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Advocacy for Children’s Rights Program

Communities alone cannot deal with many socio-economic issues. In some cases of violence and sexual abuse, if the perpetrator is related to or supported by high-ranking officials, communities or local authorities cannot deal with the case.

Communities and local authorities can prevent village and commune trafficking. Dealing directly with the channels of trafficking, which are supported by public officials, is not practicable by communities and local authorities.

Nowadays, many development opportunities and economic resources exist in the community. They could be from public, private, or NGO services. Some services push people into extreme poverty rather than helping people to combat poverty. For example, some micro credit programs run by NGO’s or banks. Some development programs focus too narrowly and fail to build the skills, job prospects, and incomes of the poor. The poorest of the poor and vulnerable people are often left out from these development opportunities or economic resources. This is in part due to the perception and mindset held by some service providers that these people are extremely difficult to help.

Children participated in the international labor day
Phnom Penh: A VCAO’s child delivering a speech during the International Children’s Day

Many alternative care programs do not respond to the best interest of the child. They provide poor or irrelevant skills training; leaving children with no direction in their job establishment and development. Some programs provide rich facilities to children during their alternative care, which contrast to children’s living environment in home/community.

Decades of centralized management, and Cambodia’s young democracy, do not yet promote the channels for the voices of poor citizens to be heard. Some great efforts made by communities and local authorities to help the poorest and most vulnerable members of the community have failed owing to a lack of commitment by public servants and politicians.

CRC Article 12 Respect for the view of the child states that “States parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child? and Article 13 Child’s right to freedom of expression states that “The child shall have right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice.

Children participated in International Children’s Day
Phnom Penh: Child participants in the International Children’s Day

Communities and local authorities do not have skills and knowledge, and are not confident enough to voice their concerns to politicians and high-level officials. They need guidance, supports and training to enable them to constructively contribute their information and knowledge aiming at changing the behavior of listeners.

Mechanisms to chain the commitment in actions by governors and high level officials have to be developed. Feedback to communities, continuation of actions done by communities, follow-up on implementation of committed actions of governors and high officials, and media coverage of all these efforts shall be made consistently and continuously as a binding cycle of advocacy program.

The following CG benchmarks provide direct legal supports to this program intervention. The Royal Government in the Consultative Group (CG) meeting in December 2004 committed the benchmarks for 2005, in relation to Area (1) Fighting Corruption and Increasing Accountability, the Indicators: reported cases of corruption , The existing draft law on anti-corruption shall be brought into compliance with international best practice , and the Government should commence preparatory work on establishing a legislative framework (such as a Freedom of Information Law) to facilitate access to information held by public authorities. Area (4) Decentralisation & Deconcentration (D&D), the Indicators: National Policies, Strategic Framework, Action Plan finalized, D&D organic Laws on the Management of Provincial & District, Municipalities and the Capita and Implement RGC’s PFM reform agenda

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