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Hun Sen makes a plea for more child welfare

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
A young boy gets a check-up. Nutrition is a big issue for young Cambodians. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday called on everyone whose work related to children to be conscientious and passionate about their job.
He spoke at the opening ceremony of the Asia-Pacific Regional Early Childhood Development Conference, which is being held over three days in Siem Reap City.
The prime minister directed his remarks at officials who work with children, local authorities, development partners and international civil society organizations.
“Please, pay attention regularly to children, especially orphans, vulnerable children, ethnic children, disabled children, by taking care and looking after them,” he said.
“Provide nutrition, health care and education. Prevent labor abuse, trafficking and any violation.”
About 300 high-ranking delegates from 36 countries from Asia and the Pacific and about 200 national delegates from education and child-related ministries and institutions are taking part.
Mr. Hun Sen said protection and the development of children are matters which need careful attention because children are vulnerable.
And he urged delegates not to forget to talk about children’s rights to live in security.
“If there had been no war and genocide in Cambodia, Cambodia might have no issues of children with malnutrition,” he said.
He said that when the US bombed Cambodia, many children were killed, injured, disabled and left malnourished.
Many children in Indochina including Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia still suffered from difficulties such as low birth weight and cleft lips, he said.
“Have, we considered these matters? We should have a joint voice to condemn those who invade and kill people in other countries,” he said.
Mr. Hun Sen wrote on Facebook that the conference is important for child protection and sustainable development with equity towards 2030.The government aims for all young children to get kindergarten education as a foundation for primary education.
Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron said yesterday that about 400,000 children aged up to five years were engaged in study.
He said kindergartens were divided into public or state kindergartens, community kindergartens, private kindergartens and home-based training.
Mr. Chuon Naron said that only six percent of five-year-olds attended kindergarten in 2000. This figure is now 66 percent.
“The increasing number of children in kindergarten is due to the awareness of parents and extensive campaigns, especially the government’s policy to build kindergartens,” he said.
He claimed that overall, 98 percent of Cambodian children received primary education level while the remaining two percent included about 0.5 percent whose absence was due to migration issues.

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