Universal Children’s Day: Have Adults Kept their Promises?

November 20, 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in which countries promised children around the world their rights to survive, to be educated, to be free from violence and abuse, and to participate. What is clear, after 25 years, is that these promises to children have not been adequately kept by adults.

In Cambodia significant numbers of children are vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, neglect, and other forms of violence. More than 50 percent of children experience have experienced physical abuse and more than three quarters of Cambodian children reported more than one incident of physical violence, emotional violence or sexual abuse before the age 18 (Ministry of Women Affairs, 2013).  In addition, an estimated 755,200 children 5-17 years old are economically active – of these,  429,380 or (56.9%) are considered child labourers and 236,498 or (31.3%) are engaged in hazardous forms of labour (National Institute of Statistics in 2013). 

“Fulfilling the promise entails a collective effort by all members of society. We need a coordinated and resourced child protection system.” said Aimyleen V. Gabriel, World Vision’s Child Protection Technical Manager.     

The fact that abuse and exploitation of children remains prevalent means more efforts need to be done. In particular, to enhance parenting education and promoting behavior change to eliminate the use of violent discipline of children in homes and schools.  There is a need increased government resources for protective services, especially in commune level plans. The Commune Council for Women and Children must be strengthened to be leaders and accountable for child rights in every community. In addition, there is a need to improve coordination among all stakeholders in the child protection system, ensuring collective impact on protection of children in their families and communities. 

World Vision implements 10 major child protection projects to address prevention, protection and restoration of children.  These projects are implemented in at least 9 provinces of World Vision covering 67 districts and 268 communes. World Vision has so far helped strengthen over 300   community based child protection groups in Cambodia. These groups are actively engaged in prevention of violence against children. World Vision works to strengthen families through parenting skills education, economic and livelihood support and linking them to appropriate services. 

For media inquiries, please contact:

  • Phearun Kuch, Media Officer, World Vision
  • Tel: +855 17 563 520 or Email: phearun_kuch@wvi.org
  • Aimyleen V. Gabriel, Child Protection Technical Manager, World Vision
  • Tel: +855 95 666 492 or Email: aimyleen_gabriel@wvi.org