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Policy Alone Inadequate: Youth Advocate

Facing a rising number of young people who are graduating school, looking for work and entering society in general, the government is drafting an official national youth policy. But advocates from the growing demographic say a policy alone is not enough.

“If we have only the document, but no institution to implement it, it will be useless,” Sun Chansen, president of the Khmer Youth Association, told “Hello VOA” Monday.

Sun Chansen, whose association represents six non-governmental organizations that work with young people, said a national youth council must be created to enforce the policy.

A draft of the 10-point policy was opened for final input from organizations late in April, and the final draft is expected to be brought to the Council of Ministers by the end of the year.

The policy broadly sets out rights and responsibilities for Cambodia’s young people, including economic activities.

A caller to “Hello VOA” on Monday, who gave his name as Kongkea, from Takeo province, said the policy won’t work unless the government addresses unemployment.

“Many young people today are jobless, even though they have a higher education,” he said. “I wonder if they can get jobs without having to pay bribes.”

But Sun Chansen said a body to implement the policy must be set up before questions like unemployment can be addressed.