Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Direct beneficiaries
300 children and 600 parents and other relatives

The Siem Reap Province is a region located in the northern part of Cambodia, not far from the temples of Angkor Wat. In spite of the area’s great tourist development, its inhabitants are among the poorest in Cambodia. This leads many to migrate, breaking family ties and sometimes leaving children in situations of extreme vulnerability that may lead to child labour. Despite the legal working age being between 12 and 18 years (depending on the type of work), numerous children start working much earlier especially in this area, in sectors such as catering, tourism and, above all, the entertainment industry. For many, talent and passion for the arts turn into exploitation and dropping out of school.

In 1999 CIAI started its work in support of these children. Through the Arts School, which has been active for around 10 years, CIAI has promoted the rediscovery and study of traditional arts and the dissemination of a fair work culture for child artists. The Tlaitno (“Dignity”) Artists’ Association developed from this experience; it promotes Cambodian folklore through its shows and informs future generations regarding the culture of legal work.

Effectively contributing to the elimination of the causes that prevent children from enjoying their rights begins with access to adequate training. This is the first step towards inclusion.

What we want to achieve
Children who regain their right to be children.
Children who are educated and thus aware of their rights.
Children who develop their talent without risking exploitation.
Families and communities who are sensitised and aware.
Institutions which play an active role in protecting children’s rights.

What we do
School reintegration and support for around 50 children who risk dropping out of school.
Providing families and communities with information and awareness raising regarding fair work and the risks of child labour.
Promotion of a fair work culture through monthly meetings that involve students and school bodies (teachers, school councils).
Dissemination of art and music in schools, with a view to preserve the Khmer cultural heritage and promote schools as places of inclusion and participation.

Tlaitno (meaning “Dignity”), Artists’ Association