This paper will consider the position of children in conflict with the law and the role that can be played by international law and standards in developing an effective system of juvenile justice in Cambodia. It thus examines some of the key obstacles to developing a juvenile justice system in that country, including a weak and corrupt legal system and wider problems of child rights violations. It will also highlight some of the improvements that have slowly emerged in the past eight years in large part as a result of the work of local and international NGOs.
On a wider level the paper examines the role that the international community can play in facilitating legal and institutional developments in post-conflict countries. In particular it will reflect on the role that the development and human rights organisations have played in Cambodia in recent years in attempts to assist legal and criminal justice reform.