Monday, October 27, 2014

Kids Helping Kids Combat Child Abuse

By Rui Nomoto

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia, October 2013 – Ochheuteal Beach in Sihanoukville, five hours by road from Phnom Penh city, is among most beautiful beaches in Cambodia. It attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. Five years ago, 17-year old Sopheak used to work on Ochheuteal beach selling hand-made accessories to tourists to help support her four siblings, sick father and stay-at-home mother. Though she managed to go to school in the morning, every afternoon was spent trying to earn money. “I usually raised five to eight dollars per day,” said Sopheak. “Sometimes I could earn US$15 but often I earned nothing, especially in the rainy season.”

Cambodia launches report of Violence against Children Survey

First-of-its-kind in East Asia and Pacific region

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, 24 October 2014 – This week the Government of Cambodia revealed the findings of Cambodia’s Violence against Children Survey 2013 (CVACS). The first survey of its kind in East Asia and Pacific region, the study is significant because it provides the first national estimates of the magnitude and nature of violence experienced by girls and boys in Cambodia.

The survey was conducted in 2013 by the National Institute of Statistics of the Ministry of Planning, led by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation. It was coordinated by UNICEF and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2,376 children and young people aged 13 from 24 years old from across the country were asked about their experience of physical, emotional and sexual violence before the age of 18.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What about boys? Debunking myths about sexual violence against children in Cambodia

By Martina Tomassini

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, 22 October 2014 — No, in Cambodia it does not happen to girls and women only: boys too are victims of sexual violence and we need to protect and help them. This is the crystal clear message that transpires from my conversation with Socheat Nong — a soft-spoken 32 year-old social worker, researcher and trainer who works with First Step Cambodia (FSC),one of the few NGOs in Cambodia focusing on the needs of male victims and survivors of sexual abuse.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A song prompts children to drink safe water

By Anne-Sophie Galli

© UNICEF Cambodia/2014/Anne-Sophie Galli
School director Sun Sihorn (left) sings the arsenic song every morning with her students and teachers.

KAMPONG CHAM, Cambodia, 29 July 2014 – For most Cambodians, drinking water carries many risks. Their water contains bacteria, parasites or arsenic. Sun Sihorn was 17 when she suffered from the risks of unsafe water, fell ill with a high fever and thought she would die. That was in the late 1970s, when Cambodia was under the rule of the Khmer Rouge. “We were forced to work on rice fields all day long”, she says. “There, we drank water directly from ponds and had no time to boil it.” Today, Sun Sihorn is 53 and she is using her near-death experience to teach others about water-related diseases. In Cambodia, diarrhoea is still the second biggest cause of death for children under 5 years old. Most of these deaths can be prevented by drinking treated bottled water or by boiling or filtering water from ponds, rivers, or groundwater wells themselves, to kill bacteria. “Many know about boiling but they think it’s not important or it takes too much time”, says Sun Sihorn.