UNICEF is making a major push into Cambodia to promote Facebook as a forum for locals to understand and be inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and core human rights treaties.
And in particular, the protection of children and the elimination of discrimination against Women.
Facebook is already the most popular social network in Cambodia with 100 percent of internet users having a profile, and two thirds of those are under the age of 24.
Rana Flowers, the UNICEF representative in Cambodia, says “Facebook allows UNICEF to hear and benefit from the views of a much wider audience of young people who we might not traditionally reach.
It also links young people to each other on child rights issues, allowing them to see that they are not alone in their concerns in particular areas, and empower them to exchange and seek solutions.”
She says it not only facilitates meaningful participation, but creates a forum to exchange ideas which inspires creativity and commitment in addressing challenges that children face.
She also says the page explains key challenges in a child’s development and well-being.
Social media is playing an important role in UNICEF’s response to global changes in the field of communication, aid and development. It spreads the message to a large group of young and not-so-young people, who then share it with others.
It also allows young Cambodians to communicate with UNICEF in an environment they feel more comfortable in, rather than through formal meetings. UNICEF hopes such informal interaction will inspire an overall commitment to young people’s issues.