Measured by both income and human development indicators, Cambodia is among the poorest countries in the world. It is estimated 36% of the population lives below the basic needs poverty line. This means owning no basic tools for survival such as mosquito nets to protect against dengue fever or malaria or simple utensils to cook from. The relatively high prevalence of HIV/Aids in Cambodia is an additional challenge to the current human development situation. On the outskirts of its capital city, Phnom Penh, many street children search for recyclable materials at a local garbage dump, children play in an area that surround a nearby recycling plant. The average population is under twenty years old. Although the details differ from person to person, the general stories of their lives do not. They are all living in poverty and many families are no longer intact, death being the most frequent cause. Many of the children are orphans who have lost parents to AIDS, land-mines, drugs or prostitution. With nowhere to turn and no social safety programs in country many end up on the streets and garbage dumps working to survive.
Photo documentary story / Photojournal by Canadian photojournalist James Helmer (Hits: 122945)
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