Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Workshop highlights efforts to improve children’s welfare

Workshop highlights efforts to improve children’s welfare

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Social Affairs Minister Vong Sauth said in the conference aimed at addressing issues surrounding the welfare of children yesterday. Pha Lina

Workshop highlights efforts to improve children’s welfare

A conference aimed at addressing issues surrounding the welfare of children kicked off on Monday in Phnom Penh.

The three-day conference, co-organised by the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) – featured speakers representing various organisations from around the region.

The meeting’s attendees were made up of delegates from 21 Asia-Pacific countries. They discussed implementing key strategies to end violence against children across the health, social welfare, education, finance, and judicial sectors.

Unicef East Asia and Pacific Regional Office director Karin Hulshof said children remained susceptible to violence in their communities and schools – all of which, she thought, supposedly provides protection and a safe place for the “victims” – as well as from the internet.

“One in four children worldwide are abused by their caretakers,” said Hulshof, citing strategic guideline released by WHO in 2016.

A publication entitled Inspire, comprised seven strategies for ending violence against children. Each is underpinned by strong or promising evidence of success in high-income countries, with growing evidence that they also work in low- and middle-income countries.

Inspire mentions that up to one billion children have experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence within a year prior to its release, according to a report estimation.

Hulshof applauds Cambodia for being the first country in the region to conduct a comprehensive national survey to address children’s exposure to violence.

The 2013 countrywide survey revealed that more than half the children in Cambodia are physically abused, which caused the government to create child-safety commitments for various ministries.

Social Affairs Minister Vong Sauth said Cambodia had implemented a national action plan to combat violence against children.

“The Cambodian government has adopted a five-year multi-sectoral and interministerial plan to address violence against children in compliance with international policies and practices,” he said, referring to the long-awaited Action Plan to Prevent and Respond to Violence Against Children which was unveiled last year.

“Cambodia would like to share experiences and good practices in mitigating violence against children. So far, we are leading in the region for having conducted an evidence-based survey to determine the broad scope and impact of this issue,” he said.

However, Sauth acknowledged that the Kingdom is struggling with resources in responding to and preventing children’s exposure to violence.

“Cambodia still faces some problems amid the implementation of the action plan, such as a lack of a systematic mechanism, low human capacity, and limited financial resources to protect the children,” he said.

He said the full realisation of the plan lies not only with the government but also with every citizen who has responsibilities to children.

“Solving discrimination and abuses of children, under any circumstances, won’t be effective without the engagement of all relevant stakeholders."

“I welcome the engagement of international NGOs, civil society, teachers and parents as they are the potential forces to combat violence against children,” he said.

Last month, the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation released two roadmaps to reform the Kingdom’s child welfare system in collaboration with Unicef.

MOST VIEWED

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They