Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Child safety project launched

Child safety project launched

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Chun Vat, Secretary of State at The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications speaks at the launch of an online child protection project on June 28. Heng Chivoan

Child safety project launched

The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications found about 400,000 cases of child sexual abuse online in Cambodia in 2021, more than double the number reported in 2020. It called on all public and private actors to work together to prevent them.

The report was presented at the June 28 launch of the “Promoting the Participation of Technology Companies in Online Child Protection” project. 150 representatives of ministries, technology companies, UNICEF and NGO were present at a June 28 workshop.

Director-general of Information and Communications Technology at the ministry Neang Mao said his team was exploring the possibility of integrating child protection policies into the operation processes of technology companies and content creators.

He said the project was implemented to respond to the growing dangers on the Internet to children and as part of Cambodia’s readiness to build a digital economy and society.

He said online child abuse increased significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has changed the lives and education of Cambodian children.

He said that recently, there has been an increase in pornographic trafficking activities on social media in Cambodia, just as there has been across the internet. He said that many large tech companies around the world are taking preventive measures, such as using virtual intelligence to scan and identify victims, perpetrators and locations, to end the practice.

“The involvement of the private sector, especially technology companies and guardians, is very important in curbing the spread of sexual abuse cases and protecting victims,” he said.

Ben Wildfire, UNICEF country representative in Cambodia, said that UNICEF conducted a study of online child abuse in four ASEAN countries, including Cambodia, in 2019.

He said that most of the children used social media for communication, entertainment and education, and that children of both sexes who used the internet were being sent pornography by strangers, or videos and other content related to sex abuse. He added that the risk increased during the Covid-19 as children spent time online learning.

“All stakeholders, whether from the private or public sectors or NGOs, must continue to work together to ensure that children benefit from safe use of the Internet. The government must also respond to these concerns,” said Wildfire.

Chun Vat, ministry secretary of state, said the project is an important one, and a new step in giving Cambodian children the opportunity to use the Internet safely.

He said the protection of children online is important for Cambodian society now and in the future, especially in the context of Covid-19, when so many students were force to spend more time online.

“The risk of cyber-bullying and sexual abuse is alarmingly high, so it requires immediate intervention, as well as more strategic long-term consideration,” he said.

Technology companies and social media influencers who participated in the workshop said they would use their platforms to share details of the risks and would create content that raised awareness of online child abuse.

Deputy secretary-general of the General Secretariat of the National Council for Children Sambath Sokunthea said that she was very pleased that the issue is being addressed by the relevant ministries and NGOs, and that the private sector is also involved.

“The government, especially the National Council for Children, have done a lot of work in regard to online sexual abuse. We have an inter-ministerial technical working group and other stakeholders working on this,” she said.


  • Ministry orders all schools, public and private, to close for SEA Games

    From April 20 to May 18, all public and private educational institutions will be closed to maintain order and support Cambodia's hosting of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games, said a directive from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Cambodia will host the

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to

  • Angkor Beer strengthens national pride with golden new look and fresher taste

    Angkor Beer – the "Gold of Angkor" – has a new look, one that is more stylish and carries a premium appeal, as well as a fresher taste and smoother flavour, making it the perfect choice for any gathering. Angkor Beer recently launched its new design, one

  • PM urges end to ‘baseless’ international Ream base accusations

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urges an end to “baseless” foreign accusations surrounding the development of the Kingdom’s Ream Naval Base, as the US has consistently suggested that the base is being expanded to accommodate a Chinese military presence. Hun Sen renewed his calls while

  • Khmer ballet documentary debuts April 1

    A new documentary, The Perfect Motion, or Tep Hattha in Khmer, will premiere to the public on April 1. The documentary film follows two intertwined storylines: the creation of a show called Metamorphosis by the late Princess Norodom Buppha Devi (her very last production) and the

  • Water supply authority assures public shortages over early ‘24

    The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) asked for understanding from Phnom Penh residents in some communes where water pressure is weak. They assured residents that all supply issues will be resolved by early 2024, but have suggested that residents use water sparingly in the meantime.