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Ministries urged to work together to prevent violence against women

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
Participants at the workshop pose for a group picture. KT/Khy Sovuthy

Huor Samith, secretary of state at the Women’s Affairs Ministry, yesterday led a workshop on the National Action Plan to prevent violence against women for the next five years and said that other ministries must also help prevent violence against women.

“We join together to battle violence against women and we cannot forgive any perpetrators who commit crimes against women,” Ms Samith said.

She said the United Nations Population Fund has supported the national action plan in the provinces of Kampong Cham, Preah Vihear, Stung Treng and Tboung Khmum and that UN Women has supported initiatives in the provinces of Preah Sihanouk and Kampong Speu.

“According to this plan, ministries, departments and other units must cooperate to help victims on time,” Ms Samith said. “Some organisations have provided services such as commissioning lawyers to help defend victims in court.”

Heng Socheat, a UN Women representative, yesterday said the organisation is working with development partners and other civil society organisations to prevent and end violence against women.

“Education is an important key because teachers and students are front-line people helping children and youths so they can learn to implement the principle of respecting [women] and not using violence,” Mr Socheat said. “Violence against women is a serious form of abuse that puts pressure on the rights of women and their safety.”

Nhean Sochetra, director general of the Women’s Affairs Ministry’s social development department, yesterday said the government continues to monitor women’s affairs.

“According to a report by the Planning Ministry, violence against women decreased between 2000 and 2014,” Ms Sochetra said. “We see in our work every day that the rate of domestic violence occurring has decreased, but rape cases seem to be up because we see a new case every day.”

“We hope that violence against women will decrease,” she added. “We will join with other ministries and partner organisations to actively prevent violence against women and disseminate information on violence against women.”

A 16-day campaign battling violence against women concluded earlier this month with the participation of about 10,000 people in the Kingdom. UN Women said people took party in 60 activities in 15 provinces.

According to a 2017 report from rights group Licadho, there were 147 cases of sexual violence against women, including 125 cases of rape and six cases of rape-murder, that year.

As of September, there were 110 cases this year, including 90 cases of rape and eight cases of rape-murder.

Pak Youleang, deputy director of the Interior Ministry’s Anti-Human Trafficking Department, yesterday said the ministry is still working to get exact figures of how many women faced violence this year.

“We do not know whether the figure of violence against women has decreased or increased because we are still doing the math, so we cannot yet compare figures from last year with this year’s,” he said.

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