Cambodian Child Rights Champions

Tin at a UNICEF Cambodia Youth Representative Meeting © UNICEF Cambodia/2015/Fani Llaurado

Thanks to their outstanding work as Skateistan Cambodia Teachers, Tin and Rattanak were put forward earlier this year to join UNICEF Cambodia’s Youth Representative Training Group.

20 adolescents and young people are taking part in the development of the Cambodian Government’s action plan to combat violence against children. They are ensuring that the perspectives of children and young people are heard and reflected in the action plan. Tin, Education Coordinator, and Rattanak, Teacher and Admin Assistant at Skateistan Cambodia continue to attend regular Youth Representative meetings. As a UNCIEF Cambodia Youth Representative, Tin’s story as a child rights champion was also featured on the 20th November for Universal Children’s Day.

“Youth have many great ideas, but don’t always have a chance to share. We can also share with our communities, villages, families — what violence is and why it must stop," she says.

Read Tin's story here

Here is what our champions have been learning:

We're really excited to join the UNICEF training with other NGO youth leaders. We've learned a lot of new knowledge and learned the best ways to protect children and respond to child protection policies. We also get the chance to study with Ministry Leaders and other people that have had a lot of good experience with Child Protection, youth leadership, ending violent against women and children, migration issues, drugs, human rights, group discussions and the law system in Cambodia.

We have had weekly and monthly training meetings for the past 4 months already. The partners that also join in the training include; Khmer Youth Association (KYA), People Health Development (PHD), Joint of Youth Cambodia (JOY), Mith Samlanh (Friends-International), Krousar Thmey, Exceed (Cambodia Trust), Plan International, CamASEAN and the Department of Psychology RUPP. We have made lots of new friends from different universities with different skills and knowledge, so we can learn a lot from each other. We know Mr. Veasna really well because he’s the UNICEF training leader.

There are 4 groups altogether: Law, Response, Prevention and Evaluation. We were placed in the Response Technique Group. We have been working with so many staff, sometimes with Ministry Officials or other people with Professional skills. In this group we have to understand and know clearly about how to respond to any Child Protection case or abuse of children’s right. At the meetings we learn exactly how to respond. This training will really help us a lot in the future because sometimes we only know about children’s right or are aware of some rules, but in fact, the practice of child’s rights isn’t strong enough. So if we can understand clearly and know more about it, and teach more people about it, there will be no more violence against in children the future.

- Tin and Rattanak (UNICEF Youth Representatives and Skateistan Cambodia Youth Leaders)

Tin (left) and Rattanak (far right) during a meeting © UNICEF Cambodia/2015/Fani Llaurado

Youth Representatives Saying 'NO' to violence against children.

A group discussion about how to work with Ministry Officials.

The opportunity paves the way for our youth leaders to become stronger voices of change in their community. It has been especially helpful for Skateistan Cambodia's Street Outreach program with youth leaders hosting special events to teach children and their families about topics such as child rights and peace. Learn more. 

How can you help us provide more amazing opportunities for Skateistan youth?