Relevant government ministries of Cambodia commit to implementing the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
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Phnom Penh, 22 July 2022 – Relevant government ministries of Cambodia confirmed their commitment to act upon the recommendations made by the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child at a roundtable discussion event in Phnom Penh yesterday.
The roundtable was jointly organized by the Cambodia National Council for Children (CNCC), the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY) and UNICEF to discuss the way forward and disseminate the concluding observations made by the Committee, which both acknowledge the achievements and progress made between 2011 and 2022 towards meeting the legally binding international Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and also raise areas of concerns.
The event was officially opened by His Excellency Nim Thot, Permanent Secretary of State of MoSVY and the representative of H.E. Vong Sauth, Minister of MoSVY and Chairman of CNCC. The roundtable discussion was chaired by Her Excellency Khiev Bory, Secretary of State of MoSVY. In attendance were representatives from six key ministries, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Women's Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Economy and Finance. More than 150 participants from across government bodies at the national and sub-national administrations, as well as development partners, NGOs, children and youth representatives and private entities, were also present.
The event highlighted how the Concluding Observations (COBs) call for continued action by the RGC so that children can progressively and fully enjoy the rights outlined in the CRC, which is the most ratified international Convention in the world and has played a critical role in improving the lives of children globally. In an important step toward fulfilling the CRC, the key ministries made new commitments to implement the recommendations via the development or enforcement of policies, regulations and legal frameworks.
"To protect the best interest of all children, we call on all stakeholders to work together in turning the Concluding Observations made by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to practical and contextual actions, in particular through using them to guide current and future development of programmes, work plans, regulations and strategies," said His Excellency Nim Thot, Permanent Secretary of State of the MoSVY. "The MoSVY commits to drawing on the COBs to continue to strengthen the child protection system nationwide across sectors, including through finalizing and implementing the child protection law, implementing the social service workforce strategies and training plan, and improving case management for children."
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child regularly monitors the implementation of the CRC, which is based on the key principles of the right to life, survival and development, non-discrimination, the best interest of the child, and the right to be heard.
"The Ministry of Interior (MoI) is dedicated to protecting children's rights in all settings, from the home to the wider community, from schools to prisons. We aim to finalize and implement strengthened frameworks for the child protection system at both national and sub-national levels, including through the development and implementation of a child protection plan in 20 provinces, before moving nationwide in the coming years. MoI also commits to finalizing and implementing the Child Protection Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)," said Her Excellency Chun Bun Eng, Secretary of State from the Ministry of Interior.
"In our future actions, the Cambodia National Council for Children will promote the successful implementation of all the COBs by proposing a new government circulation to assign recommendations to relevant ministries and urging them to take appropriate action and effective response. We will also widely raise awareness of those proposals to other relevant institutes at national and local levels, and especially to children," said His Excellency Kim Sovanndy, Secretary General of the Cambodia National Council for Children.
During the panel discussion, the other participating ministries shared their plans and made a series of commitments, including
- addressing learning loss as a result of COVID-19 and promoting inclusive education, including multi-lingual education;
- implementing the new Positive Parenting Strategy to reduce the use of corporal punishment;
- strengthening the implementation of the Law on Juvenile Justice and promoting positive alternatives to detention and diversion
- ensuring allocation of budget to the ministries that are implementing activities related to children's rights
- enhancing primary health care and addressing issues related to mental health
"This occasion gives us a great opportunity to reflect upon the achievements made by the Royal Government of Cambodia in improving children's lives across the country in recent decades, as well as the ongoing challenges that we now must turn our attention to," said Foroogh Foyouzat, UNICEF Representative to Cambodia. "We welcome the firm commitment to accelerate efforts to protect the rights of children, and now urge the RGC to address the concerns outlined by the CRC committee by integrating the recommendations in its existing and newly developing laws, plans, policies and regulatory frameworks, and in any COVID-19 recovery plans. UNICEF remains committed to supporting the government in creating a future where all children can grow, learn, play, develop and thrive with dignity in their families and community environment."
Note to editors:
More information and the full report can be found here: https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2022/06/un-child-rights-committee-issues-findings-cambodia-canada-chile-croatia-cuba
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