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.
Over 600 people - including children, government officials, monks and representatives of civil society organisations, academia and the diplomatic corps - attended the launch of the report on Wednesday, 22 October 2014. Addressing the gathering, Cambodia Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. Mrs. Men Sam An said, “The issue of violence is an immediate challenge in our country. Solving this requires a joint effort from all of us…With this launch, I would like to call on every citizen and all partners to join us to intervene in time to solve the issue of violence against children.”
UNICEF Cambodia/2014/Sofia Ollvid|
Over 600 people attended Cambodia's launch of the report of Violence Against Children Survey on 22 October.
In her address, Cambodian Minister of Women’s Affairs Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi said, “Line ministries have joined efforts and effectively contributed for undertaking the survey. Core commitments from ministries and government agencies have been developed and will be translated into action. The report highlights that many children never talk to anyone about their experiences of physical, emotional and sexual violence. I am sure that this unique survey will contribute to improve interventions to hold the perpetrators accountable for their crimes.”
The core commitments will form the basis of a costed national multi-sectoral action plan to prevent and respond to violence against children in Cambodia. The government commitments will also translate into priority actions for 2015 to develop and implement effective child-friendly prevention strategies as well as to improve service provision for all Cambodians, especially children, who experience violence.
Presenting the research findings at the launch, CDC Lead Behavioural Scientist from the Division of Violence Prevention, Howard Kress said the survey revealed that Cambodian children are usually physically abused by people they know and trust (such as parents, teachers and neighbours); and that sexual abuse occurs in places where children ought to feel safe (for example, at home, at school). He also stressed the connection between violence and the incidence of mental health problems and learning impairment. The survey showed that those who experienced violence were more likely to report physical and mental effects, which may last long after the violence has ended.
Special guest at the launch was UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, who praised the government for conducting this ground-breaking survey and encouraged Cambodia to integrate the findings into its overall policy agenda. “The elimination of all forms of violence against children must be a core indicator of national social improvement. It should be a reference for all government sectors, for the budget and for relevant coordinating mechanisms, with a clear monitoring and evaluation plan to assess progress and maintain momentum.”
© UNICEF Cambodia/2014/Sofia Ollvid|
A group of Buddhist monks attended the launch of the report of Cambodia’s Violence Against Children Survey on 22 October 2014. The panel of speakers included two monks who shared their views with the audience.
To complement the Cambodia Violence against Children survey report, UNICEF Cambodia has launched a social media #EndViolence awareness campaign. Join and follow the campaign here and here
For more information on Cambodia Violence against Children survey report please visit http://www.unicef.org/cambodia/results_for_children_23119.html