This Action Plan for improving child care, with the target of safely returning 30 per cent of children in residential care to their families 2016 - 2018, was developed to support the implementation of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY) Work Platform 2014–2018 and the Sub-Decree 119 on the Management of Residential Care Institutions, which was endorsed on 11 September 2015. The objective of the reintegration of children from residential care institutions to families is fully in line with the guiding principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to whichCambodia is a signatory: The principles of ‘the best interests of the child’, ‘do no harm’ and ‘equity’. (Read the Khmer version here)
Despite significant progress having been made in the area of child welfare, enforcement of existing alternative care policies and frameworks still needs to be improved, with greater government budget allocation. New mechanisms to prevent the admission of new vulnerable children to residential institutions, and to respond to abuse and violence of children in residential care facilities need to be well established and functioning at national and sub-national level.
In 2016, MoSVY conducted a mapping of residential care facilities nationwide, and as a result it has identified 16,579 children (47 per cent female) reported to be living in 406 residential care institutions nationwide. Of the 406 residential care institutions, 267 (11,788 children) are located in Phnom Penh, Battambang, Siem Reap, Kandal and Preah Sihanouk. These are priority provinces where MoSVY is committed to reintegrating 30 per cent of children from these residential care institutions to families and communities between 2016 and 2018. MoSVY would like to request authorities in the five priority provinces, especially, Women and Children Consultative Committee, DoSVY Directors and relevant development partners to collaborate for the development of a Provincial Operational Action Plan, and implementation of the national reintegration plan.