Strenghten prevention mechanisms to combat sexual abuse and exploitation of children and youth in Cambodia and provide support services to victims and those at risk
Phnom Penh and Siem Reap
January 2020 – December 2022
Despite years of continued economic growth and social development in Cambodia, many vulnerable communities continue to be deprived of basic rights and services. As a result, hundreds of thousands of children and young people live on the margins of society: out of a population of 16.1 million people in Cambodia, more than one-third of whom are children under the age of 18, 14% live below the national poverty line.1 Driven by poverty, many of these children are not enrolled in public school. According to UNICEF, approximately one in nine children between the ages of 5 and 17 work to support themselves and their families. More than half of these children work in hazardous conditions and are at high risk of sexual abuse and exploitation.2
The daily realities and living conditions of marginalized children and youth (drug addiction, high unemployment, low level of education, etc.) often lead to violence against them, including sexual violence, both at home and in their communities.
For many Cambodians living in rural areas, the cities of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Cambodia’s main tourist destinations, represent an economic opportunity. Many leave the province for these cities in the hope of increasing their income and achieving a higher standard of living. Yet, there are families of internal migrants who are unprepared for their new lives and lack the basic education and skills needed to obtain stable, gainful employment. Many migrants, especially young women and girls, are forced into prostitution or work in massage parlors, bars and karaoke bars; popular places in Cambodia where exposure to violence, including sexual violence, is very high.
The Cambodian government has established various mechanisms and initiatives to coordinate its efforts to combat child sexual abuse and exploitation by, among other things, improving prevention tools, criminal justice responses, provision of appropriate services, and strengthening law enforcement. To this end, several plans and programs have been adopted at the national level to meet these objectives, including the National Plan for the Suppression of Human Trafficking, Smuggling, and Sexual Exploitation and the Plan for the Suppression of the Worst Forms of Child Labor.3 However, despite a growing number of initiatives, prevention, protection and reintegration measures remain insufficient and scattered, and child protection services remain weak and lack human and financial resources. NGOs, with their expertise in the protection of children’s rights, continue to play an essential role in aligning with national priorities.
Prevent child sexual abuse and protect and reintegrate children and young people victims and vulnerable to sexual exploitation through improved access to required quality services in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap & Improving and expanding existing direct protection and reintegration services
– Strengthening the existing intervention systems of the ChildSafe Movement (through ChildSafe Agents and ChildSafe Campaigns) to better respond to abuse and risk situations.
– Providing support to children and young people whose parents are involved in situations of sexual exploitation (including sex work).
– Developing partnerships with other NGOs in Cambodia and beyond to improve the coordination and quality of services provided to beneficiaries through the 3PC Network and the ChildSafe Alliance.
- Friends-International, Cambodia
- Mith Samlanh (MS)
- Kaliyan Mith (KMSR)
- The ChildSafe Alliance (CSA)
- The 3PC Network
Children and youth who:
- are victims of abuse or exposed to risks of abuse (especially sexual abuse)
- live/work on the street or in extreme poverty;
- are separated from their families;
- are affected by HIV/AIDS or chronic diseases;
- use drugs or alcohol;
- are imprisoned, in conflict with the police, or just out of prison;
- are young migrants facing difficulties in their new environment.
Discover other closed projects in Southeast Asia :
ECPAT – Nepal – Online ;ECPAT – Nepal – Trafficking – East ; ECPAT – Népal – Trafficking – Pokhara ; ECPAT – NEPAL – Emergency ; ECPAT – Nepal 2 : Information and awareness of a broad public, prevention and protection of vulnerable children and/or victims.
1- Asian Development Bank, Cambodia profile 2014 https://www.adb.org/countries/cambodia/poverty
2-UNICEF Cambodia, A statistical profile of child protection in Cambodia 2014https://www.unicef.org/cambodia/media/711/file/Cambodia_Report_Final_web_ready_HIGH.pdf%20.pdf
3- ECPAT Country overview of Cambodia 2018 https://www.ecpat.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/ECPAT-Country-OverviewCambodia.pdf