When fighting against trafficking and exploitation of children, preventing the atrocious crimes from occurring are always the best option. For this reason, prevention activities serve as one of the main pillars upon which Cambodia ACTs and partners invest their time in.
Protecting Children on the Move (COM):
Cambodia ACTs believes that protecting children from harm can only be done while acknowledging that children have the right to make decisions for themselves and are entitled to the freedom to move. Telling children not to migrate, not only proves ineffective in preventing them from harm, it also takes away their basic right of taking ownership over their lives. However people who migrate, and in particular children, are much more vulnerable to situations of risk when on the move.
Our focus therefore is not to prevent children from moving, it is to provide them with the knowledge that will prevent them from entering situations of risk, as well as enhance them with skills that will enable them to protect themselves. What we do is educate children and communities to understand that if they decide to move they should do it safely. This is done through awareness raising activities, capacity building and trainings to members involved as well as combining forces with authorities in relevant neighboring countries such as Thailand and Vietnam.
What We Do:
This includes Trainings of Trainers (ToT) on child's rights and anti-trafficking, which focus on how to raise awareness in their communities through encouraging active participation. The awareness-raising skills they are taught enable them to deliver the critical information in their schools and communes and help prevent the children from acts of exploitation, trafficking and abuse.
We also conduct capacity building workshops for different service providers. These include workshops for local police that improve police officers methods of identifying human trafficking acts, and provide them with essential tools that enable them to identify trafficked victims.
One of our most notable campaign's is our annual 12th of December campaign that raises awareness against child trafficking on a national level. The 12th of December campaign is held on the national day against human trafficking and reaches thousands of people annually. This campaign is delivered all across Cambodia in all the provinces Cambodia ACTs and partners work in. Each year, a different theme is developed which relates to issues of child trafficking and protecting Children on the Move (COM).
Other awareness raising activities include our Village Safety Net Program (VSNP) workshops. These workshops are held in order to raise awareness on issues of child trafficking in the community, relevant laws, high-risk children in the community, socio-economic and health factors that lead to trafficking, as well as the obligations of each participant to help eliminate child trafficking in their community. The workshops assess the current situation involving a specific community, clarify government social protection policies, and establish priorities and action plans to be undertaken by the community to fight child trafficking.
We develop collaborative community programs that bring together children, adults, and members of the public sector to improve knowledge sharing and prevent local children from becoming victims of trafficking.
Our Child Protection Network (CPN) serves as one of our main channels of delivering information within the community, and brings together government and non-government service providers, community leaders, parents, and our Child-Peer Educators (CPE). Our CPN conducts awareness-raising activities in their communities on a variety of topics, including the signs and risks of domestic violence, and the dangers of illegal migration. Furthermore, they monitor any cases of suspected or reported trafficking, exploitation, and abuse and report these to the authorities, and refer any high-risk children to social services in order to ensure that they are protected.
Destination Unknown Protect Children on the Move has been a Terre des Hommes campaign since 2012, involving outreach through NGOs in more than one hundred field projects in fifty different countries.
Through the work of Cambodia ACTs, awareness of Children on the Move (COM) has been raised at every level, with youth, parents, government officials, police officers, and
NGO stakeholders. Two of the key initiatives for raising awareness are the Training of
Trainers (TOT) and Children Protection Networks (CPN).