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Project details

Improve child protection in Cambodia Cambodia , RUN BY: Save The Children Australia | STATUS: COMPLETED

This project is 100% Funded



AUD 20,026

Raised from 6,028 people

Project background

More than half of Cambodian children experience some form of physical violence prior to the age of 18. These children commonly experience multiple instances of abuse during childhood and are subjected to different and often overlapping forms of violence, such as sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Child protection systems at the commune, district and provincial level are weak, underfunded, uncoordinated and poorly staffed.

Children in institutions such as orphanages are at higher risk of abuse, violence and neglect and, despite the declining poverty rate, the number of orphanages increased by 75% from 2005 to 2015. 

80% of children in institutions have one living parent so strengthening families means less risk of children being institutionalised. 

Project activities

Increased awareness of the considerable risks children face from institutional care including negative social, cognitive, emotional and physical development has prompted global policy and practice reform. Research shows that strengthening and improving the safety of children within their own families significantly reduced the likelihood of children with at least one living parent being institutionalised and being at greater risk of abuse or neglect. 

Save the Children's Families Together program has been at the forefront of influencing national policy reform and working on the ground in Cambodia helping families and communities to provide safe home environments for children through:

  • Teaching parents and caregivers how to parent without violence including positive reinforcement. 
  • Training parents on the importance of joint responsibilities and encouraging fathers to play an active and positive role in their children’s upbringing.
  • Improving access to services including education to ease the pressures of parenting.
  • Ensuring all programs are inclusive i.e. disability and gender. 
  • Improving local social worker and case management workforce to prevent, respond and protect children at risk of abuse, violence and institutionalisation.
  • Strengthening police, judges and lawyer’s knowledge of child protection.

If families are stronger the risk of children going into institutions is significantly reduced, leading to stronger communities and less risk of abuse, violence and neglect.

Project costs

The $20,000 investment from Footprints will help pay a Community Social Worker, who specialises in complex family violence issues. A role like this usually works with over 1,000 children, parents and community members a year. 

Partners and community involvement

Save the Children is working in partnership with Cambodian government ministries and technical working groups including the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY), the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), and the Cambodia National Council for Children (CNCC) to seek long-term support for policy and legislative change. 

This program is part of the Cambodian Government’s Positive Parenting Strategy 2017 – 2021, and the National Plan of Action on Violence Against Children 2017 – 2021.

Part of a larger strategy

The Families Together program is part of Save the Children Strategy 2019-21 where we are working to ensure violence against children is no longer tolerated.

How was this funded?

Thanks to hundreds of tiny donations from these online businesses and their customers.

Travel Insurance Direct AU
Travel Insurance Direct NZ
WorldNomads Australia
WorldNomads NZ
World Nomads UK
World Nomads Global
World Nomads Europe
World Nomads Ireland
Save The Children Australia

Save the Children Australia aims to ensure that all children, regardless of gender, race, country of origin or religious belief have the means for survival, receive protection and have access to nutrition, primary health care and basic education.