To mark the International Day of Families on May 15, Prime Minister Hun Sen called on national and international development partners and the private sector to continue to support families in Cambodia in order to help eliminate poverty.

He said that all sides – the government and private sector at all levels – have to promote the wellbeing of families and continue to increase their family-focused humanitarian actions.

This year, the International Day of Families was celebrated on May 15 under the theme “Social services play an important role in promoting family values”.

“The promotion of culture, peace, solidarity, social services and family harmony is to help eliminate poverty and beat the Covid-19 pandemic in Cambodia,” Hun Sen said.

Social services in Cambodia is a civil service force made up of experts in areas such as social work, education, health, social justice, employment and community organising that help to support Cambodian families and promote socio-economic development and the nation’s culture.

“In a sustainably growing nation, each family has to promote education ... to all members to instil them with good manners ... They have to live decent and dignified lives and contribute actively to the development of the economy, society, culture, political stability and help to preserve the values of the national culture and its traditions,” he said.

He also acknowledged that the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) had actively been providing vocational training to youths and promoting upstanding social morality and the value of women.

He said the work of the CRC had curbed domestic violence and human trafficking and helped ease the hardships of vulnerable people across the country.

Gender and Development in Cambodia (GADC) executive director Ros Sopheap said civil society organisations (CSOs)had also played an important role in providing social services to families in Cambodia.

“We have seen many programmes carried out by civil society organisations ... CSOs have played many roles. We’ve worked to eliminate domestic violence and discrimination. We do this work independently, regardless of government policy,” she said.

She urged the government to commit itself to social justice, especially justice for the poor who are suffering at the hands of the powerful.