Since the previous blog was mainly focused on the situation of child trafficking and exploitation, violence and abuse and discrimination. Now this blog will be about the actions of ASEAN, government and nongovernmental organizations on the current children right situation in Cambodia.
ASEAN plan of action against child trafficking and exploitation, abuse and violence, and discrimination
ASEAN created a regional plan of action on the elimination of violence against children. (ASEAN RPA on EVAC) with a timeframe work of 10 years (2016-2025)Asian Member States has zero tolerance for any form of violence against Children in their policy, the regional plan of action on the elimination of violence against children is based on actions on national (country) and regional level (ASEAN).
Cambodia is one of the members of the Association of South East Asian, Cambodia signed as well the ASEAN human rights declaration.
ASEAN commission on Women and Children (ACWC) has been create with the main focus to promote and protect women and children rights. This commission developed a five year work plan, with the aim to prevent violence and trafficking against women and children within ASEAN.
Government response and actions against child trafficking and exploitation, abuse and violence, and discrimination
The Cambodian government does not fully achieve the minimum standers of the elimination of trafficking , however there is some slow progress. According to World Vision(2015) there is still no independent mechanism which report warnings about children rights.
The Royal government of Cambodia has ratified the United Nation convention on the rights of child in 1992. The Royal Government of Cambodia created several strategies and mechanisms at national and sub-national levels in order to establish a child protection system in Cambodia. The government established in 1995 the Cambodian National council for Children (CNCC) with the aim to fulfill and design all kind of policies and programs related to the situation of Cambodian children. The main purpose of the council is to create awareness and implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The CNCC has designed three sub-committee, According to Cambodian Rehabitation and Development Board, Council for Development of Cambodia.
- The Sub-committee for countering trafficking and sexual exploitation of children, The first subcommittee created with the support of UNICEF and ILO the National Five Year Plan Against Trafficking and Exploitation of Children. This in corporation with several relevant ministries, provincial authorities, NGOs and International Agencies.
- The sub-committee on Child Labor and other forms of exploitation
- The sub-committee for legitimating child-related laws, is namely focused on creating laws currently the sub-committee is working on an juvenile court. This court will provide drafts of laws to protect children who come in contact with the law (Juvenile Justice law NGOCRC 2013) however this law is still in progress.
NGO response and actions against child trafficking and exploitation, abuse and violence, and discrimination.
Save the Children,
Save the children is an nongovernmental organization active in Cambodia since 1970. However since the Khmer Rouge regime took the control save the children was no active in the country for nine years. After the fell in 1979 save the children could continue their work in Cambodia. Save the children provides guidance for families who need to recover from the political conflict within the country. Save the children is mainly focused on education, child protection, health and children rights governance. Save the children works closely with government partners and local nongovernmental organizations for instance (The Cambodian Center for the protection of Children Rights (CCPCR))
The aim of the organization is to increase the participation of the government and local organizations to identify and reject on child abuse, exploitation and violence issues. Save the children provide trainings of how officials and organizations can protect children in communities and how to influence child protection laws and regulations. Furthermore the organization created health programs to reduce the amount of children dying from simple causes and diseases. For example one of a successful program is the New Child survival program approximately 32.000 mothers and children have accessed to healthcare.
Cambodian League promotion and defenders of Human Rights.
LICADHO is an national organization on human rights in Cambodia, LICADHO protect civil, political, economic and social rights in Cambodia with all the respect for the Cambodian government.
LICADHO promote and create training for politicians and other involved groups based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child. They provide several workshops relevant to people’s lives and the understanding of particular conditions people live in. Moreover they supports all kind of advocacy activities from other NGOs by supply them with information. Nevertheless LICADHO want to reach the community via provincial networks by providing advocacy workshops.
Since the citizens do not understand their rights in their country, LICADHO provide 500.000 examples of the Cambodian constitution in the Khmer language. Which can give the citizens the understanding to fight for their rights.
Within a time period of 2 years LICADHO investigated 537 child rape cases with a outcome of 293 cases that are closed. This amount gives an indication of how slow the criminal justice system is in Cambodia. Since LICADHO keeps an eye on the process there is not always evidence that the court really works on a certain cases. This result that many cases never reach any kind of resolution. This due to corruption or information that has been escaped via all kind of authorities.
The Cambodian Center for the protection of Children Rights (CCPCR)
The Cambodian Center for the protection of Children rights is a local nongovernmental organization. Which is established with the aim to implement the Convention on the rights of children (CRC)
CCPCR is against any form of discrimination, race, religion or gender. The organization children are the future of rebuilding the country and will improve the well being of the their new generation. CCPCR has several objects to accomplish this goal namely, to provide aducaute services to child victims who needs to recover from trafficking, abuse and exploitation and as well children who are sensitive as a target group from poor areas. Furthermore the organization creates a safe and sustainable environment for children via community based programms, safe houses and main shelters to give the children the opportunity to reintegrate in the society. Furthermore, CCPCR works on quality of life by improving the primary need of medical/physical care and vocational skills training in the shelters.
Since CCPCR has several shelters for children who needs to recover or a safe environment. The organization works on educational programs and the reduction of poverty within the community. To deal with the current issues in Cambodia, CCPCR accomplished several programs. The aim of these programs is to eliminate all kinds of child labor and decrease poverty and support economic growth in Cambodia. On social aspect of the program the organization will create opportunities for children to develop their knowledge and skills. This is mainly done by workshops and meetings. More activities are included, such as providing caregivers advice of how to protect their children’s. The goal is to get attention for all kind of exploitation of children and understanding the importance by local authorities, police, teachers and students to prevent the issues in high-risk areas. The purpose of opening shelters could support these activities and prevent human trafficking within the community. These shelters are mainly located in target areas, areas who are sensitive of trafficking. The NGO Save the children mentioned before has financial supported a shelter in Cambodia.
Looking at ASEAN, the Asian Member States, created a regional plan of action on the elimination of violence against children. This plan is set up with guidelines how Cambodia could implement and improve their current situation on children rights. Most NGOs fulfill the gap of where the government does not participate. The NGOs fulfill most of the basic necessities for the citizens of Cambodia. Where actually the government should take care of. For instance educational programs and necessities of public/primary services.
Since the government did not accomplished guidelines for a standardized, nationwide system for the proactive identification of victims of trafficking. Due to one of these insufficient participation of the government, Cambodia is placed on the Tier 2 watch list. (Country narratives) Which means that they failed in making process in holding trafficking offenders accountable and the insufficient collaboration with NGO especially LICHADO which is specialized in this field. The government should definitely, make efforts in investigating and prosecute trafficking violation, furthermore the government should create a equal justice system which also hold officials accountable for complicity in human trafficking.