INSTITUTIONALIZATION IN CAMBODIA
Out of 5,583,000 children under the age of 18 in Cambodia, one in every 350 children is currently living in a residential care institution. A residential care institution is a place where full-time care is provided to children who have been orphaned and abandoned, or who cannot stay with their biological families or relatives in communities. Surprisingly, 79 percent of these children have at least one parent. Institutionalizing children is a problem as it deprives them of their right to grow in a family-based environment. Over sixty years of global scientific research shows that living in residential care can harm a child’s social, physical, intellectual and emotional development. The issue in Cambodia is not only about the alarming number of children growing up in residential care, but also the lack of efficient and timely inspection systems that monitor the quality of care given to children.