frPropose a project

Contributing to the socio-professional rehabilitation of detainees using effective multimedia educational services 

Progress stage
Jul 2023 to Jul 2025
  • Cambodia
  • Education
  • Jul 2023 to Jul 2025

The NGO Sipar, in partnership with the association Passerelles Numériques, the Prison Department, the Ministry of Education and the National Employment Agency will pilot the development of new educational services in 7 prisons in Cambodia, by transforming existing libraries into Multimedia Educational Centers (CEM) to prepare people in detention for their socio-professional rehabilitation. This 3-year project entitled "Education in Prison" is in line with the national library network project initiated by Sipar and the General Department of Prisons in the 28 prisons across the country since 2012.


As of 2023, 38,000 people are detained in Cambodia's 28 prisons, making its prison population rate (223 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants) the second highest among the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), just behind Thailand (411 per 100,000) and above the global average rate (145 per 100,000). The prisons are overcrowded, which severely affects their conditions, and ever more so since the Cambodian government has launched an anti-narcotics campaign in 2015, resulting in a 60% increase in the number of people in detention between 2015 and 2021.

70% of detainees are under 35 years old and have little educational background, since over 50% of them have not been enrolled beyond primary school. The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules - 2015) state that prison administrations must provide prisoners with the means to acquire the knowledge and skills to enable them to continue their education, which is compulsory for illiterates and young people. However, no national scheme is in place, and existing initiatives are lacking, according to Sipar.


This project involves transforming the libraries of 7 prisons into Multimedia Educational Centers (CEM), by installing a digital laboratory equipped with 8 computers. Educational and interactive content will be made available and can be accessed offline via a personal account.

The course's content and learning methods will be structured along two tracks: individualized learning courses, based on the learners' length of detention, level of education and aspirations, and customized programs, divided into short sessions combining digital tools, audio-visual and printed materials, as well as individual and group sessions.

The program's content is diversified, and includes primary and secondary level courses, foreign languages, digital skills and overall preparation for professional reintegration. Learning methods combine video training on computers with interactive tests, printed teaching materials, group sessions and tutoring sessions led by trained supervisors.

FID funding will be used to purchase and install the digital and audiovisual equipment needed to set up the 7 Multimedia Education Centers. It will also be used to train prison officers and contractors in charge of supervising learners.

Expected results 

The aim of the project is to measure the effects of the training program and the digital tools provided to detainees on:

  • the improvement of prison conditions
  • the contribution to rehabilitation best adapted to the socio-economic context of the inmates
  • the reduction of risks of subsequent crimes
  • the improvement of the quality of life of ex-prisoners and their families.


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