The 2012 National Child Labour Survey report, launched on November 27 by the National Institute of Statistics, the Ministry of Planning and the International Labour Organisation, provides an interesting insight into the incidence of child labour in Siem Reap Province.
The survey was conducted between February and April in 2012, with interviews held in 9,600 households, and 91 per cent of these were in rural areas. In Siem Reap province, 560 households were surveyed, of which 528, or 94 per cent, were in rural areas.
Nationally, the survey recorded 429,380 child labourers, including an estimated 16,252 child labourers in Siem Reap province, of which 37.4 per cent were female. A large number of Siem Reap’s child labourers – 12,637, or 77.8 per cent – were classified as working in hazardous conditions.
The majority (65.5 per cent) of child labourers in Siem Reap province were aged 15-17 years, while 4,917 (30.2 per cent) were aged 12-14 years, and 683 (4.3 per cent) were aged 5-11 years.
Cambodia’s Labour Law sets the allowable minimum age for wage employment at 15 years, but a provision in the law specifies 18 years as the minimum allowable age for any kind of employment or work that could be hazardous to the health, safety or morals of an adolescent.
The survey recorded that 22,251 children aged 5-17 years (50.3 per cent female) in Siem Reap province were not attending school.
Nationally, 55.5 per cent of all child labourers had either dropped out of school (48.1 per cent) or had never attended school (7.4 per cent). Slightly more than half of all child labourers worked in agriculture, forestry and fishing.
Nearly 20 per cent worked in manufacturing while 11.6 per cent worked in the wholesale and retail trade sector. An estimated 5.8 per cent worked in the construction sector, and about 4.4 per cent worked in the accommodation and food service sector.
An estimated 48.6 per cent of all child labourers were engaged in unpaid family work. Of this total, females comprised 48 per cent (99,848). For 51,264 children, this unpaid family work was in hazardous conditions.
Shaun Kennedy is a freelance consultant hired by the ILO IPEC program to summarise the full NCLS 2012 report.