Thu, 02 Dec 2021

PHNOM PENH, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Cambodian government has held a National Policy Dialogue to reconfirm its commitment to eliminating violence against children (VAC), according to a statement Xinhua received on Wednesday.

The online event held Tuesday was hosted by the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY) and supported by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Save the Children and Child Rights Coalition (CRC) Cambodia.

Attending the event were also members of the steering committee for the implementation of Cambodia's Action Plan to Prevent and Respond to Violence Against Children, representing sectors including relevant ministries, institutions and sub-national administration, UN agencies, donors, international and local NGOs, the private sector, and youth.

The Dialogue reinforced a strong foundation for effective collaboration across sectors to address violence against children, said a statement released after the meeting.

"The participation of children, adolescents and youth in the Dialogue ensures that their voices are heard and reflected in the commitments made today," the statement said.

Cambodia has made it clear that preventing VAC is a priority, it said.

During the Dialogue, the Cambodian government noted in a statement: "Protection of children and adolescents from violence is necessary not only for their wellbeing and long-term development but also for national development".

The statement also reaffirmed the government's commitment to accelerating efforts to ban all forms of violence against children in Cambodia, through strengthening child protection data and monitoring, enabling parents and caregivers to keep children safe, making the internet safe for children and making schools safe, non-violent, and inclusive.

"Amidst the advancement of globalization and technology, developed and developing countries continue to face a lot of challenges in ending violence against children," MoSVY's permanent secretary of state Nim Thot said.

"Violence against children in any form has detrimental effects on child development, their social ethics, dignity and future human resource development and cannot be tolerated," he stressed.

The official said that to promote child protection and the children's wellbeing, the Cambodian government has enacted a number of laws, policies, national action plans and relevant legal frameworks.

"Today, we call for the continued collaboration and collective action from all relevant ministries, institutions, international and local NGOs, and stakeholders to back the ongoing advancements in child protection," he said.

Foroogh Foyouzat, UNICEF representative in Cambodia, said UNICEF acknowledged the Cambodian government's significant efforts in strengthening systems to prevent and respond to VAC and its determination to further strengthen those systems.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the urgent need to accelerate actions to prevent and respond to violence against children, both offline and online," she said. "UNICEF remains firmly committed to supporting the Royal Government of Cambodia's steadfast and accelerated action in preventing VAC and to fulfill its commitments to end violence against children by 2030."

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