Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - National youth policy to be embedded in law

National youth policy to be embedded in law

National youth policy to be embedded in law

A two-year-old national youth policy will form the basis for a new law that experts hope will prevent a slide in young people's morality


The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport’s national youth policy relates to ten main areas including education, employment, public health, environment and morality. This ten sector policy is to be reflected in the upcoming draft law, officials say.

A DRAFT law aiming to formalise youth protection and increase government services to youths is set for passage in 2009. Crucially, the bill would define ‘‘a youth'' as a person between the ages of 15 and 30, which would include about 60 percent of the population.

The draft is based on the youth policy devised by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in 2006, a secretary of state told the Post Sunday.

Chey Chap, secretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), said that the Ministry is determined to have the law adopted next year but warned there was a long way to go.

"The final draft of the law has yet to be written and will have to be approved by experts from abroad as well as NGOs and government departments that work with youth in Cambodia," he said.

Yong Kim Eng, executive director of People Development and Peace Center (PDP-Center), welcomed the government's determination to have the law adopted as soon as possible.

"I am hopeful that the fourth mandate government will have this law adopted as it promised during the election campaign," he said.

"The MoEYS [received technical assistance] to draft this law in 2006 and now this draft is in the hands of the government and they are looking at it again," said Yong Kim Eng.

the government really needs to

respond to young

people’s needs.

Young people are the future  

"[Young people are] important to Cambodia's development and the government is now responding to this," said Yong Kim Eng. "The government really needs to respond to young people's needs. It needs to create entertainment clubs for young people, including sports clubs...so they have places to go to other than bars and night clubs," said Yong Kim Eng.

Mak Samnang, an official from the Kampong Cham provincial Department of Education, Youth and Sports, said it is essential that the government embeds the national youth policy into law to aid Cambodia's overall development.

"Youth is a pillar of this nation and youth morality is slipping. Many young people get hair high-lighted, drink alcohol, take drugs and become gangsters," he said.

"Three main factors in the education of youth are parents, teachers and society," said Mak Samnang.

"If all three factors fail to educate young people, youth morality will decline and the society will be harmed through their bad conduct. The government needs to address this."