CAMBODIA: Children's Rights References in the Universal Periodic Review

Summary: A compilation of extracts featuring child-rights issues from the reports submitted to the second Universal Periodic Review. There are extracts from the 'National Report', the 'Compilation of UN Information' and the 'Summary of Stakeholder's Information'. Also to be included will be the final report and the list of accepted and rejected recommendations.
Cambodia - 18th Session - 2014
Tuesday, 28 January, 14:30 - 18:00

National Report

12. In pursuance to the provisions of the international covenants and conventions on human rights ratified by the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Royal Government has made constant efforts to fulfill its obligation in submitting the national reports on the implementation of the relevant instruments to the relevant United Nations (UN) Treaty Bodies as it is due to. The Royal Government of Cambodia has made progress in submitting the following relevant legal instruments to their Treaty Bodies: The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (its first report was submitted on 10 November
2008; and the second report is currently being drafted in 2013), the Committee on Civil and Political Rights, (first report: on 23 December 1998 and the second report submitted to the United Nations in September 2012), the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, (the reports were submitted to the United Nations twice: first, on 5 May 1997, and second, on 16 May 2010), the UN Committee against Torture (its first report : on 17 January 2003, and second report: on 2 February 2010), the Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women ( it has submitted twice: first, on 30 January 2004, and, second in May 2010), the Committee on the Rights of the Child, (twice: first report , on 24 June 2004, and, second report on 3 June 2011).
57. Article 38 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia states that “the law guarantees the rights that there shall be no physical abuse against any individual. Every citizen shall enjoy the right to defense through judicial recourse.” Article 39 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia states: “Individual citizens shall have the right to appeal, to make protest or complaints against any breach of law by state, any social organizations or by any member of such organizations, committed during the course of their duties.”
61. In the Kingdom of Cambodia there are 22 prisons and 4 correctional centers where there are 14,747 prisoners (1,182 female prisoners). This total number consist of 5,661 convicts (347 females), 5,715 culprits (496 females), and 3,371 accused (339 females). There are 21 healthcare management facilities for prisons and correctional centers at municipal and provincial levels which are under the management of the Ministry of Health based on Letter No. 01 dated January 04, 2010. The Sub-Decree No. 86 dated June 18, 2009 on the living conditions for culprits and convicts reflect the attention of the RGC regarding the rights of those who are deprived of their freedom. Culprits and convicts are given daily meal allowance amounting to 2,800 Riels (previously only 1,500 Riels), whereas children of culprits and convicts whose age being less than 6 years old and living together with their mother, receive meal allowance amounting half of culprit’s or convict’s.
63. Rehabilitation centers were established for humanitarian purpose to help the vulnerable people including elders, disables, orphans, and people with mental illness, drug abuse victims, and helpless people. Living in the centers is based on voluntary principle. The centers are designed to help those living on the street; and the centers provide food, health care, vocational training, life skills and other assistances so that the vulnerable people will have sufficient skills while returning back to their community.
64. The Royal Government attaches high importance to living condition of the vagrants or orphans. For this purpose, it has established many social affair centers that are responsible for providing consultation, health care, vocational training to vagrants/orphans who are jobless, homeless, and living in the street and beggars.
65. Article 31 of the Education Law, which stipulates that “Every citizen has the right to access qualitative education of at least 9 years in public schools free of charge. This right has been implemented over the past. The Education Strategic Plan 2009-2013 was prepared under the RGC’s first policy; and it ensures that the children at the age of six can have access to primary schools. This right applies to the vulnerable groups such as disabled children, minority children, child laborers as well.
66. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports promotes a free-of-charge school enrolment program and encourages community, parents and guardians to further understand the importance of education and their respective roles in sending their children to school. The Ministry also provides scholarship to the poor and vulnerable students to have access to primary and secondary education, reduces all kinds of parents’ expense, introduces fast track and remedial class programs at primary schools, and creates skilled literacy as well as post-literacy program.
67. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has adopted Education Strategic Plan 2009-2013 with prioritized policies such as ensuring equitable access to education services, promoting educational quality and efficiency, building institutional capacity to educational officials for future decentralization, accelerating education sector support program towards the attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), along with the vision of a National Plan of “Education for All”.
68. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has designed education programs and systems through introducing a new policy for general education and implement child friendly curriculum, and has encouraged all primary schools nationwide to implement child friendly school policy at primary medium and higher phase. The Ministry also has introduced various education policies which include child friendly school policy, education policy for child with disability, education and health policy, early childhood education policy, national policy for youth development, and technical education policy.
69. The Education Strategic Plan 2009-2013 clearly states that “the Government ensures that every child aged below 6 years old, including vulnerable groups such as children with disability, minority children and child laborers, shall have access to primary school.” The Education Ministry has prepared the fast track program of learning for minority students and built community center for indigenous people.
70. The Ministry has provided primary school scholarship to minority students in remote provinces (such as Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri and Preah Vihear provinces). The Ministry has expanded a bilingual education program for minority students. The policy which supports bilingual education program was developed and it continued to build schools at the very remote areas.
71. The Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training has created an Action Plan to eliminate the worst form of child labor including by strengthening the implementation of law in collaboration with programs and projects of development partners to eliminate child labor and to improve working safety for children under the age of 18 years old.
72. The Ministry concerned has proposed a roadmap to eliminate the worst form of child labor by 2016 and to this end has supported the Municipal and Provincial Departments of Labor to prepare their plans of action in eliminating the worst form of child labor. In addition, the Ministry routinely monitors and inspects child labor at local enterprises, prevents child laborers and reintegrates them into the society.
73. The Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training has developed an action plan with the purpose to strengthen the implementation of laws through joint action with other stakeholders on child labor programs in order to improve the safety of working children at the age between 15 and 18 years old. The Ministry also developed a roadmap that aim to eliminate the worst form of child labor by 2016.
77. The long-term vision of the Ministry of Health is to promote the sustainable development of health sector which will improve the health and welfare of all people as part of contribution towards economic and social development in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Referring to the core value of above vision of the Ministry of Health, priority is placed on the promotion of equitable health rights for all Cambodian people. Progressive implementation of this recommendation has been reflected through the results of health service’s provision under various programs of the Ministry of Health including programs for reproductive health, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS prevention, chronic diseases, and health system strengthening. The increase in national budget allocation in health sector has provided opportunities for the expansion of services and the upgrade of quality of
health sector. There is an improvement in the management of national budget, whereas the use of donor’s fund remains essential and more effective.
85. The Royal Government of Cambodia established the institution and created related mechanisms to promote and protect child rights more effectively. The Cambodia’s National Council for Children is a coordinating institution which provides the Government with recommendations on child-related issues such as living conditions, development, protection and welfare. The Council, consisting of a secretariat and seven technical taskforce teams of joint members, has been sub-structured at the level of all 24 provinces and municipalities and of each ministry or institution. This means that the Council also has a sub-national Council at each province and municipality level. With a view to further combating human trafficking in the country, the Royal Government issued a sub-decree no. 162 on 25 September 2009 to establish a national committee whose role is to combat human trafficking, labor exploitation, and sex trade on children and women. Meanwhile, on 20 November 2009, it has also organized a taskforce, called "Cambodia Commit Task Force", in order to combat human trafficking in the Mekong sub-region, and to work with the UN’s Office in Cambodia on human trafficking and migration.
86. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, in article 31 states that “the Kingdom of Cambodia recognizes and respects human rights as stipulated in the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and together with other pacts and conventions related to human rights, women’s rights and child rights”. Article 48 states that “State respects child rights as stipulated in the Convention on the Rights of Child, especially the right to live, right to access education, right to receive protection during war and the protection against economic or sexual exploitation on children.”
87. The Law on anti-human trafficking and sexual exploitation was officially announced by the Royal Kram no. NS/RKT/0208/005 dated February 15, 2008 to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
88. The Ministry of Justice issued a guideline dated August 19, 2005 on the implementation of some principles in line with the existing local and international laws. This guideline illustrates some legal frameworks of the international convention on child rights and other international laws pertaining to juvenile justice and the protection of criminal victims.
89. The Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training has set up a department that is responsible for child employment. The department developed the National Action Plan of 2008-2012 on the elimination of the worst forms of child labor and is currently preparing a new draft of a National Plan for 2013-2018 which set objectives aimed at eliminating the worst forms of child labor based on three important principles: 1). to prevent children from the worst forms of child labor so that they can receive vocational education, then reintegrate them into the society; 2) to cooperate with the civil society in the fight against women and child trafficking; 3). to promote appropriate work and work safety for children.
90. The Kingdom of Cambodia ratified the Convention on the Rights of Child on October 15, 1992; and consequently the Government has formulated a definition for children as being those whose ages are under 18 years old. Article 38 of the Criminal Code states that the age limited to face criminal charges is from 18 years old and upward. For minors who commit any offenses shall only be punished by way of education, protection and support (article 39).
91. The Kingdom of Cambodia has drafted the Law on Juvenile Justice since 2006, which focused on juvenile delinquency, designating experts to work for children, creating child-friendly legal procedures, and reversing prison sentence for children at each court proceeding. The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Rehabilitation and the National Council for Children have initiated a Law on Child Protection and for this purpose has set up a Working Group on this matter.
92. The National Strategic Development Plan of 2009-2013 outlines the important prioritized policies related to children. For strengthening of education quality, the Royal Government of Cambodia achieved a significant improvement in the implementation of a National Plan “Education for All” through the promotion of equity for basic education for all children up to 9 years. Secondary schools have been established for almost all communes and sangkat nationwide. The Royal Government of Cambodia will continue to implement education strategic plan by providing equal opportunities to all children and youth in accessing the basic education both formal and informal education without discrimination of race, color, gender, language, belief, religion, political will, birth and social status. For health sector, the Royal Government of Cambodia focuses on improving people’s welfare, especially for poor people, women and children. The relevant authorities are currently accelerating the implementation of Health Strategic Plan in order to improve the quality of health service, especially on reproductive health, maternal health and health service for infants and children.
93. In spite of the financial crisis in 2009, the Cambodia’s economy has bound back with the growth rate of 6% in 2010 and 6.1% in 2011. According to the forecast of the Government and other sources, the growth rates are estimated to persist at 6.2% and 7% in 2012 and 2013 respectively. With this trend, Cambodia is on the right track to achieve some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets by 2015. Cambodia has experienced rapid improvement in social indicators after a decade of heavy investment in social and economic infrastructures. Out of the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets, Cambodia already achieved 5 before the 2015 deadline, in the area of promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases and developing a global partnership for development. Cambodia is making progress to achieving universal 9 year basic education and poverty reduction as scheduled.
98. Improving education quality is still not responding to the need of labor market; and developing vocational skills for youth in order to increase their job opportunities and exploring the full potential of Cambodians as well as building future human resources are still a matter of concern for the Government. Specifically, promoting work safety for workers and the poor is still not fully available.
100. The Royal Government of Cambodia introduced the rectangular strategy of stage 3 during its fifth mandate in order to reform each sector deeply, actively, fruitfully and equitably. Based on the above national strategy, the Royal Government of Cambodia is currently continuing to strengthen the rules of law, and promoting and protecting human rights. It is also strengthening and expanding the previous achievements attained through peace, political stability, security and social orders, and improvement of the people’s living standards and welfare.
107. The Royal Government continues to promote the principle “Education for All” by increasing opportunities of receiving equitable education services to all Cambodian children and youth at both formal and informal education system.
108. The Royal Government continues to implement social affairs policies and to improve livelihood of people by upgrading the quality of life. It continues to develop social economy in order to create jobs, employment and income for the people, and to increase wage for civil servants, workers and armed personnel in keeping with the pace of economic growth and the availability of the national budget. The Royal Government continues to strengthen social safety system for the support of vulnerable groups, promotes the roles and status of women in the society and of veterans and former good civil servants, protects and promotes the rights of children and persons with disabilities, as well as creates social welfare for the retirees.
110. The Royal Government also continues to implement gender equality policy by mainstreaming gender in all sectors and programs, increasing the efficiency of social service and justice for victims who suffered from gender violence, providing opportunities for female students to pursue their education until undergraduate and postgraduate along with the provision of quality and effective health and food, and balancing women’s capacity in public and private functions so that they can contribute to the promotion of good governance at all levels.
113. The Kingdom of Cambodia believes that all friendly countries, development partners and other stakeholders around the world will help provide good experiences and technical expertise to the Kingdom of Cambodia in order for it to further enhance the capacity for all Cambodian citizens to better improve human rights and thereby to join the global efforts at advancing the common cause for peace, human rights, democracy and social progress.

UN Compilation

1. In 2011, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Committee against Torture (CAT) urged Cambodia to ratify CRPD (11). CRC, CAT and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) urged Cambodia to ratify ICRMW (12).
2. In 2010, CERD urged Cambodia to consider making the optional declaration under article 14 of ICERD enabling the individual complaints procedure (13). CERD also urged Cambodia to ratify the amendments to article 8, paragraph 6, of ICERD (14). The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) encouraged Cambodia to ratify the Convention against Discrimination in Education (15).
B. Constitutional and legislative framework 
7. CRC urged Cambodia to enact a child protection law and to ensure that the juvenile justice law being drafted is fully incorporated into this law (21).
C. Institutional and human rights infrastructure and policy measures
8. CERD urged Cambodia to establish an independent national human rights institution (NHRI) in accordance with the Paris Principles (22). CRC reiterated its call on Cambodia to establish such an NHRI (23).
10. CRC reiterated its recommendation to provide the Cambodian National Council for Children with more resources (25). CRC recommended that Cambodia adopt a national plan of action for children and increase the budget allocated to social sectors, including education (26).
III. Implementation of international human rights obligations
A. Equality and non-discrimination
15. CRC was concerned about the persistence of gender-based stereotypes. In particular, it was concerned that the Chbap Srey (Didactic Code) which legitimizes the perceived inferior role of girls and women in the society is still taught in schools (38).
16. CRC urged Cambodia to combat discrimination against children belonging to marginalized and disadvantaged groups (39).
17. CRC was concerned that children of Vietnamese origin are still not recognized as citizens, which leads them to live in segregated conditions and leaves them vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation. It urged Cambodia to ensure that such children have effective access to birth registration, identity documents, public education and health care services (40).
B. Right to life, liberty and security of the person
22. CRC was deeply concerned that domestic violence, including sexual violence remains an acute problem. It urged Cambodia to adopt the Prakas of the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence and Protection of the Victims (2005) and set up a child protection system, including a system for reporting and addressing child abuse. 47 CAT raised similar concerns and recommendations (48).
23. CRC urged Cambodia to repeal article 1045 of the Civil Code and provisions of the Domestic Violence and Protection of the Victims Law that authorize corporal punishment, and to enact legislation prohibiting corporal punishment of children in all settings (49).
24. CRC was deeply concerned about allegations that children have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment, including widespread beatings, whippings and electric shocks, in drug rehabilitation and youth centres where some of them had been forcibly placed (50).
25. CRC urged Cambodia to protect children against landmines through awareness-raising campaigns (51).
26. The International Labour Organization (ILO) Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations urged the Government to strengthen its efforts to combat trafficking in persons, including within the framework of the national action plan 2011–2013 (52). CRC urged Cambodia to intensify its efforts to combat the sale and trafficking in human beings, especially women and children (53).
27. CRC was deeply concerned that thousands of children are exploited into prostitution and that rape of children is on the rise. CRC urged Cambodia to implement its laws criminalizing sexual exploitation and abuse; condemn and take active measures against sex tourism; establish shelters for child victims and provide them with rehabilitation services (54).
28. CRC was concerned that around 250,000 children are engaged in the worst forms of child labour. CRC was also concerned that thousands of children work as domestic workers in slavery-like conditions. It urged Cambodia to enforce child labour laws and implement the National Plan of Action on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (55).
C. Administration of justice, including impunity, and the rule of law
6. The Secretary-General noted that the rapid increase in female prisoners had put additional pressure on the prison system to accommodate female prisoners in accordance with the required standards. An additional issue was the lack of facilities to deal with children detained with their mothers (sometimes fathers) (68). CRC urged Cambodia to ensure that the rights of children and their mothers living in prison are respected (69). CAT urged Cambodia to alleviate overcrowding in places where persons are deprived of their liberty, and to improve conditions therein (70).
37. CAT urged Cambodia to establish a juvenile justice system adapted to the particular needs of young offenders. Cambodia should, inter alia, enact the draft law on juvenile justice; develop and implement a system of alternative measures; and ensure that persons below 18 years of age are not detained with adults (71). CRC made similar recommendations (72).
D. Right to privacy, marriage and family life
42. CERD urged Cambodia to ensure that each individual Khmer Krom seeking to affirm his or her citizenship is able to obtain citizenship documents in a timely manner (80). CRC urged Cambodia to guarantee free birth registration for all, regardless of their parents’ status and origins (81).
43. CRC was concerned at the lack of specific mechanisms to assist children in street situations. It urged Cambodia to ensure that these children are provided with services and prioritize interventions aimed at reuniting them into their family (82). CRC urged Cambodia to adopt the Prakas implementing regulations related to the Policy of Alternative Care for  Children and to allocate necessary resources (83).
44. While welcoming the 2009 Law on Intercountry Adoption, CRC urged Cambodia to adopt regulations to implement it; ensure strict follow-up controls with regard to international adoption and prosecute those involved in illegal adoptions (84).
G. Right to social security and to an adequate standard of living
53. In 2011, CRC was concerned that one third of the population still lived below the poverty line and only one fifth of the rural population had access to sanitation (99).
54. The Special Rapporteurs on Cambodia and on adequate housing sent a joint letter to the Government following the alleged forced evictions and housing demolitions in Phnom Penh in 2011. A total of 20 people, including nine adults (of which one with a disability) and eleven minors were allegedly forcibly removed from their homes just after dawn by hundreds of military and gendarme officials, and their homes were demolished (100).
58. In 2012, four special procedures mandate holders raised concern about the alleged forced eviction of families from the Borei Keila community in Phnom Penh. According to the information received, State and private security forces violently and forcibly evicted around 300 families living in Borei Keila and destroyed their homes. Law enforcement officials allegedly arbitrarily detained a number of women, children and other residents who were peacefully protesting (107). CRC urged Cambodia to establish a national moratorium on evictions until the legality of land claims is determined (108). 
H. Right to health
60. CRC was concerned at the limited availability, accessibility, quality and use of health services especially in remote areas, widespread shortage of skilled health personnel and persistent inequalities in access to and use of health care between rural and urban areas (110). 
61. CRC was concerned about the high proportion of adolescents with substance abuse problems as well as problems related to workplace accidents and injuries, HIV, STDs and reproductive health (111).
62. CRC was concerned that infant, under-5 and maternal mortality rates remain high; half of the children under 5 years of age are underweight; an estimated 100 children die every day as a result of preventable and treatable diseases; and there are no free medical services for poor children, including those in street situations (112). CRC recommended that Cambodia expand access to free primary health-care services across all provinces (113).
I. Right to education
63. CRC was concerned that education is still not compulsory; only 1.9 per cent of GDP is spent on education; and education expenditure has dropped since 2007 (114). UNESCO noted that Cambodia had made considerable progress in expanding basic education services; however, both quality and coverage remain areas of great concern (115). CRC urged Cambodia to stop all forms of corruption in the educational system; address drop-out and repetition rates; promote the right of girls to education; promote the quality of education and employ trained teachers (116). UNESCO encouraged Cambodia to intensify its efforts to make basic education compulsory (117).
64. CERD urged Cambodia to consider bilingual education programmes as a means of improving the learning environment for ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples (118). UNESCO stated that Cambodia should pursue its efforts to promote the quality of education and to further expand bilingual education for non-Khmer speakers (119).
J. Cultural rights
65. UNESCO noted that the Cambodian Constitution protects the right to participate in cultural life. Much of the policy work has focused on tangible heritage conservation (120). UNESCO encouraged Cambodia to introduce art education in the school curriculum (121).
K. Persons with disabilities
66. CRC urged Cambodia to effectively implement the Law on Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the 2008 Policy on Education for Children with Disabilities. It also urged Cambodia to adopt a policy for early screening, identification, early intervention and prevention of disabilities; provide basic services for children with disabilities; train more health specialists; conduct mobile clinics offering health services to children with disabilities; and improve the quality of mainstream and special education (122). 
M. Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers
72. UNHCR indicated serious concerns that children of irregular immigrants were not eligible to have their birth registered. UNHCR recommended that the Government take additional steps to ensure that all births are registered without discrimination (128). CRC also urged Cambodia to guarantee free birth registration for all, regardless of their parents’ status and origins (129).
73. CAT was concerned that a large number of individuals have not been afforded full protection in accordance with the non-refoulement principle, including 674 Montagnard asylum seekers who are no longer in Cambodia, and 20 Uighurs asylum seekers who were forcibly repatriated to a neighbouring country. It urged Cambodia to adopt legislation guaranteeing the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, including unaccompanied children (130). CRC, CERD and UNHCR raised similar concerns and made recommendations (131).
N. Right to development and environmental issues
74. CRC was concerned that the regulatory framework on the social and environmental responsibility of business corporations, aimed at preventing possible negative impacts of their activities on children, is not yet in place (132).


A. Background and framework
1. Scope of international obligations
1. Joint submission 2 (JS2) noted that Cambodia has not ratified the two Optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR-OP-1 and ICCPR-OP-2), even though it committed to do so after the 2009 UPR. 2 Joint Submission 7 (JS7) 3 and JS2 4 reiterated the 2009 UPR recommendation that Cambodia ratify ICCPR- OP-1. ECPAT International recommended Cambodia to sign and ratify the third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 5
B. Cooperation with human rights mechanisms
1. Cooperation with treaty bodies
11. Joint Submission 13 (JS13) stated that an Action Plan was developed to implement CRC’s 2011 Concluding Observations. CRC welcomed the Constitutional Council Decision that the courts must consider the Convention on the Rights of the Child when deciding cases, but expressed concern that the provisions are rarely directly enforced. 18
2. Right to life, liberty and security of the person
21. Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children (Global Initiative) reported that there has been no change in the legality of corporal punishment of children since the prior UPR. 42 Corporal punishment is still lawful at home and in alternative care settings. Global Initiative recalled recommendations from CRC that corporal punishment be repelled and explicit prohibition of corporal punishment enacted in all settings, including the family. 43
23. JS13 noted that in relation to relevant UPR Recommendation, the National Sub-Committees on Child Labour have taken major steps to eliminate the worst forms of child labour in several provinces. 48 JS13 noted that in 2010, UNICEF calculated that 11.38 per cent of the total labour force in Cambodia is below 18 years old. 49 JS13 recommended that Cambodia immediately increase monitoring inspections of informal and regular places of work, and prosecute all employers who violate the Labor Law. 50 JS8 recommended that the Government further strengthen its efforts in eradicating all forms of child labour. 51
24. ECPAT International noted the 2008 Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation, especially with regards to the prohibition of child prostitution. It recommended Cambodia to e.g. strengthen the capacity of law enforcement officials who handle cases involving child victims. Special efforts should be made to ensure the provision of adequate services to foreign children. 52
3. Administration of justice, including impunity, and the rule of law
33. JS13 noted that there is still no independent mechanism to receive and address complaints from children concerning violations. The 2009 Penal Code sets the legal age of criminal responsibility at 18 years of age. In practice, police and prosecutors do not adhere to the provisions. There are estimations suggesting that up to 50% of children charged with a felony are treated as adults. Legal aid, provided largely by NGO’s, is particularly scarce in rural areas. Children face the risk of violence at each stage of the process. 69
34. JS13 noted that the draft Law on Juveniles in Conflict with the Criminal Code states that all juveniles under the age of 18 who are in conflict with the criminal code should be assigned specialist staff if deprived of their liberty. The draft also states that separate juvenile courts will be established in every province. JS13 recommended that the Government immediately adopt a Law on Juveniles in Conflict with the Criminal Code that adheres to international standards. 70
7. Right to health
58. JS13 noted that Cambodia has achieved remarkable health gains over the last five years; the maternal mortality ratio in 2010 was 206 deaths per 100,000 live births, compared to 472 in 2005. 121 JS16 noted that the health sector remains severely understaffed and lacks funding. 122 It expressed concern regarding the health of sex workers and LGBT as well as discrimination of HIV positive women and LGBT in their access to health care. 123 It recommended that the Ministry of Health introduce right-based, non-discriminatory guidelines and trainings for health workers to better respond to needs of LGBT and persons with HIV. 124
59. JS13 noted however that the Cambodian Demographic and Health Survey reported that nationally, 40% of children under age 5 are stunted, and 14% are severely stunted. Stunting is largely the result of malnutrition, food insecurity and poor access to health care. 125
60. JS13 recommended that the Government strengthen monitoring in the health system; improve health care provision for minority groups and the rural poor; and enforce the practice of the Professional Code of Conduct for health staff and investigate and punish all violations. 126
8. Right to education
61. FMSI noted that while Cambodia has attempted to improve the provision of education including through the Education Strategic Plan (2009-2013), children with disabilities, ethnic minorities and indigenous children remain highly discriminated in their access to education. JS8 expressed deep concern that education is still not compulsory by law. 127 NGO Education Partnership (NEP) informed that dropout rates continue to be very high in primary and lower secondary education. 128 As outlined by UPR recommendations accepted by Cambodia in 2009, FMSI stressed that Government ensures that education is both free and compulsory for all children for the first nine years of education. 129
62. FMSI noted that teachers, driven by extremely low wages and a culture of bribery, usually demand that students pay an extra fee to attend school –which was the most common reason for children dropping out of school. It noted that although the Ministry of Education has banned informal payments the overall corruption was still a serious issue and that teacher salaries remain significantly low. 130 NEP informed of lack of teaching hours, high rates of teachers being absent and unofficial school closure. 131
63. FMSI recommended allocating additional resources for the provision of education in rural and remote areas, increase the salaries of teachers as well as the national education budget to 5% of GDP. 132
9. Persons with disabilities
64. JS6 133 and FMSI 134 noted that the Law on the Protection and the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PPRPD) was adopted in May 2009. JS6 stressed that the law does not address the right of women and children with disabilities and recommended that the Law should be amended in line with CRPD. 135 JS6 recommended that the Strategic National Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction 2008 – 2015 must include a strategy for protecting persons with disabilities during situations of risks and humanitarian emergencies. 136
65. FMSI recommended that the Government increase its health care budget to help to reduce preventable health problems among children, especially children with disabilities and children in remote areas. 



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