As International Children’s Day and the World Day Against Child Labour draw near, Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on ministries, institutions and local authorities to prevent violations of children’s rights and to take action to protect children from all forms of violence while promoting education.
The appeal was made in a letter on Thursday to mark the 69th anniversary of International Children’s Day on June 1, the 17th World Day Against Child Labour on June 12 and the 2018 Cambodian Children’s Day.
Mr Hun Sen said children were indispensable human resources for future national development. Child protection was multi-sector work that required all stakeholders to pay close attention to its implementation, he said.
Each stakeholder has a big responsibility in their own field of work to promote equality in education and training, promote social welfare for children and strengthen the prevention of violence against children.
“Ministries, institutions, local authorities, communities and all people have to take part in safe village and commune policies,” he said. “Especially, they should take measures to protect children from all forms of violence and educate children about defending themselves against abuse and threats.”
“Children should be made aware of how to report abuse to authorities or people who look after them,” he added.
Mr Hun Sen instructed authorities to continue to raise awareness and disseminate information about the prevention of child labour in all economic activities.
They should strengthen child labour inspection measures and find appropriate solutions to prevent child labour, and pay attention to children who are not educated or drop out of school and urge them to get an education, he said.
Mr Hun Sen highlighted the importance of increasing the awareness of people in identifying child abuse, raising awareness about the negative impact of abuse and giving children and families the courage to report abuse.
Licadho human rights monitor Am Sam Ath supported the Prime Minister’s call, but said respect for children’s rights had not improved yet, especially in the case of sexual abuse which required more attention.
“We see it happening continuously,” he said. “So we welcome the statement from the Prime Minister.”
Mr Sam Ath said Licadho planned to collaborate with communities to celebrate Children’s Day and to request holding a day for pregnant women and women with children living in prison on June 1.
This would help them better understand child rights and prevent child abuse, he said.
On Saturday, Environment Minister Say Samal and officials organised Cambodian Children’s Day and International Children’s Day in response to the government’s efforts to protect children.
The ministry said environmental knowledge was a resource that children should receive from the start of their development to gain a willingness to participate in environmental protection, biodiversity conservation and human welfare.