The Cambodian government recently introduced guidelines aiming to better protect orphans and children at risk after childcare experts voiced alarm over an unregulated boom in orphanages.
The new standards emphasize that placing children in institutions should be "a last resort", after UNICEF said earlier this year that three quarters of the 12,000 children in Cambodia’s orphanages had at least one living parent.
"At all times, efforts should be made to keep children in families or community-based care, with residential care as a last resort and a temporary arrangement," the newly adopted Standards and Guidelines document states.
Cambodian Social Affairs Minister Ith Sam Heng said the guidelines, drafted with the help of UNICEF and other children’s rights groups, were "very important" in helping to keep families together.
"We hope that these standards will improve the situation of our at-risk children," he said.
Read more about these guidelines here.
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