Cambodian officials and development partners discussed on July 21 the 48 recommendations made by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
The dialogue took place during the “Roundtable on UNCRC recommendations” organized by UNICEF in Phnom Penh.
Nim Thot, State Secretary in the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans Affairs and Youth Reintegration and head of the Cambodian National Council for Children (CNCC), said during the discussion that despite the government’s efforts to establish programs to improve the well-being of children in the UK, some children were still living in difficult, vulnerable conditions and in need of additional support and intervention.
He added that the government had sent a CNCC delegation, led by Chou Bun Eng – State Secretary of the Ministry of Interior and Permanent Vice Chairman of the National Anti-Trafficking Committee (NCCT) – to represent the Kingdom. at the 90th meeting of the UNCRC in Geneva, Switzerland. Following this meeting, Cambodia had endeavored to establish clear management mechanisms on this issue.
“Cambodia accepted all 48 recommendations from the committee and we discussed them today,” he said.
Kim Sovanndy, secretary general of the CNCC, said that in previous discussions on June 9, Cambodia accepted the committee’s recommendations because they were made in a constructive manner and taking into account the realities of Cambodia’s current situation.
“As for the upcoming goals, the secretary general of the CNCC will push for the implementation of all these recommendations by preparing a government circular and distributing the recommendations to all relevant ministries and institutions,” he said. he declares. “We will also promote these recommendations to ministries and institutions at the sub-national level.”
Bun Eng said Cambodia has been working with the UN and other development partners and stakeholders to make improvements to ensure that children – regardless of their background in Cambodia – are protected by laws and policies. of the Kingdom.
“With the Ministry of Interior, we have worked closely with other relevant ministries and prepared clear plans to improve child protection and we have developed policies and prepared standards for the implementation of this child protection,” she said.
She added that the ministry is also committed to supporting the integration of key child protection-related activities into provincial, district and commune development plans and mainstreaming sustainable child protection services. ‘childhood.
Nhean Sochetra, head of the General Department of Social Development at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, responded to the recommendations relating to corporal punishment, child exploitation and sexual abuse, saying the ministry was looking at how to improve the implementation of existing laws. of the Kingdom. or update them in order to combat domestic violence and protect its victims.
“We have reviewed the effectiveness of the implementation of this law to identify its strengths and weaknesses to form the basis of the articles of the law that we need to amend,” she added.
Dy Kham Boly, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, also responded to the recommendations, saying ministry leadership agrees they should be followed.
“We believe in following the recommendations set out by the UNCRC. The government has two main pillars – peace and development,” he said. “With these two pillars, we can accomplish anything, including these recommendations.”
UNICEF Representative in Cambodia, Foroogh Foyouzat, said during the discussion that in June, UNCRC reviewed the fourth to sixth periodic reports on the situation of children’s rights in Cambodia.
She said the UNCRC recognized the considerable progress made by the Cambodian government between 2011 and 2022. However, the committee also highlighted areas of concern such as education and child protection.
“I urge the government to incorporate the recommendations into its existing and developing laws, plans, policies and regulatory frameworks, as well as into any Covid-19 recovery plans.
“Today’s roundtable is an opportunity to hear about different government departments’ plans to address these recommendations, and I’m really looking forward to learning more,” she said.
She added that UNICEF stands ready to support the government and work with other civil society organizations with the ultimate goal of ensuring that the rights of all children in Cambodia are respected, fulfilled, fulfilled and protected.