Phnom Penh: Cambodia is a country in the middle of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN region, with favorable geographical location, economic and trade potential, good natural resources and most active human resources.
According to the 2019 Census Data of the Ministry of Planning, there are more than 15 million Cambodians (15,552,211) and more than 3 million families (3,553,021, families). More than 6 million people (6,135,194) live in urban areas and more than 9 million (9,147,017 live in rural areas).
According to the data, Cambodia has a population of 29,4% aged 0-14years old and 61.7% aged 15-59 years old, while the population aged from 60 is only 8.9%.
Analyzing this data, we can see that Cambodia has a large active population to work in all sectors of the national economy. This point is also a potential for the development process and a strong point to attract investors.
However, some education experts see that one of the main obstacles to the development of Cambodia’s human resources is violence against children.
Data released by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, UNICEF, survey of Violence Against Children in 2014 confirmed that the budget loss from health due to violence against children in 2013 alone was estimated about $168 million, or 1.1% of Cambodia’s gross domestic product (GDP), and cause long-term repercussions on economic growth and social development.
What are the effects of violence? According to education experts working on children’s rights, violence against children has a real impact on human resource development, because when a child is abused, he or she is not only affected physically, but impacted on also mental health.
“Because some Cambodian children are victims of violent act, they lack the courage, the courage to make decisions, the shyness, and the lack of innovation that gives them a future,” said Mr. Chhay Veasna, Technical Programme Lead for Child Protection and Participation of World Vision. “Becoming less capable human resources for the development of the institutions they work for or difficult to compete with human resources from other regions.”
“Violence affects family life, affects economic income. For example, sick children need to go to hospital for treatment, then they need to spend money and lose time and money because of having to pay for their children’s treatment,”said Her Excellency (H.E.) Sambath Sokunthea, Deputy Secretary General of the National Council for Children.
According to a report on the Findings of Violence against Children in Cambodia in 2013 by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, UNICEF Cambodia and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, most children aged between 13 and 17 years old, were reported to be physically beaten violently — 61.1% of them being girls and 58.2% of them being boys.
The Action Plan for Preventing and Responding to Violence against Children 2017-2021 of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation states that the majority of children who have experienced violence indicate that parents, especially mothers, caregivers and other adult family members are the most frequent perpetrators of physical, emotional and sexual violence against children. In fact, “home” is the place where children suffer the most, most of which is physical and emotional punishment.
At this point, H.E. Sambath Sokunthea, Deputy Secretary General of the National Council for Children, stated that violence against children can be eliminated by starting from each family member.
“Some families think that when they do not beat their children, they will not listen until they become accustomed to beating their children and think that if they make a serious mistake, they will beat their children. If we think deeply, violence against children is not a hereditary disease, it is due to the actions of parents, it is not an incurable disease,”she said.
Besides home, teachers (especially male teachers) are the most frequent perpetrators of physical violence. Boys and girls, more than half are between the ages of 13 to 17 reported ever experienced physical violence perpetrated by male teachers (58.6% are girls and 51.7% are boys) at least once, and 29% of children between the ages of 12 and 15 have experienced direct physical punishment by teachers in the last 12 months. This is according to the survey on Violence against Children in Cambodia in 2013 by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.
However, we see that if we can prevent all these inaction problems, Cambodia will have a lot of economic benefits. The child expert explained that if Cambodia’s potential successors are able to avoid all forms of violence in education, both at home and at school, all children will be a resource with energy, mental strength and innovative ideas for active participation in all areas in the future. Many Cambodian children will also become globally competitive resources in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). Cambodia will be rich in intellectual resources, leadership and respond to the needs of the 21st century.
That is why Cambodia National Council for Children (CNCC) has developed a number of action plans to contribute as a national mechanism and follow up at the sub-national level to consistently implement activities to eliminate violence against children.
If most Cambodian children are protected and free from violence, they will have more mental energy to become strong human resources to support all sectors of the economy. At that time, their productivity, creativity and potential will be the driving force behind Cambodia’s goal of becoming a high-middle-income country by 2030 and a developed country by 2050.
“Non-violent conduct or modeling means be calm and reasonable when problem happens! It is a good example to encourage children to follow the example of adults. No violence shows that Cambodian children live in a society with warm environment,”said H.E. Sambath Sokunthea.
Through the data and the presentation of experts, we see that violence against children is a major obstacle to social and economic development, but there are many ways to eliminate and reap huge benefits for the future development.
Notedly, the Royal Government of Cambodia has been strengthening the child protection system through new policies and by becoming a “pioneer country” of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children. In the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 16.2 and abuses and exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and punishment of children.
Eliminating violence against children is not the role of the Royal Government or the people alone, but requires the participation of all sectors, including national authorities, sub-national authorities, civil society organizations, the private sector, schools and all families in the country.
ជីវប្រវត្តិ: លោក ម៉ៅ សំណាង ជាការីនិពន្ធផ្នែកអប់រំ និងជាផលិតករព័ត៌មាននៃ AMS Education ។ លោកមានបទពិសោធន៍ការងារជាអ្នកសារព័ត៌មានវិទ្យុ, ពិធីករ និងជាអ្នករាយការណ៍ព័ត៌មានទូរទស្សន៍, និងជាផលិករប្រព័ន្ធផ្សព្វផ្សាយចម្រុះ។