Working together to combat trafficking, exploitation and abuse of children

Published on May 30, 2005

A children’s art contest and a comedy stage show are among activities to be held by LICADHO on June 1 to mark International Children’s Day and highlight the need for greater action to protect the rights and improve the live’s of Cambodia’s children.

In celebrating International Children’s Day this year, LICADHO is promoting the theme of “Working Together to Combat Trafficking, Exploitation and Abuse of Children.” Day-long activities will be undertaken in Sihanoukville; Siem Reap; Chamkar Leu in Kompong Cham, Kien Svay and Muk Kampul in Kandal; Koh Kong; and Dangkao in Phnom Penh. Activities include:

Games and quiz show that will highlight rights of children

Traditional comedy stage show (komplaeng) to raise awareness of problems that children face and the need for cooperative action among all sectors of Cambodian society

Awarding of prizes to first group of winners of an art drawing contest launched by LICADHO, which is open to children and young people 18 years old and below

Distribution of food, clothes, school supplies, and personal hygiene items to vulnerable children

Dialogue with local authorities on steps to address serious issues affecting children (particularly trafficking of children and worst forms of child labour including sexual exploitation of children)

These problems noted in 1925['s Geneva Declaration Protecting Children] are very much still with us.

These events are to highlight International Children’s Day for children and their families, raise public awareness of the rights of children and of the dangers which face them, and generate participation from key sectors at the local level in taking action against the trafficking, exploitation and abuse of children in their area. LICADHO also hopes that the dialogue with local authorities to be conducted in the afternoon of June 1st will result to agreements between LICADHO, local authorities, and relevant government officials and local organisations on joint actions to take against trafficking, exploitation and abuse of children.

“We want to take the opportunity to encourage and bring joy to children as well as to draw the attention of society to children’s issues, in particular the exploitation of children” says Dr. Kek Galabru, President of LICADHO.

International Children’s Day evolved from the ‘World Conference for the Well Being of Children’ held in Geneva, Switzerland in 1925 when representatives from 54 countries passed the ‘Geneva Declaration Protecting Children,’ which focused on poverty, prevention of child labour, education and other issues related to the welfare of children around the world.

“These problems noted in 1925 are very much still with us. Many of our children work at exploitative and hazardous jobs and are victims of child trafficking and are forced into prostitution. They face many threats of all kinds violence, abuse, neglect, rape, maltreatment, and drugs. Our children suffer the most and feel the brunt of poverty more than any sector of society” adds Dr. Kek Galabru.

“Children are very special and it is imperative that we commit ourselves to provide the best possible protection and care to our children. The issues of child trafficking, exploitation, abuse, neglect, poverty, HIV/AIDS and all other social challenges facing children should form part of an ongoing collaborative action among various sectors and institutions of society” says Mr. Thav Kim San, LICADHO’s Children’s Rights Coordinator.

On June 1, LICADHO will also distribute food, dietary supplements, toys, school supplies, infant materials, krama, clothes, mosquito nets, and mats to children of prisoners, children of guards, juvenile detainees, and pregnant female prisoners in Phnom Penh and 13 provinces.