Gender & Child Labour

Cambodia has a centuries old tradition of processing freshwater fish, where women and men working typically fill distinct, but complementary roles. Women are key for food security and livelihoods of their families: they play important roles in conservation of aquatic resources and the up-scaling of the fish value. However, there is little recognition of women’s role and still lack of enough information and data, and still high prevalence of child labour in the fisheries sector. Women’s greater participation in and benefit from interventions and decision-making, as well as ending child labour, is key to sustainable and inclusive development. Men’s and women’s roles are interdependent and complimentary, in particular in family-based fisheries. 

About 50% of all people active in fisheries are women:

• Primary Sector: gleaning and fishing together with their husbands or in their own boats ; catch of aquatic animals for nutrition; collecting seafood (mussels, crabs, seagrass);

• Secondary Sector: fish processing (cleaning, smoking, fermenting); trade; business owners: incl. financing fishing operations and owning boats;

Women are KEY for food security and livelihoods of their families; they play important roles in conservation of aquatic resources and the up-scaling of the fish value chain; 

Around 29.4% of Cambodia’s Population is under age 15 of which 62.1% are working children (5-14y) in the agriculture sector, incl. fisheries. Children engaged in a wide variety of tasks in the fisheries and aquaculture sector along the Fish Value Chain, like for example:

•  Fishing, pre-trip preparations (Fishing at sea is considered among the most dangerous occupation in the world);

•  Post-harvest activities (processing and marketing);

•  Feeding and harvesting fish in ponds and cages;

•  Boatbuilding and mending nets/gear

Most girls and boys trapped in child labour (70 percent) are “invisible” unpaid family workers

To promote mainstreaming of gender and child labour into planning and implementation for the fisheries sector, FAO CAPFISH in close collaboration with FiA to developed a FiA Action Plan for Gender Equality Promotion and Child Labour Elimination in the Fisheries Sector.