World Vision yesterday raised concerns about the safety of children in the Kingdom and urged the government to increase protection of children against all kinds of violence.
The concern came after the arrest of a man accused of raping and murdering two children in Preah Sihanouk province last month.
According to World Vision, the government has made strides in protecting children, but it is still concerned because brutal crimes against children continue to arise.
“The recent cases of child physical and sexual violence are just a few cases similar to thousands of cases that are not known and reported,” it said. “A lot of research has pointed out that people who commit violence on children are often known to the children they abuse, including relatives, neighbours or friends.”
“In many cases, the victims have to continue to live near or with those perpetrators,” it added.
Chea Lyda, senior manager for a World Vision campaign to end violence against children, said most victims live in rural areas and that they do not yet have full protection services.
“In some villages and communes, there are no social affairs officers who can provide services to children,” she said. “In fact, there is the commune committee for women and children with members from all sectors […], but they have their core work that make them not be able to fully carry out social work to fully protect children.”
“Another thing is [that] budget is still limited requiring [the government] to increase social affairs workers more in those areas,” Ms Lyda added.
She noted that the government and its citizens must pay attention and participate in preventing violence against children in order to build a safer Cambodia.