Lack of Alcohol Law and Drinking Age Leaves Cambodian Youths Vulnerable

On one of Phnom Penh’s many rooftop bars that overlook the Mekong and Tonle rivers, Tann Somethea and her friends were enjoying themselves on a recent evening with a few rounds of drinks, as they do several times per week.

“We meet here to chat and have a drink for a stress-free evening,” the 21-year-old university student said, adding the drinks helped her to wind down and socialize.

When asked, Tann Somethea said she was not overly concerned by her alcohol consumption. She said she first tried a sip of whiskey at a family party at the age of 14.

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