Cambodia has the highest proportion of young people among countries in Southeast Asia. Young people (aged 15-30 years) make up 33% of the population of 14.8 million. The majority of Cambodians (83%) live in rural areas with 60% working in agriculture. Migration to urban areas by young people in recent times has significantly reduced the young rural population. Although the quality of health has risen in Cambodia in recent years, there are still significant issues for young people in terms of reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, STIs and maternal and child health.
UNESCO takes an active lead among the UN agencies in supporting the Youth Development Programs and Policy. UNESCO works closely with the office of the UN Resident Coordinator and Country UN Youth Focal Point Team to support joint youth-related initiatives and to provide on-going assistance to the process of National Youth Policy to get the official approval from highest level of the government.
The final draft of National Policy on Youth Development endorsed by the Legal and Judicial Reform Working Group of MoEYS, Economic Social and Culture Council and Jurist Council of the Council of the Ministers in May 2011 and was approved by the highest plenary session of the Council of the Ministers in July 2011.
In addition, UNESCO works together with the UN Youth Focal Point Team at Regional and Country Offices to support the Key Youth Policy Officials from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training to participate in training courses on Building Effective Adolescent and Youth Investment Programs.