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About Cambodia

Cambodia is located on the Southeast Asian peninsula between the southern part of Vietnam and Thailand. It is a primarily agricultural country in which people depend on farming and fishing for their livelihood with approximately 70 — 80% of the population living in rural areas.

Cambodia's population is approximately 14 million, comprised of ethnic Khmer and minority groups. Most of Cambodia's population is Buddhist, with a sizeable minority Muslim group and indigenous people in the northeast.

Internationally, Cambodia is perhaps best known for its ancient temple complex of Angkor Wat — the largest religious monument in the world — and conversely, for the brutal Khmer Rouge regime of 1975-79, that resulted in the deaths of at least 1.7 million people.

Cambodia was an underdeveloped country before the Khmer Rouge regime. However, the destruction of all social, health, educational and financial systems by the Khmer Rouge had a devastating effect that is still felt today.

Human rights abuses remain prevalent in Cambodia. Crimes against women and children — such as rape, human trafficking and domestic violence — not only continue, but, in some cases, appear to have increased over time. Problems with governance remain one of the greatest hindrances to realizing respect for human rights. The governance system often fails to punish crimes, and perpetuates other abuses due to corruption, impunity for the powerful and a lack of political will to reform.

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