Cambodia

What we do

Our work in Cambodia includes fighting hunger, supporting women’s rights and climate change adaptation.

STRUGGLING TO REBUILD THE NATION

Since the emergence from genocide and civil war more than 20 years ago, Cambodia has struggled to rebuild the nation on principles of democracy, good governance and respect for civil, social and political rights. High economic growth over the past decade is accompanied by increasing social and economic inequality, and poverty reduction in rural areas has stagnated since 2009.

Challenges

One out of five Cambodians lives below the poverty line of US$ 1.25 per day, but more than half of the population of 15.5 million survive on a daily expenditure of $2.50 or less. This means they are highly vulnerable to shocks and stresses that could push them back into extreme poverty. Cambodia is one of the most food insecure countries in the world. A root cause of food insecurity is loss of land, which has increased in the past decade. Migration, from rural to urban areas or cross-border, is a common survival strategy, which often results in exploitation of both men and women.

Cambodia is extremely vulnerable to climate change, the impact of which is expected to cause increased drought and flooding. Severe flooding in 2011 and 2013, which affected most parts of the country, is likely evidence of this.  Weak agricultural infrastructure combined with low levels of knowledge about adaptation techniques contributes to the vulnerability of rural households.

Corruption at all levels and lack of access to information as well as trust in the legal system are key barriers to transparency and accountability. Whilst public awareness and community-led activism and demands for social justice have been on the rise in recent years, space for civil society engagement and rights claiming is becoming increasingly restricted.

Traditionally seen as subservient in society, women in Cambodia continue to face discrimination in all aspects of life. Gender stereotypes and the power dynamics contribute to high levels of gender-based violence and prevent women’s equal participation in politics and decision-making.

WHAT WE DO IN CAMBODIA

DanChurchAid has been active in Cambodia since the early 1980s. Initially, we worked with reconstruction as well as resettling refugees from the Khmer Rouge era. Since the 1990s, we have been working with local partners and from 2008 in a joint programme cooperation with our sister organisation Christian Aid to improve the livelihoods and resilience of poor rural communities and build a strong civil society, focusing on:

  • dotFood security (sustainable livelihoods, climate change and disaster response and preparedness)
  • dotActive Citizenship (promotion of human rights, women’s empowerment and gender justice)
  • dotRegional Migrants Rights Programme (securing migrants rights through the entire cycle of migration)

Articles about Cambodia

41 international NGOs operating in Cambodia appeal to the Cambodian Government to promote, protect, and respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of Cambodian people.
Mrs. Hang Chenda has been fighting for the right to her land for 19 years. Her story illustrates the hardship that the victims of land grabbing go through but also her remarkable spirit and resistibility.
Kong Srey Nouch has learned to sew and works hard every day to be able to send her children to school. She wants them to get new skills and thereby a chance of a better life, as she did.
With responsibility for four orphans and her old mother-in-law, Oeuk Eang has a dire need of a home-based job. Being able to earn her living from home enables her to provide for her family.
In the fall 2013, a tropical depression caused excessively heavy rainfall and resulted in flooding in many provinces of Cambodia.
After years of pressure from an international advocacy campaign supported by DCA, the European Union has agreed to assess forced displacement claims linked to Cambodia’s booming sugar industry.
Thousands of human rights activists and citizens are marching in the streets of Phnom Penh to mark this year’s International Day of Human Rights and bring attention to human rights issues in Cambodia.
Hope ahead for some of Cambodia's climate-ridden farmers
DanChurchAid has supported victims of land mines in Cambodia and Myanmar for years, and it is therefore only natural also to support victims of landmines in Thailand, that is also contaminated with the forbidden weapons
The Cambodian authorities’ use of armed force against its own people is condemned by DanChurchAid and 180 other organisations working in the country.
Two DanChurchAid partners have been detained by the Cambodian authorities for six days and are held in one of the harshest prisons in the country
One of DanChurchAid's partner organisations criticises the Cambodian authorities for refusing to reveal whereabouts of 23 detained protesters.
Hundreds of Cambodians take the risk and march for human rights in Cambodia.
When Tamul Leuk Village was hit by floods Ms. Hun Kea's house was severely damaged and she lost her most important source of income: fishing. With a decreased income and increasing rice prices she had no means to meet her family's daily needs for food.
Life conditions have improved significantly for My Chhim and her family after the construction of water supply systems in their village. The improved access to water has made it possible for My Chhim to provide her family with enough water and food.
Typhoon Ketsana caused major havoc in eight provinces of Cambodia on September 29 - 30, 2009. ”This is quite unusual. I have never seen anything like this in Cambodia," says DanChurchAid employee Sila Phung, on his return from the affected provinces in northern Cambodia.
Domestic violence occurs frequently in Cambodia. And a combination of customs and culture continue to prolong violence against women. This is the conclusion in a new report from DanChurchAid on domestic violence in Cambodia.
Young women in Cambodia are being given agricultural training in an attempt to help alleviate poverty and unemployment. These underprivileged women are not only learning about the seasonal cycles of various crops but also how to farm livestock. The intension is, that they can help to secure a better future for their families.
DanChurchAid supports 496 families who had their land grabbed by the Cambodian army.
DanChurchAid and the local partners LICADHO and Legal Aid Cambodia have worked together since 2004 to improve the rights of children in Cambodia.
Farmers in Cambodias Kompong Speu province are working to make their villages more resilient to the recurring natural disasters, such as drought or floods, hitting the area as a result of changes in the climate. Meet them in our audioslideshows and videos.
DanChurhAid and Christian Aid have joined offices in Phnom Penh.
DanChurchAid and Christian Aid works with a range of local and international organisations with HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention and care. View list of partners here.
About 1% of the Cambodian population is infected with HIV or AIDS. Cambodia's women are the new high risk group of infection. They get infected by their husbands and are, apart from the health risks, also in high risk of ending up in extreme poverty. HIV is still a stigmatizing disease in Cambodia although; however, it has changed a lot after several HIV and AIDS awareness campaigns throughout the country.
”Couple killed in violent land clearing”, ”Land-rights activist children helt hostage”, ”Villagers attacks machinery in land confrontation”. Everyday similar headlines fill the Cambodian newspapers. Land is one of the most salient issues in Cambodia.
The Cambodian Interior Ministry recently removed four pictures from an exhibition of drawings made by juveniles in Cambodian prisons. The pictures – from the exhibition “Our Drawings” arranged by DanChurchAid – were removed and forgotten. Not unlike one of the artists, 13-year-old Sokhun who has been in prison for almost a year in Cambodia.
1,6% of the population of Cambodia is living with HIV/AIDS. DanChurchAid works with HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, care and support in the rural communities.
Four pictures were removed from the art exhibition "Our drawings" at the National Cultural Center. The drawings are made by children between the ages of 13 and 17 who were inmates in prisons in Phnom Penh, Kandal and Siem Reap provinces. The exhibition was supported by DanChurchAid.
In October 2005, radio director Mam Sonando packs his toothbrush and his tie. The items are in his drawer in his office at the radio station already. Then he turns towards the two policemen who wait for him in the door. They have come to arrest him and the next four months, Mam Sonando spends in jail, charged with defamation of Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen. During the next three months an additional seven jou...
The Khmer Rouge Trials in Cambodia recently moved significantly forward after a seven months long standstill.
Land grabbing
The site smells like burned tires, garbage and dirt. There are no toilets, no clean water, no roads and no houses. Nothing but hundreds of simple shelters made from wooden poles and plastic. Andong, described as the trashcan of Phnom Penh by a NGO worker, is the place where former slum dwellers reside, placed here by the government, with promises of new land, food and money. Over 1000 families are forced to call t...
Cambodian Heng was arrested by the police, when he was 12 years old. They knocked on his family's door one day and took him to the police station.
Nearly 500 children are currently detained in Cambodia’s prisons. For these children, the prisons they call “home” are overcrowded, unhygienic and lacking in basic facilities. Many are detained with adults, they are regularly held in pre-trial detention that exceeds the legal time limit, and many are sentenced to prison time without any regard to their age. A coalition of local and international groups has called...
After 20 years on the run, Kong Pov dreams about settling as a farmer. Through the 1980s and 1990s, young Kong Pov accompanied her husband who was a Khmer Rouge soldier. The battles decided their destinations.
Poor farmers who cooperate and share their knowledge harvest more. That is the philosophy of the Farmer Field School.
Thanks to a big effort from about 700 volunteer refund collectors at this year's Roskilde Festival, DanChurchAid and Roskilde Festival announce the record-breaking result of DKK 1.5 million (approx. € 202,000). The profits are donated to two of DanChurchAid's Cambodian partner organisation, Ponleur Kumar and Friends, who both work on preventing and fighting modern slavery.
Rights-based approaches in Cambodia: International Director of DanChurchAid, Christian Friis Bach, has just visited LWF Cambodia programme in Sleng Village, where rights-based approaches begins to work successfully.
28 years ago Khmer Rouge lost power in Cambodia. Only now the country seems ready to face the confrontation with the leaders responsible for the death of more than two million Cambodians.
DanChurchAid’s partners in Cambodia behind pressure for a legal confrontation with the leadership of Khmer Rouge. Local partner DC-Cam (Documentation Center of Cambodia) has for years been active in the Khmer Rouge Trial and has collected 1.6 million stories from survivors to be presented at the trial.
Human trafficking can be described as a modern-day form of slavery. Trafficking involves the transport or trade of people within and across borders for the purpose of forcing them into slavery conditions. Trafficking is a serious violation of human rights. In Cambodia, DanChurchAid works for the recognition of trafficked persons, especially women and girls, to be seen as victims with rights - in need of protection...
Since 2002 DanChurchAid has cooperated with Roskilde Music Festival about the humanitarian focus and the humanitarian deposit collection at the festival. The money raised from the humanitarian bottle refund collection 2006 will be donated to DanChurchAid partners in Cambodia.
Efforts against human trafficking pays off – but trafficking remains. DanChurchAid in Cambodia focuses on assisting young women subject to trafficking to find alternative livelihoods.
The Safe Migration Project, led by Mith Samlanh/Friends, in Cambodia works to prevent internal and external unsafe migration and trafficking. The main compound for Mith Samlanh/Friends is now being sold!
DanChurchAid cooperates with Scandinavia's largest music festival "Roskilde Festival" about the humanitarian focus "Modern slavery". The profits of the humanitarian bottle deposit collection Roskilde ’06 will be donated to DanChurchAid’s work on helping the victims and prevent modern slavery in Cambodia.
Securing Children’s Rights in Cambodia is a project managed by DanChurchAid Cambodia. The project aims to decrease the level of excessive pre-trial detentions and to work towards ensuring that offenders obtain appropriate punishment for their crimes.
The money from the humanitarian bottle refund collection at Roskilde Festival 2005, which raised more than 400.000 DDK (approx. USD 66,514), was donated in Cambodia last Tuesday.
DanChurchAid is working with gender based violence and women’s rights through local organisations in Cambodia.View list of local partners.
DanChurchAid is working with food security through local organisations in Cambodia. View list of local partners.
DanChurchAid's work in Cambodia includes Food Security and Political Space programmes.
DanChurchAid is working with capacity building in Cambodia. View list of local partners.
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