The Cambodia National Council for Children yesterday launched a nationwide drive to get the public to actively participate in efforts to tackle child abuse.
The council will distribute leaflets and posters stressing the need for the community to work together to protect children and also educate the public on the laws and penalties on all forms of abuse.
Nhep Sopheap, CNCC secretary-general, said Cambodia has a number of laws and mechanisms to protect children against violence, sexual exploitation, and sexual harassment.
She noted that efforts to tackle the problem requires the participation of parents, guardians, teachers, monks, local officials, and all citizens, not just the relevant authorities, including the ministries and the state institutions.
“Child abuse, such as exploitation of violence and sexual harassment in Cambodian society, remains a concern,” Ms Sopheap said. “The council is distributing leaflets and posters warning of penalties for such crimes and also appeals to those who come across abuses to report to our hotline 1288 or phone 092 311 511.”
She noted that despite efforts to highlight the issue to the public, child abuse still takes place in the city and provinces.
“I appeal to officials tasked with the job to actively distribute the leaflets and posters in their communities to educate the public,” Ms Sopheap said. “I hope that the messages will help to reduce child abuse nationwide.”
She noted that the council also is preparing a draft national strategy to further protect children and promote their rights from 2019 to 2030.
Ms Sopheap said the main strategies involve strengthening the protection of children, promoting education on their rights and strengthening policies to improve their rights at the provincial level.
Tes Sophal, a community representative of Stung Meanchey commune, yesterday said that he frequently visits residents to educate them about child abuse.
“We advise the parents on how to protect their children, such as not leaving young ones at home alone,” he said.
General Yok Sokha, National Police deputy chief, recently said that training courses are being held to strengthen its officers’ ability to investigate child abuse cases including arresting suspects.
“As police and anti-trafficking police we have to thoroughly investigate offences in order to find the perpetrators to be punished according to the law,” she said.
Earlier this month, the Child Protection Unit reported that there were more than 1,400 child homicide cases recorded in the Kingdom since 2013.
CPU executive director James McCabe said that police had solved 89 percent of the cases and the main causes of child homicides were alcohol intoxication, drug abuse and domestic violence.