ACTED has been present in Cambodia since 2009, with a coordination office in Phnom Penh.
Our current activities in Cambodia focus on learning and training sessions for marginalized youth in the Prey Veng province and protection programming provided to vulnerable women. Projects are carried out with local communities to address labour market difficulties. ACTED also implements prevention and awareness-raising activities to support workers' rights in various sectors such as hotels and tourism.
Despite Cambodia’s achievements in terms of economic development, over the past two decades, and the significant reduction in poverty rate to 13.5% in 2014, increasing inequality remains a major challenge. Wage inequalities are widening, especially between the urban population and the poorer populations living in rural areas. Additionally, the country also faces gender-based violence, which has already claimed many victims.
Cambodia is experiencing a demographic boom, with 65.2% of the population under the age of 30 and an estimated 300,000 young Cambodians entering the labour market every year. However, these young workers often do not have the required skills to meet the needs of the labour market. Therefore, many marginalised and poor young Cambodians are working in precarious conditions and are subject to different forms of exploitation in their workplaces. Consequently, it is difficult for them to break the poverty circle.
ACTED is actively working with Community Learning Centres (CLCs) to provide youth vulnerable populations free access to literacy and vocational training. Along with local partner Khmer Youth Association, ACTED set up four new Community Learning Centres in Prey Veng. They incorporate a self-sustaining model and capacity building training for learning centres management. ACTED also provides technical support and training materials to five government-run learning centres. By reinforcing local communities’ capacities to address their own needs, ACTED is ensuring sustainable and long-term solutions for inclusive economic growth in Cambodia.
ACTED also pursues its work to reduce the risk of sexual and gender based violence against entertainment workers through a peer education system targeting businesses and benefiting over hundreds of women working across the capital. Additionally, ACTED continues to work with employers and employees in the hospitality sector to ensure a better compliance with the country’s labour law and improve social protection for workers.