Children's Rights Monitoring Officeinvestigations, support and protection
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.
Children who fall victim to abuses face an enormous struggle in having their rights respected. This is largely because no infrastructure exists culturally or institutionally to protect their rights. There is a pervasive culture of impunity in Cambodia, which often dissuades victims from approaching authorities to pursue perpetrators. The absence of any coordinated state provision of social welfare or rehabilitation support means the burden is placed on the community and civil society to support victims.
LICADHO’s Children's Rights Monitoring Office aims to bridge the service gap that exists in Cambodia to protect the rights of children.
What we do
- Identify children’s rights violations from a variety of information sources, including victims, witnesses and the media
- Respond to these abuses by assisting victims with legal intervention (requesting the police or prosecutor to investigate the case) or referring the victim to another non-governmental organization providing free legal services
- Follow up on cases with authorities to ensure the relevant steps are taken to investigate and prosecute the perpetrator
- When necessary, appeal to the President of the Court to take action on a stalled prosecution, or urge the Ministry of Justice or the Supreme Council of Magistracy to take action
- Coordinate the provision of first aid, counseling, education, food and other basic material support for victims through the Medical Office and Social Work Office
- Work with the Children’s Rights Advocacy Office to strengthen Child Protection Groups which educate communities on children’s rights abuses, empower children to assert their rights, and provide support to victims at the grassroots level