Social Work Teammaterial support and counselling for individuals and communities
A young mother in a relocation site given rice by the LICADHO social worker team
Cambodia is often touted as an economic success story, with its rapidly-developing economy and consistent growth. But the fruits of this growth have not been shared equally. Most of the country still struggles with severe poverty. Meanwhile, free public services to help the poor are virtually non-existent, and conflict over land rights has led to the forced resettlement – and the loss of livelihoods – of tens of thousands of Cambodians. The poor and powerless – especially those whose human rights have been violated – often have nowhere to turn for help.
Victims of human rights abuses and their families are often traumatized and vulnerable, particularly when a relative is incarcerated. The incarceration of human rights defenders not only breaks the will of the imprisoned, but also causes great stress to their family – particularly if the authorities target the family’s sole breadwinner. Those left on the outside may have no regular income, and will struggle to provide for themselves.
Victims and families may also face reoccurring harassment from the police or, in cases of land grabbing, from corporations trying to evict them from their land. Victims of human rights abuses, their families and their communities are often in desperate need of basic assistance including material support (food, water and shelter) and counseling.
This is where LICADHO’s Social Work Project steps in. LICADHO believes that victims of human rights abuses require not only legal and medical assistance, but also material and psychological support.
What we do
- Provide victims and their families with material support such as food, water and shelter
- Cooperate with child care centers to ensure that child victims of human rights abuses, including child labor, are provided with long-term assistance, including education, shelter and food
For incarcerated victims of land grabbing, the Social Work Project also:
- Coordinates with LICADHO’s Medical Office to ensure that individuals accused in land-grabbing cases are provided with medical treatment and adequate food, water and other basic materials support while in prison
- Ensures that the families of these victims have access to food, shelter, blankets, phone cards to call imprisoned relatives
- Transports the families of the imprisoned to and from prisons for visits
- Provides at least six months of support, including counseling services, to victims and their families after release from prison
- Supports evicted communities living on relocation sites for one to three months by giving the most vulnerable families free health care, counseling, food, shelter and other basic material support