The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation and partner organisations co-launched the “Strong Family Campaign” in Preah Sihanouk province to raise awareness about and eliminate all forms of violence against children.
The campaign was announced on November 15 by ministry secretary of state Khieu Borey, who also serves as permanent deputy head of the commission to implement the “Action Plan to Prevent and Respond to Violence Against Children”.
Also in attendance were provincial deputy governor Min Kum-pheak and several other representatives from partner NGOs.
Borey said the campaign aims to raise awareness with the public in order to eliminate violence against children and thereby prevent the separation of children from their families due to abuse.
“We launched this campaign to increase understanding and prevent and respond to all forms of violence against children, with the cooperation and sponsorship of partner organisations such as UNICEF and USAID,” she added.
Phi No, director of the ministry’s Child Welfare Department, said the campaign was launched in multiple provinces because it is a national issue.
“We’re not just conducting this campaign in Preah Sihanouk but also in many other provinces. We have broadcast it on social media and via media outlets so far,” he said.
He continued that the campaign is initially making its way to Phnom Penh and Kandal as well as Battambang, Siem Reap and Ratanakkiri, and would eventually reach all parts of the Kingdom.
A UNICEF press release said the Strong Family Campaign aims to address the social and cultural norms that tolerate violence against children and normalise the belief that residential care facilities such as orphanages or centres for troubled youths are more beneficial than being raised in an abuse-free home environment.
It said childhood violence can have a multitude of long-lasting negative impacts on a child’s wellbeing in various ways.
“Children exposed to violence often suffer a range of negative behavioural, psychological and physical consequences in adolescence and adulthood,” according to the press release.
“Violence affects all of us! This campaign is an opportunity to mobilise all Cambodians to say no to violence and to secure a healthy, safe environment for their children and their families,” said Cristian Munduate, UNICEF representative in Cambodia.
The ministry first launched national Strong Family Campaign on February 19, 2020, and the current efforts are a continuation of that programme.