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ECPAT Cambodia has reasons to be preoccupied over CSEC related issues in Cambodia, it is evident that the rights of the youngest inhabitant – children, are constantly violated. ECPAT has adopted a prevention strategy for the elimination of child sexual exploitation. To prevent all kinds of sexual abuse and exploitation, a message must be sent to people: to those who are just visiting and to those who are a part of the society, that sexual assault of any kind, will not be tolerated in this country.
The ECPAT organization has worked hand in hand with national and international organization, Ministries, UN Agencies, NGOs, foreign embassies and other key actors to combat all issues related to commercial sexual exploitation of children: child prostitution, child pornography and trafficking in children for sexual purposes. The organization consists of 26 members that have joined their forces among relevant stakeholders, in order produced effective results through training, conduction of workshops, raising awareness and distribution of informational materials.
ECPAT – Cambodia has cooperated with number of child rights organizations and government agencies. Together with six other members: RAO, PVT, CLA, CSF, VCAO and KTO it organized and held the 12 December Anti Child Trafficking Campaign on 12 December 2006, hoping that it would be acknowledged and adopted as National Day against child trafficking in the future by the government. To raise awareness further two CST training workshops for personnel working in the tourism industry have been held in Kampong Thom and Kampong Cham provinces in cooperation with Ministry of Tourism, as the result one hundred twenty nine participants from the tourist industry, local authorities, police and tourism police attended the workshops. A one-day training workshop for forty Tuk Tuk drivers in Phnom Penh was held in June in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, to equip the drivers with essential knowledge and information concerning protection of children rights.
ECPAT Cambodia has always advocated the necessity of close cooperation between relevant stakeholders. Four member meetings have been held. Annual conference was conducted on 19th December 2006 at Hagar Catering and Facilities Management. More then twenty representatives from member organizations attended where the 5 Year Strategic Directions plan was adopted. The participants also had an opportunity to give their evaluations and feedbacks regarding the work of the Secretariat and the rest of the networking. Two capacity building sessions have been conducted for member organizations. First capacity building session on CSEC, Care and Protection was held on 22-24 August 2006 in collaboration with ECPAT International, which was followed by a one-day seminar on Sharing a Good Practice on Establishment of Child Protection Network on 25 August 2006. From 04-08 December 2006 the second capacity building session on Data Collection Methods was held, and was undertaken by Cambodian Research and Development (CRD) institute.
An independent NGO monitoring mechanism has been set up, which effectively monitors the implementation of the National Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons and Sexual Exploitations. However, no actions have been undertaken, as the second National Plan has yet to be adopted.
Four issues of situational analysis on rape and trafficking through media report have been published in a local newspaper informing people about trends and routes of rape and trafficking. Four issues of CST advertisement in an in-flight magazine - The Cambodian Scene Magazine - have been issued. All the issues are to be distributed on regional Korean airline flights and in hotel rooms of Siem Reap province, Phnom Penh and Sihanouk Ville. Forty CST signboards that were carried around in Phnom Penh by Tuk Tuks displaying the message ‘We are absolutely against child sex tourism’ along with the hotline number have been posted. Twenty thousand copies of CSEC poster have been produced and distributed to member organizations and other interested parties. Also two mobile billboards on Child Safe Tourism have been produced and displayed on buses running between Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville and route Phnom Penh-Siem Reap. Two fixed billboards have been installed a long the side of the national road in Choeung Prey district of Kampong Cham and in Smach Meanchey district of Koh Kong provinces.
ECPAT-Cambodia's website www.ecpatcambodia.org has been developed and updated according to activities accomplishment. Increasing number of visitors confirm the fact that people becoming more aware of the problem and show greater interest in activities undertaken by ECPAT Cambodia to prevent violations of fundamental children’s rights.
At the same time, member organizations have also been promoted through the website by the uploading of their activities and profiles.
With initiatives of ECPAT Cambodia, UNIAP, Save the Children Norway and Children of Cambodia NGO, the project named Joint NGOs Statistics on Rape and Trafficking was initiated in late 2005 and implemented by ECPAT Cambodia with financial support from ANESVAD. The aim of the project was to compile a report that provided a valid and reliable statistical analysis of rape and trafficking cases. Data on rape and trafficking of male and female children of all ages and nationalities accounting for a year of 2003 and 2004 has been collected from twenty two participating organizations working in different provinces.
The database project used two types of questionnaires. One questionnaire was used to record the cases of rape, while the other one cases of trafficking. The report was conducted on 558 cases of rape and 761 cases of trafficking, which proved an increase of reported violence in some areas despite a general decrease in overall reporting from 2003 to 2004. Furthermore, there has been an increase in the use of violence and use of weapons when committing the crime. This acceleration of the problem only shows that a stronger emphasis should be placed on identifying and defining the necessary information and collection methods to prevent child rape and trafficking. It comes as a surprise that those most affected by rape are young children, some as young as one year old.
While young girls are targeted as victims of rape and trafficking, boys, on the other hand, are increasingly getting involved as rapists or on some occasions, although few cases have been reported, become the victims themselves. The launching workshop of the database report was held and participated by more than forty representatives of Ministries, NGOs, UN Agencies and foreign embassies.
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