Joint statement: Children’s rights and COVID-19 response in Cambodia

Donors and the government must put children’s rights at the heart of the COVID-19 response

As COVID-19 continues to progress around the world, Cambodia has emerged as one of the rare success stories.

There is no doubt that the strong and quick coordinated response from the Royal Government of Cambodia, development partners and civil society organisations (CSOs) is at the heart of the success in mitigating the spread of the pandemic in the Kingdom.

Various response mechanisms led and coordinated by the relevant ministries made a significant difference, such as the nationwide closures of all entertainment venues, systematic contact tracing and the quick roll out of a nationwide prevention campaign.

However, we should not think we have won the war against the pandemic and its overarching consequences on Cambodia. A series of rapid assessments and surveys conducted over the last few weeks show that COVID-19 is already having a profound effect on children’s well-being.

As grassroots organisations, we are especially concerned how vulnerable children and marginalised communities and groups will be able to cope with the wide-ranging educational, social and economic impacts of this crisis. We know that the Royal Government of Cambodia, development partners and other CSOs are sharing these concerns and are currently developing plans to respond to them.

This document provides priorities and recommendations that we believe should help guide our coordinated action towards ensuring children’s rights in Cambodia are at the heart of the COVID-19 response.

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Emergencies, COVID-19