child rights cambodia prostitution
13 years old, male — The Dream of Angkorwat. (Phnom Penh-Cambodia)

About Us

The ChildSafe Team is a young and flexible and most importantly – compassionate team of Cambodian / Thai / Laotian staff as well as of 1 or 2 expatriate assistants in each country. Our international support offices spread the ChildSafe message in their countries, all on a voluntary basis. To contact the ChildSafe International Coordinator or one of our country offices, click here.

ChildSafe was created and is managed by Friends-International.


There are an estimated 100 million street children worldwide. Friends-International believes that together we can build a world where no child or young person has to live or work on the streets.

Since 1994, Friends-International has been actively working towards this, by:
  • Developing an international network that provides the highest standard of services for street children and youth, their families and their communities to encourage them to become productive citizens of their countries (The Street Children Network).
  • Involving the entire society in protecting vulnerable urban children and youth from all forms of abuse (ChildSafe campaign).
  • Incorporating an active social marketing component into its programs, promoting an effective and sustainable developmental approach to Friends-International's work
  • Ensuring regular and effective monitoring and evaluation of its work to ensure that all Friends-International projects become best practice models.
Street Children

Friends-International works with three types of street children:

Street Living Children: children who have completely cut ties with their families and have made the streets their home.

Street Working Children: children who are working on the streets but have kept ties with their family and return home either regularly or irregularly. Street Families: children who are living with their family on the streets.

Friends-International works with children aged between 0 and 24 years of age. It is one of the few organizations that work with the 16 to 24 age group.


Friends-International first started working with street children in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 1994. The initial project was called 'Friends' or 'Mith Samlanh' in Cambodian.

Friends-International supported the development of this organization to become a regional good practice model for working with street children. In 1999 Mith Samlanh was localized as a Cambodian Non Government Organization and Friends-International continues to provide the organization with on-going technical support.

Because of the success of Mith Samlanh and its truly holistic approach to street children, an increasing number of organizations and countries became interested in the work carried out by Friends-International. At the request of various international organizations (UNICEF, Inter-American Development Bank), Governments (Government of Lao PDR and Thailand) and local organizations, Friends-International has now branched out across South East Asia and beyond in Honduras.

In order to provide quality services to the children, Friends-International's work (either directly with children or with partner organizations) also includes:
  • Children at risk of becoming street children (children living in squatter areas, migrant children, children affected by AIDS).
  • Parents of street children: providing sustainable income generating activities for them so that their children do not need to beg or work on the streets.
  • Communities where street children live including local authorities, extended families, teachers and local service providers, to extend the support network available to them.
  • Other urban youth groups that have close interactions and impact on street children (gangs, drug users).
2007 and beyond

Friends-International will continue to develop its projects:

The Street Children Network:
Expand the local and international network of organizations and services allowing it to provide and improve direct services to an additional 500,000 children across the world.

An improved social marketing approach will allow for the expansion of the campaign in target countries and develop an international campaign designed to improve the overall protection of children.

Social Marketing and Communication:
The development of this team will improve both the internal and external communication of the organizations and partners and will reinforce the quality of our work by using innovative social marketing strategies.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Research:
A special team will be created that will provide all projects and teams will regular feedback on their performances and give overall information about street children and issues they are facing.

For more information, visit us at or email us at