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Cambodia seeks to curb youth sex on St. Valentine's Day.

PHNOM PENH, Feb. 9 Kyodo

Cambodian authorities have launched a publicity campaign to curb sex among young people and students during St. Valentine's Day celebrations as the government seeks to limit unwanted pregnancies among young girls.

Sivann Botum, secretary of state for Women's Affairs, told Kyodo News that the ministry has produced a 30-minute video aimed at educating youth on the meaning of St. Valentine's Day within the context of the Khmer culture.

''Some young people do not understand the meaning of St. Valentine's Day, and they date and spend their time together in hotels and guest houses,'' she said.

Celebrations of St. Valentine's Day on Feb. 14 have become increasingly popular among the nation's youth and some students skip classes to go on a date.

Vendors flock to the vicinity of schools to sell flowers and St. Valentine's gifts.

Sivann Botum said the video features episodes on how to spend St. Valentine's Day, including one in which students hand food to their retired teacher as a way of honoring their loved ones.

To discourage students from skipping classes on Feb. 14, some schools have scheduled examinations for that day, Sivann Botum said.

Authorities have also banned vendors from selling flowers and gifts near schools around St. Valentine's Day, she said.

The Cambodian media are filled with stories of sexual misconduct by young people on St. Valentine's Day, prompting warnings from social critics over youthful sexual exuberance.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Feb 13, 2012
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