The Japanese Government has agreed to provide ¥340,000,000 or US$3,090,909 to support a new project, “Prevention and Response to Violence against Children in Cambodia during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Recovery”.
According to a press release from the Embassy of Japan in Phnom Penh, the project is aimed to ensure that girls and boys in Cambodia are protected from violence, exploitation and abuse throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and during the period of recovery, increasing human security.
The project will build on existing strategies and interventions to strengthen child protection services for highly vulnerable children and their families across all of Cambodia during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery. It will support the Royal Government of Cambodia to formulate and implement institutional and legal frameworks to address ways in which COVID-19 may have increased risk factors for child protection. It will also support teachers, other school staff, parents and caregivers in learning new ways to enhance their knowledge, attitudes and practice to prevent and respond to violence against children.
Most importantly, the project will ensure vulnerable children have access to quality child protection services, including case management, mental health and psychosocial support, legal aid, and health services. Support for helplines and hotlines will be increased to provide a safe and accessible channel for children and adults to report violence, including sexual exploitation and abuse. Child online safety will be promoted through strengthened partnerships with the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry and awareness raising and educational activities for children and caregivers. Lastly, data management and evidence generation will be strengthened by improving the reporting and quality of data related to violence against children.
The ultimate goal is to support the Royal Government of Cambodia in creating a well-coordinated and sustainable child protection system to respond to issues that have been exacerbated by COVID-19, in collaboration with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other relevant stakeholders.
“Any form of violence a child is exposed to can lead to grave and lifelong consequences, and we are deeply concerned that they could be at greater risk of violence and abuse during this difficult time of COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ms. Foroogh Foyouzat, UNICEF’s Representative in Cambodia. “We are grateful to the Government of Japan for stepping in with this very important and timely contribution. This project aims to strengthen child protection system and services and contributes to the realisation of Cambodian children’s rights to grow in a safe and protective environment.”
“Childhood violence can harm children in multiple ways that last throughout their lives. Violence suffered in childhood often leads to a broad range of negative behavioral, psychological and physical consequences in adolescence and adulthood, which is also a challenge for economic development,” said H.E. Mikami Masahiro, Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia. “UNICEF has been active in Cambodia since 1952 and has outstanding experience in working to end violence against children. This is why the Government of Japan considers UNICEF to be the most trusted partner to achieve this goal.”
H.E. Ambassador also reaffirmed the Government of Japan’s and UNICEF’s deep commitment to working with the Royal Government of Cambodia to end violence against children and will continue until they have helped create a world where no child is left behind. “We will continue to cooperate with the Cambodian Government to help the country recover from COVID-19,” underlined H.E. Mikami Masahiro.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press