In 2004 the photographer Mikel Aristregi travels to Cambodia to document the daily lives of the street children who live in the Capital. There he meets Pich, an 11-year-old boy addicted to glue and meth who ends up entering the rehabilitation center of the N.G.O. Our Home. However, Pich will end up running away from the center just a year later. In 2013 Aristregi goes back to Phnom Penh with the intention of looking for Pich and finding out what has become of him. His search through relatives’ and friends’ testimonies ends up becoming the heartbreaking story of a lost generation consumed by drugs.
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20 percent of the Cambodian population (more than 3 million people) is between 15 and 24 years old, of which 10 percent have some kind of drug addiction. This country currently has eight governmental rehabilitation centers for young drug addicts where more than 45 percent of the inmates (more than 1,000 individuals including children under 15 years of age) are street kids held against their will, without their parents´ or a judge’s consent. The most well-known center is Ongkar Khnom of Phnom Penh, where the fundamental rights of these young people are being systematically violated. In civilian prisons, on the other hand, the average occupancy exceeds 150 percent, where in the best of cases each prisoner is fed with 0.70 USD per day.