The ChildSafe Teams: Looking Out for Cambodian Children

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The ChildSafe Teams: Looking Out for Cambodian Children

Post by CEOCambodiaNews »

March 6, 2020
Guardians of mercy
Taing Rinith
According to UNICEF, 50 percent of Cambodian children have experienced severe beating while one in four and one in 20 respectively have been emotionally abused and sexually assaulted. Many children are trafficked or forced to work. While the situation is dire in the country, many people refuse to just stand and watch. Among those are a group who call themselves “ChildSafe Agents”. Trained by NGO Friends-International, these men and women, unpaid volunteers, look out for underage victims all over the Kingdom. Taing Rinith documents the life and work of these guardians on the street.

It’s a Saturday morning. Yang Moeun, a 53-year-old tuk tuk driver, rises from his bed, reheats some leftovers from the previous night’s dinner for breakfast and prepares for his work that day. He opens his closet and takes out a blue shirt bearing the phrase, “I protect children”. It is Moeun’s favourite shirt and he wears it proudly.

Two hours later, Moeun is on the road, driving his tuk tuk while looking for customers. Suddenly, he sees a foreign man holding hands with a small Cambodian girl in front of a guesthouse. It is difficult to know immediately whether the girl is underage, but Moeun can’t afford to take the risk. He too has a daughter, whom he loves more than anything in his life. So Moeun takes out his phone and and dials the hotline dedicated to reporting suspected child abuse, giving the information to the police.

While Moeun will never know if the foreigner was apprehended, he knows he has fulfilled his obligation as a Child Safe Agent.

“I may look like a gentle guy, but when I meet paedophiles, it’s the end for them,” says Moeun. “Children are to be protected, and no one, Khmer or foreigners, can harm them or walk away freely if they do so.”

Moeun is one of 700 ChildSafe agents currently patrolling the streets of Phnom Penh. But his mission is to protect children everywhere in the country.

“I signed up in 2005 when the recently created child protection NGO, Friends-International, did a call out for agents for their ChildSafe initiative,” he explains. ... s-of-mercy
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Re: The ChildSafe Teams: Looking Out for Cambodian Children

Post by DaveG »

" While Moeun will never know if the foreigner was apprehended"

Not making a judgment either way but the child could have been his daughter ...

Must be a bit of a nightmare here if you have kids to automatically looked upon as some sort of nonce.
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Re: The ChildSafe Teams: Looking Out for Cambodian Children

Post by khmerhamster »

I'd happily accept a false positive if it helps protect other kids.
Takes only a minute to explain.
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