Nightlife Venue Closures Mean Longer Days, Less Income for Workers

Since Cambodia turned off the neon lights of its nightlife venues in March, as the nation’s Covid-19 cases rose, Ouk Sothea said she has struggled to find a new job with the same stability as her nightly waitress shifts in a beer garden in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district.

Sothea, a 25-year-old single mother, said she has been picking up any daily job she can just to pay for her 15-square-meter rented room and feed her four children.

“[My] income is very small, brother, sometimes 10,000 riel, 5,000 riel [per day], and sometimes [we have] no food,” she said. “Some days, we have it in the morning, but nothing in the evening. Now, there’s no milk for my child, just rice porridge.”

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