Cambodia: TV production to boost youth civic participation

Two important elections are coming up in Cambodia the next three years, which will witness the largest number of first time voters since Cambodia’s historic 1993 UNTAC election. In overwhelmingly young Cambodia, almost 2 in 3 people are under the age of 25.

As the elections draw closer, UNDP is supporting Cambodians to produce a mass media campaign that will empower young adults aged 15-24, encourage them to get out and vote, and get involved in community-level volunteerism and decision-making.

The initiative is being implemented by the BBC World Service Trust -- the BBC's international development charity.

The campaign – to include a TV drama and discussion show, radio call-in programmes, public service announcements, and online and mobile phone messaging – will start in January 2012 and target five million youth, including three million of voting age, ahead of local elections next year and a national election in 2013.
“This campaign will feature young people making a difference in their communities and will help other youngsters realize their own potential,” said Gregory Lavender, Youth Advocacy Officer at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Cambodia.
A small team of writers and researchers are currently scripting 32 TV drama episodes intended to increase basic civic awareness, promote participation in political and local decision-making processes and hold their elected leaders accountable.
In partnership with the BBC World Service Trust, UNDP is providing funding and coordinating the three-year campaign with government and non-governmental organizations that will also take part in outreach activities.
Broadcasts, including by radio, will give young people information to take part in planning meetings at local commune councils and to become positive examples of citizens taking actions for wider public benefit. It will also include important messages about registering to vote and how to participate in elections.
Look out for updates as this exciting initiative gets ready to take off in 2012.