Twenty-four civil society organisations have called on the government and relevant authorities to pay more attention in preventing harassment, sexual abuse and gender-based violence during 14-day quarantine and in areas under lockdown.
In a joint statement released on April 18, the CSOs – including the Health Association of Cambodia's (RHAC), Cambodian NGO Committee on CEDAW (NGO-CEDAW), Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR), Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (COMFREL), among others – quarantine and lockdown measures can lead to abuses if not closely monitored.
"While quarantine measures are important to curb the spread of Covid-19, they can also have psychological and social consequences.
“Women and children are also at a risk of abuse in quarantine centres or at home in lockdown areas, which may be conducive environments for gender-based violence due to a lack of understanding and limited intervention by authorities,” the statement said.
LGBT group are more likely to suffer from "stigma and discrimination" as well as abuse in quarantine facilities, it said.
The group urged the relevant authorities to increase vigilance in lockdown areas and quarantine centres and to not tolerate any forms of violence but instead bring them to justice.