Siem Reap is home to one of Cambodia's greatest tourist attractions, the Angkor temples. The over 100 temples were built between the 9th and the 13th centuries and were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The region was affected by decades of civil war and political unrest but more recently, tourism has emerged as a means to economic recovery. Many families also live off agriculture, with rice being the main crop. Most of them work as seasonal day labourers, where work is irregular and badly paid.
Since 2002, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Siem Reap.
In Cambodia, nearly 18% of the population lives below the national poverty line. A very high percentage do not have access to safe drinking water or a sanitary toilet.
This lack of basic infrastructure, as well as food insecurity, has a negative effect on the health of women and children in particular. Children suffer from malnutrition and a significant number are underweight and stunted. The under-five mortality rate is fairly high: deaths are often caused by water-borne diseases and respiratory infections. Women's health is also affected: for example, the rate of anemia in the region is higher than in other parts of the country.
In 2014, nearly 80,000 internal and external migrants were estimated to be living in the province of Siem Reap - around 7.3% of the population. Over a quarter of all internal migration is from rural to urban areas, which has led to significant growth in cities. Men who migrate work as construction workers, drivers, business owners and white-collar professionals. Women tend to work in jobs with lower pay such as garment or domestic workers.
While some children move with their parents, others are left in the care of relatives. They are more likely to drop out of school to work themselves, or to help out with household chores.