Two Cambodian Child Delegates Attending Regional Consultation on Online Exploitation

Two Cambodian boy and girl are representing the country in ASEAN regional children's consultation intending to identify integrated national responses to end the online child sexual exploitation and abuse in the region's member states.

Happening from Feb. 7-8 in Jakarta of Indonesia, the Cambodian child delegates along with their peers � two of each of other ASEAN countries � will sit down for a productive discussion with about 100 representatives from governments, relevant United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations, private companies, and foreign law enforcement.

From Cambodia, we are sending 17-year-old boy Bopha from Svay Rieng province, and 17-year-old girl Vay from Prey Veng province who are among the leadership of the child advocate network and very experienced in child protection and child rights issues, said Mr. Hor Kosal � Plan International's child protection officer acting as chaperone for the two children during their trip to Jakarta.

The children from Southeast Asia, he added, will be asked to provide their recommendations and inputs in the development of efforts to address online child protection, especially since children are the ones who are directly affected and at risk of online violence.

Studies show that as the global technological advancement moves towards online connectivity, children and young people keep up and engage in an increasing variety and frequency of online activities.

While this is beneficial as children gain access to information, communication, entertainment, and culture, which can aid in their development, this also poses risks because it opens new opportunities to perpetuate violence against children.

In recent years, Southeast Asia has become one of the emerging hotspots of online abuse and exploitation of children.

Witnessing the trend, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has listed the effort to address the issue as a priority for the region, as demonstrated in the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence against Children and the commitment of the ASEAN Member States to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

It is positive that specific context of the case in Cambodia will be heard and put into consideration through the presence of the two Cambodian child delegates at the regional platform organised by Child Rights Coalition Asia with the support from UNICEF.

ource: Agency Kampuchea Press