CAMBODIA

General information about adolescents

According to the 2008 Census, adolescents accounted for 24.6% of Cambodia’s population. Adolescent males account for 12.6% of the population and adolescent females account for 12.0% of the population.

Health

Sexual reproductive health

According to the Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey 2005:

  • 9% of the never-married adolescents men aged 15-19 who had sexual intercourse in the past 12 months reported using a condom at last sexual intercourse
  • Among female adolescents aged 15-19 who were sexually active in the past year, 1.2% had higher-risk intercourse
  • Among male adolescents aged 15-19 who were sexually active in the past year, 69.8% had higher-risk intercourse, of whom 80.2% reported condom use when doing so
  • Among women aged 15 – 19, 3% had forced first sexual intercourse
  • Among youth who were tested for HIV, 0% of females and 0.1% of males aged 15–19 were HIV-positive
  • Of the 3601 female adolescents aged 15-19,
    • 5% have ever used any modern method of contraception (1.5% pill and 0.9% male condom)
    • 4% are current users of any modern method (0.7% pill and 0.3% male condom)
  • Of the 363 currently married female adolescents,
    • 3% reported having knowledge of any modern contraceptive methods
    • 1% had ever used any modern methods (14.4% pill and 7.9% male condom)
    • 7% were current users of any modern method (7.0% pill and 2.8% male condom)

In 2006, among young pregnant women aged 15–24, HIV prevalence was 0.4%. Nearly half of new infections were occurring in married women, most of who were infected by their husbands[1]

Early marriage

According to the Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey 2005[2]:

  • The median age for first marriage is 20 years of age for women and 22 for men
  • 1% of female adolescents aged 15–19, 10.1% were currently married or in union, 0.8% were separated, divorced or widowed and 89.2% were never married
  • Among the male adolescents aged 15-19, 1.6% were currently married and 0.4% were separated

Adolescent pregnancy

According to the Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey 2005[3]:

  • The age-specific fertility rate reported for adolescents aged 15-19 was 47 per thousand women (urban=32 and rural=51)
  • 8% of female adolescents aged 15-19 had become mothers or were currently pregnant with their first child; 4.8% had one child when 0.4% had two
  • Among adolescents aged 15-19, almost 7% of those aged 19 were pregnant with their first child
  • Of the currently married female adolescents, 44.7% had one child, 3.7% had two and 0.5% had four children
  • 6% of urban girls and 8% of rural girls had begun childbearing before age 20
  • One in five adolescents who had never been to school had begun child-bearing compared with one in 10 who had primary school education and less than one in 20 with secondary or higher education
  • 3% of females aged 15–19 had had one abortion while 0.1% had had three abortions during their lifetime

Nutrition

The 2005 DHS revealed that 11.3% of females aged 15–19 were less than 145 cm in height; 8.6% had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 (overweight or obese).

[1] Situation Analysis of Youth in Cambodia. Phnom Penh, Cambodia: United Nations Country Team, 2009.

[2] Cambodia: Demographic and Health Survey 2005. Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Calverton, Maryland, United States of America: National Institute of Public Health, National Institute of Statistics and ORC Macro, 2006

[3] Cambodia: Demographic and Health Survey 2005. Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Calverton, Maryland, United States of America: National Institute of Public Health, National Institute of Statistics and ORC Macro, 2006

Education

  • In 2005, school enrollments of 15-19 year olds were 50% for urban females and 66% for urban males. However, the enrollments were 41% for rural females and 55% for rural males

Employment

  • The Labour Law establishes 15 years as the minimum age for employment and 18 years as the minimum age for hazardous work
  • Children aged 12-15 can engage in “light work” if it is not hazardous to their health and does not affect school attendance (Cambodia Human Rights Report: Status of Child Labor Practices and Minimum Age for Employment, 2011).