe that the best remedy to violence is improved education. By comparison, only 16 per cent of those surveyed globally chose alcohol as the principle cause of violence, and only 12 per cent saw education as its solution.

“The view that young people have – that alcohol causes violence – is important,” ChildFund country director Carol Mortensen said in a statement. “It is the responsibility of everyone to eradicate violence in the home and provide a safe and nurturing environment for all children.”

Meanwhile, 76 per cent of Cambodian children surveyed chose “honest and responsive government” as their most important priority from a list of 16 issues including things like healthcare, security and education. Only 44 per cent of their peers worldwide shared their view. However, social and political researcher Kem Ley cautioned against reading too much into Cambodian children’s seeming interest in politics, saying that much of it was likely a response to media exposure and older siblings’ and parents’ views.

“Those children that I observe just follow the older ones. I have four children, but my children tend to follow my way. They can accompany me to observe the political parties campaign, but they know nothing about that,” Ley said.

“They like the Gangnam Style of [the opposition’s] number 7, and they like the pictures broadcast through the TV of [the ruling party’s] number 4, but they don’t know anything at all about the politics.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the