Disabled girl, 4, abandoned in Battambang woods by parents

A 4-year-old disabled girl lies in a makeshift hammock after she was abandoned in Battambang’s Phnom Sampov commune by her parents earlier this week. Photo supplied

Kong Meta, The Phnom Penh Post
Thu, 14 July 2016

An abandoned disabled girl was found in Battambang’s Phnom Sampov commune on Tuesday, police said.

The girl was left in a scarf fashioned into a hammock in the trees near Sampov Mountain at a spot where people could see her, said Banan district police chief, Tan Vanny. A doll and milk were nearby.

“The girl looked just fine, but she is mentally ill and could not move,” Vanny said, adding she also cannot talk, and her foot and leg were limp.

Police are looking for the relatives, who could face up to three years in prison for abandoning an underage person, he said. Vendors in the area said they saw two men riding a moto bring her to the area.

The girl was taken to the government-run Borey orphanage in Battambang on Tuesday, said Pen Veasna, assistant chief of the facility. “She is probably 4 to 5 years old. She is lacking Vitamin A, and we [will] cure her mouth sore,” he said. She also needs physical therapy. “I don’t know if she can walk or will recover, because we have not treated her yet.”

The orphanage now has seven abandoned disabled children, he added.

Ross Layton, of the Cambodian Children’s Trust in Battambang, said: “Many families struggle to care for disabled children, due to limited community-based supports and limited specialist services in Battambang for [such] children.”

Posted on: July 13, 2016 9:08 pm

Launch of child welfare plan marked

A primary school student arrives at school in Phnom Penh in 2014. Vireak Mai

Igor Kossov, The Phnom Penh Post
Thu, 21 January 2016

The Cambodian government on Monday launched its first nationwide policy for child development, aiming to enhance education, promote social welfare and strengthen protection for children in the Kingdom.

The multi-pronged plan was created by multiple ministries working together over the past three years and will require them to continue to cooperate to implement it, said Men Socheth, the secretary-general of the Cambodia National Council for Children, which is overseeing the policy.

“We want to improve the lives of children in Cambodia,” said Socheth.

The program will attempt to reduce the dropout rates of students and increase vocational training opportunities.

On the social welfare front, the government will promote family cohesion, create health and nutrition programs for children and improve access to clean water. Child protection will entail cracking down on child labour and on crimes against children.

Socheth didn’t discuss the budget for the program, but said a “major” portion is coming from foreign donors. The goal is to be more compliant with the UN convention on children’s rights.

Posted on: January 21, 2016 6:08 pm