Phnom Penh, 8 June, 2017 – World Vision joined the Royal Government of Cambodia in celebrating International Children’s Day, vowing to work across faith communities to create an environment in which children can thrive.
While the situation of children’s well-being in Cambodia has improved, there is still much to be done. Physical, emotional and sexual violence against children in Cambodia is still common both within and without households, with 77 per cent of parents using physical punishment against their children.
World Vision appreciates the role and influence of faith leaders speaking out against all forms of abuse against children. It is with this conviction in mind that World Vision organized a workshop with 32 Buddhist monks with the aim of making mainstream concepts about child protection, actions that could be taken as well as linking them with Buddhist teachings and principles.
Research shows that children who experience violence sustain injuries that are physical, mental and/or emotional; they could resort to risky behaviours such as alcoholism and suicide, and learn to inflict violence on others.
“World Vision respects faith leaders as role models of the wider community – when they speak, the community listens; when they lead, the community follows. We believe that faith leaders have a lot of power to catalyse change among their faith groups, so that communities become a safe and caring environment, especially for the most marginalised,” said Aimyleen V. Gabriel,Child Protection Technical Manager at World Vision.
“In Cambodia, we acknowledge that suffering and violence against children remain a huge barrier for them being able to realize their potential. The sad fact is that most children said they were abused by people they know and trust – parents, caregivers, teachers, friends and even people in religious institutions,” she added.
“There is a consensus among religions about the inherent dignity of every person, including every child. Buddhist and Christians alike, believe that violence in all its forms is not acceptable and we must protect those whose well-being is threatened by any act of violence. Both our faiths share the common principles of compassion, justice, love, and solidarity in dealing with the difficult presence of violence in our society,” said Thanny Im, Faith and Development Program Manager at World Vision.
“While every religion has much to offer, it is not possible to solve the issue of violence by working in silos. We need to work together to challenge practices and social norms that harm children, promote the valuing of children as individuals with rights, preaching about good parenting from a faith-perspective,” he added.
Note to Editors
World Vision is a child-focused NGO which operates in 9 provinces covering 67 districts and 268 communes. World Vision’s core programmes include work on Education & Life Skills, Health & Nutrition, Child Protection and Youth Empowerment.
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