Child and Youth Conference: National Action Plan to Prevent and Respond to Violence Against Children One Year On, Does It Work?

“I find that giving children and youth the opportunity to participate in the debate on violence against children is a great opportunity for the government and civil society to understand the challenges and needs of the children in order for everyone including children and youth themselves to take actions and respond effectively in a timely manner,” – Phorn Vicheka, Chair of Child Advocate Network.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Children and youth from 13 provinces across Cambodia gather today to discuss and identify solutions to end violence against children in the country. They were joint by representatives from 13 Ministries, United Nations agencies, International Organizations and Civil Society Organizations to review the progress in the implementation of Cambodia Action Plan to Prevent and Respond to Violence Against Children (2017-2021), assess challenges, and identify solutions to speed up its implementation.

6 years ago, as such young Cambodians participated in a very first nationwide survey on violence against children whereas the result of the survey led to the development and adoption of this Action Plan in December 2017. The adoption of this action plan was a significant step forward, offering to all stakeholders a joint framework for a coherent and holistic approach to prevent and respond to violence against children.

More than a year after its adoption, significant progress has been registered, from the adoption of the policy on child protection in schools and its communications strategic plan – Cambodia PROTECT – to change attitude on violence against children and unnecessary family separation. Several UN agencies and Civil Society partners supported by donors have too launched and piloted many more initiatives that also contribute to this plan. World Vision’s Kumrou Ahoengsa campaign, who help lead this conference, is an example.

The recent decision of the Royal Government of Cambodia to officially become a Pathfinding Country in the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children (GPEVAC) is a new step forward that call for a celebration of all the achievements mentioned above. But this new process is also an opportunity to look at the challenges that are still preventing even stronger progress toward ending violence against children in Cambodia, the innovative solutions that could be found and the priorities for the year to come.

Through this conference all relevant stakeholders, including children and youth, had the opportunity to exchange and learn from each other. The conference gives an opportunity to all relevant stakeholders be accountable for a successful implementation of the Action Plan and to remind them of the significant work that is still to be done to end violence against children in Cambodia.

Phorn Vicheka, Chair of Child Advocate Network, said “I feel happy that this conference gives me the opportunity to meet and discuss directly with representatives of the government and civil society on the implementation of child protection in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

Ms. Lyda Chea, Senior Campaign Manager for Kumrou Aheongsa, a feature Campaign in Cambodia of World Vision International’s It Take a World to End Violence Against Children, said, “As Cambodia embarks in this new step of the journey toward ending violence in the country, the conference brought a clear message that children and youth are part of the solution.”

“At the end of this conference, I hope that both the government and the civil society will strengthen their cooperation to effectively implement the Action Plan to respond and eliminate violence against children and implement child rights governance at both national and sub-national levels,” Phorn Vicheka.

NOTE TO EDITORS

World Vision
With a presence in close to 100 countries and 50,000 employees and volunteers worldwide, World Vision is a global nongovernmental organization focusing on the wellbeing of children through development and humanitarian programmes. In Cambodia, World Vision is working in 39 districts across 10 provinces and city, implementing health and nutrition, education and life skills, child protection and youth projects benefiting 2.7 million children every year.

Kumrou Aheongsa
In November 2017 World Vision in Cambodia launched a global campaign It Takes a World to End Violence against Children. Kumrou Aheongsa (Nonviolence Role Model) is a feature Campaign in Cambodia of World Vision’s It Take a World to End Violence Against Children, More information on the campaign is available here: https://www.wvi.org/ittakesaworld

Safe to Learn
Safe to Learn is a new campaign dedicated to ending violence in schools so children are free to learn, thrive and pursue their dreams. It was initially conceived by members of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children: UNESCOUNICEFUK Department for International Development (DFID) and UNGEI. The vision is to work with governments, civil society organisations, communities, teachers and children themselves to end all violence in every school by 2024. In January 2019, Safe to Learn and its Call to Action were introduced to more than 100 Education Ministers at the Education World Forum in London where the Cambodian Minister of Education were present.


For more information, please contact: 
Mr. Ponlork Van, Public Engagement Officer, World Vision
Tel: +855 89 555 702 or Email: ponlork_van@wvi.org