Investing InThe Future
By: Jon Bugge. ( July, 2002 Volume 2 No.7 )

Thirty research practitioners attended the Workshop on Child Labor in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, from Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, the Philippines, Mongolia, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The event was held at the Hotel Juliana, Phnom Penh, on 3rd to 7th June 2002. This meeting was held by The Regional Working Group on Child Labor, which focused on how to improve research into child labor.
It is believed that one out of eight children, between the ages of 5 to 14, in the world are involved in child labor. Those children are suffering from physical and mental enslavement. These situations violate children's rights and continue the cycle of poverty: which in turn stunts economic and social development.

"In Cambodia, most children work in agriculture, forestry and fishery. A few of them work in businesses, factories, and the construction and service industries. There are 55 per cent of children in the age of 5 to 17 who never go to school." said H.E. Ith Samheng, Minister, MoSALVY, on his opening address. He added that the ministry had announced a new push to stop child labor whilst also improving family incomes. Poor families have no choice but to work their children.
The government of the United States of America donated one million dollars for skills training and as direct aid for the families. With this financial assistance the idea is that this will release them from the economic necessity of working their children. The end result will be providing the opportunity for these children to receive an education. The donation focused on three factors: fisheries, rubber plantations, and salt farms. With aims of joining the WTO, within the near future, efforts are being made to improve the social and economic conditions for not only children, but also the general population.