Children of Phnom Penh

Children of Phnom Penh
A short 7 min Documentary on the street book-seller children in the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia


3 thoughts on “Children of Phnom Penh

  1. I live in Phnom Penh, working with orphans on the Riverside, and know the kids in the video.

    You did a great job, especially linking the kids’ work to their home life. You just let yourself down at the very beginning and end by reverting to the tired cliches outsiders repeatedly label Cambodia with. The Khmer Rouge and paedophilia really had nothing to do with your excellent report, or if you do detect a link, it needs to be explained rather than simply assumed. Otherwise, terrific job. If you haven’t done so, I’ll try to ensure the kids (particularly Pisey) get to see it.

  2. Hi Andy,
    Thanks for your comment on “Children of Phnom Penh” but it might be better directed to the authors at where the video is actually hosted. World Street Children News is just an archive where I collect anything to do with street children around the world.

    Insofar as your comments are concerned, I agree completely. While there are always local causes and circumstances that give rise to street children, these vary from place to place. What remains constant on all continents is the the endemic phenomenon of street children. To point the finger at the Khmer Rouge or pedophilia is just chasing red herrings. Mostly it seems to me the root cause is poverty and the global economic system that produces it and perpetuates it. People in rich countries are reluctant to understand that if they do not actively work to change this then they are complicit in its effects. So we see an endless number of scapegoats posited as the causes of children in the streets – the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the fall of communism in Russia, AIDS in Africa, etc, because it is easier than facing the idea that one has somehow been beguiled into participating in this and profiting by it.

  3. seeing this video made my day. i recently returned from a month in pp and got to know many of the children in the video and its good to see they are well. I lived for a few weeks about 15 ft. from piseys home. i would like to further expand upon andys sentiments though. in my opinion the video negatively broad stroked the kids lives by looking at there situation through western eyes. The children I got to know the best were very happy, spent most of the day playing, always had enough to eat, and sometimes even were able to go to school. Where do you think they learned english? Also, they rarely started selling before 11am as there is no one to sell to before that hour and usually returned home around 10. In most cases the parents do have some sort of job, whether it be begging, moto-driver, or food seller. Everyone in the family realizes that its simply a fact that the children have more earning potential. There is no way the parents could support them all, tourists will not give to an old man selling books.

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