The study, “Child Protection and Education Needs for the Children and Adolescents of Phnom Penh’s Urban Poor Communities,” examines child protection risks faced by preschool age children (3-5 years old) and adolescents (10-14 years old) and determines the interconnectivity between such risks and education. It also seeks to identify bottlenecks and enabling factors that facilitate or constrain their access to quality education. Existing services or gaps in services related to child protection and education needs as well as capacity of the government and CSOs in providing such services are also examined in this study.
Findings from this study show that children and adolescents of Phnom Penh’s urban poor communities face multiple risks and deprivations triggered by poverty. The report shows a strong interlink between poverty and exposure to various risks. With parents or caregivers having to devote most of their time toward earning an income, there is little time left to provide a proper care for their children. Coupled with their limited understanding on proper care for children, this results in the family’s reduced ability to protect children from risks, send them to school, and ensure they receive nutritious diet, as well as other essential services.
The findings highlight that proper parental care and more frequent interactions between parents or caregivers and their children is key to ensuring that children are protected from risks and that they receive basic services. Interventions that promote proper parental care and their closer interactions should be seriously considered to address most of the issues found in this study.