Children's Rights Advocacy Officea participatory approach to promoting children's rights
Children are among Cambodia’s most vulnerable groups, facing a wide range of threats to their safety and livelihood. Healthcare is poor and infant mortality rates are high. Literacy levels remain low and access to education is limited. Children are also subjected to violence and exploitation, such as sexual abuse and trafficking.
Poverty also remains a major obstacle to child development in Cambodia, particularly in the provinces, where poor families may have to choose between sending their children to school or putting food on the table. Many children are sent to work at a young age. At best, they might find their way in a trade and miss out on the chance of an education and a better life. At worst, they might find themselves trafficked to a foreign country and sold into virtual slavery, or physically maimed due to poor working conditions.
The Children’s Rights Advocacy Office focuses on educating children – along with parents and local authorities – to make informed decisions about their lives. The centerpiece of this effort is LICADHO’s network of Child Protection Groups (CPGs). For children and youths, CPGs are a way for children to come together, exercise their freedom of expression and to learn about their rights. For parent and authority-focused CPGs, the groups are a way to develop a capacity to protect children.
The groups also help build the foundation for a more just and democratic society in the future: The more that children know their rights, the more they will assert them and expect rule of law as adults.
What we do
- Educate children, youths, local authorities and other community members on child rights issues via regular training sessions
- Help communities form Child Protection Groups, which serve as a mechanism for communities to come together and learn about children’s rights in a relaxed and enjoyable setting
- Conduct media campaigns on child labor issues using radio and TV programs, billboards and newspaper articles
- Work in partnership with other NGOs to publish research on child rights issues, including child labor in brick factories and the use of child labor by parents to pay off debt
- Help communities organize events such as concerts and marches to raise awareness of child rights issues