by Mom Chantara Soleil
Cambodia has launched its milestone ‘Guiding Manual of Good Practices for Child Participation in National Policy Dialogue and Program Development’ – an effort made possible by NGO Committee on the Rights of the Child (NGOCRC) through the support from Plan International and UNICEF.
Grounding on best practices and good lessons learned of local and international NGOs working in child and youth development, this important manual intends to provide practical guidance in applying the child participation minimum standard compiled by the Cambodian National Council for Children (CNCC) since 2014, particularly in national policy dialogue and strategic program development.
“Only the children and youth understand best about their situation. They, children and youth, under the age of 25, make up about 51 percent of the country population. And as enshrined under article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, children have a right to participate in all matters affecting them,” Jan Jaap Kleinrensink, Country Director of Plan International Cambodia addressed the dissemination of the manual attended by concerned representatives from concerned government institutions, non-governmental organizations, UN agencies and youth delegates.
He added that, “Enabling their meaningful participation to have their views taken into account in decision-making, policy making as well as programming will, thereby, contribute vitally to further promote the country’s socio-economic development.”
The assistance of Plan International Cambodia to the NGO Committee on the Rights of the Child (NGOCRC) to compile the manual is financially powered by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (known in short as SIDA) and Plan International Sweden.
According to Hor Kosal, official in charge of the work, in putting together this manual, consultations and interviews were undertaken with key leading stakeholders engaged in child participation. This consisted of children, civil society and government stakeholders.
The principal target audience for this manual are government and civil society stakeholders who are seeking to strengthen child participation in national level policy dialogue and the strategic development of programs. It also aims to be accessible to child stakeholders engaged in the exercise of their right to participation.