100 Women and the Child Protection Unit: A unique partnership

In Cambodia, many children are vulnerable to abuse. We can’t always stop it, but we can make sure that when it happens they are treated with the sensitivity and care they desperately need. Thanks to an unique partnership between philanthropy and empowerment organisation 100 Women and the Child Protection Unit, 22 exceptional women recently participated in a week-long program on working with victims of child abuse.

The Child Protection Unit was established in 2013 as a joint venture between the Cambodian Children’s Fund and the Cambodian National Police. It provides victim care, investigative support and resources, major crime coordination, training and capacity building to detect offences and prosecute those that commit horrific crimes against children. To date, 90% of the cases investigated by the CPU have been against female victims, with the perpetrator almost always male. Because of this, it is critical that a sufficient number of trained female police officers are available to conduct interviews with victims. This is a challenging process that requires a special approach, compassion, and skill.

In May 2015 the CPU conducted the first ever Specialist Child Interviewers Course, attended by 24 female Police Officers. For the first time in Cambodia, these Officers were given comprehensive training from the United Kingdom’s most experienced detectives specialising in interviewing child victims of sexual violence. A second course, held in October 2016, saw a further 22 Police Officers trained. These two courses were made possible by the generous support of 100 Women. This collective of passionate women combines donations to fund projects which align with their mission – to enable everyday people to be involved in creating a world where all women and girls can live safely with access to health, education and economic freedom.

The recipients of this training sing its praises. “I am proud that I could be involved in this training, and excited to put the skills that I have learned into practice”, says Capt. Phuing Panira of the Phnom Penh Anti Human Trafficking Office. “This training will have a big impact on the work that I do in the areas of anti-trafficking and underage protection”. Srey Nein, Child Protection Officer with the CPU, agrees. “It is very important in my job that we get the facts from the children that we interview. The training was very important for building on my skills in this area”.

With the increased capacity and skills of the CPU and Cambodian National Police, gained through the support of 100 Women, child victims in Cambodia will now have a much better chance at recovery, and abusers will face a vastly increased likelihood of prosecution. This unique partnership will have a real and long-lasting impact on the wellbeing and protection of those who cannot protect themselves.



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