NEP and Partners Commemorate Key Child-Centric Events and Advocate for Inclusive Education and Child Protection

NEP, along with its partners, recently commemorated the 75th International Children’s Day on June 1, the 23rd Anniversary of World Day Against Child Labor on June 12, and Cambodia Children’s Day 2024, organized by the Cambodia National Council for Children and the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation. The event brought together approximately 3420 attendees, including the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation, Excellencies of ambassadors, heads of corporations, representatives of the UN, agencies and NGOs, as well as children and teachers.
Government officials highlighted achievements in promoting children’s welfare, such as the issued the Law on Juvenile Justice, efforts to update data on youth in correction centers to provide vocational training and life skills, the drafting of child protection laws, initiatives to promote children’s health, the establishment of councils for children, and combatting child labor, violence, abuse, and trafficking.
UNICEF shed light on the challenges facing Cambodian youth, noting that despite strides in digitalization, many children still lack access to essential services like healthcare and education due to poverty. Moreover, increased internet access has exposed them to online exploitation. Representatives of Cambodian children expressed gratitude to the Royal Government and relevant ministries for their consistent dedication to promoting children’s rights and protection. However, they also highlighted persistent challenges, including early marriages, gender identity issues, and online abuse.

In response to these challenges, recommendations were made, emphasizing the importance of ongoing government support. These included promoting children’s participation in decision-making, raising awareness about child rights and positive parenting, and ensuring inclusive education for all children, including those with disabilities.
A call to action was directed towards the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport, urging them to ‘Promote inclusive education for children with disabilities, Indigenous children, out-of-school children, and gender responsiveness in teaching and learning, Raise awareness of gender tendencies, gender identity, and gender expression through various media platforms and training programs, Enhance safety and environmental education in alignment with climate change and review school infrastructure to ensure quality education for all children, and Supervise food hygiene and sanitation, ensuring access to clean water and adequate facilities, including separate toilets for boys and girls and those with disabilities.’

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