Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kids’ safety improving: report

Kids’ safety improving: report

A student looks out the window at a school for underprivileged children in Siem Reap
A student looks out the window at a school for underprivileged children in Siem Reap last year where the director was arrested for trafficking children of the school. GEORGE NICKELS

Kids’ safety improving: report

Cambodia has improved overall in protecting children from abuse and exploitation, the United Nations’ first Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) found in a report released yesterday, but the Kingdom has to take greater strides to further safeguard children’s rights.

The report – which was a product of a two-day hearing in Geneva in January with CRC members, the Cambodian government and local civil society organisations – assessed the steps Cambodia has taken since 2011 to honour two international treaties or optional protocols: one dealing with the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and another on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

“Every state is different and has its specificities . . . and during the review, we assessed whether Cambodia has the right legal framework, enough resources and enough people to implement our recommendations,” said CRC member Bernard Gastaud.

Between 2011 and 2013, Cambodia recorded 86 cases of sex with a minor under 15 years of age, 24 incidents of child pornography and 12 cases of purchasing child prostitution, according to data sent by the government to the CRC.

The report commended Cambodia in the measures it took to implement the optional protocols like creating a National Plan for Child Development for 2014 to 2018 and adopting the National Plan of Action on Suppression of Trafficking, Smuggling, Labour and Sexual Exploitation.

“The government is making a more concerted effort to tackle the exploitation and abuse of children by creating specific mechanisms to address issues,” said Action Pour Les Enfants director Seila Samlang. “But while you see the political will of the government in these plans, they are not that effective yet.”

Like Samlang, the CRC report noted some areas of improvement such as expediting the enforcement of the national plans, raising public awareness of the international treaties and developing more comprehensive data to help gauge the psychological impact of child abuse.

“Violence against children is a significant problem across the region, as well as globally,” said UNICEF chief of communications Denise Shepherd-Johnson. “Without data, violence against children remains a hidden and silent issue.”

According to Gastaud, Cambodia still faces many hurdles, but expressed its intention to enact the CRC’s suggestions.

“We tried to convince the [Cambodian] delegation . . . to implement our recommendations, and during the dialogue, the state party seemed to receive it well,” Gastaud said. “When they come back for the following dialogue, we will see the gap between the promises, commitment and reality.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,