Don Bosco Technical School and Don Bosco Children Fund of Kep Province, Southeast Cambodia, is committed to protect children and teenagers from any action lead by any adult or by another child that would make a kid vulnerable or a victim. This includes children and teenagers (under 18 years old), who receive a benefit from any project of Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia (DBFC), but also those who are not necessary registered in any program, but could be affected in any way.
The projects of DBFC are dedicated to guarantee education for vulnerable children and youth, and definitively stand for the protection of children’s rights, and encourage others to do so. In the Cambodian Constitution, Chapter III, there are several articles to guaranteed children and women’s rights:
Art. 31: Requires the State to recognize and respect human rights, including covenants and conventions related to human rights, women’s and children’s rights.
Art. 46: Requires the State and society to provide opportunities for women, so they can get employment, medical care, and send their children to school.
Art. 47: Point the duty of parents to care for and educate their children to become good citizens and establishes a corresponding duty for children to care for their elderly parents.
Art. 48: Requires the State to protect the rights of children as stipulated in the “Convention on Children,” particularly the right to live, to have education, protection during wartime and from economic or sexual exploitation. The State is required to protect children from acts that endanger their educational opportunities, health, and welfare.
Art. 73: Requires the State to give full consideration to children and mothers, and to establish nurseries and support for women and children who don’t have it.
Protection for children and women in Cambodia are also mentioned in different agreements by the national legislation such as:
- Penal Code
- Civil Code
- Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation 2008
- Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Protection of the Victims 2005
- Law on Proportion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2009
- Social Security Law 2002
- Law on Inter-Country Adoption 2009
- Law on Marriage and Family 1989
- Law on Education 2007
- Law on Khmer Nationality1996
- Sub-decree on Civil Status No. 103 of December 2000
Please visit the website of Child Rights International Network for more information about the Cambodian national laws on children’s rights.
In Cambodia a minor is a person under 18 years old. However, the age of consent is 16. According to the Article 8 of the Law for suppression of the kidnapping, trafficking and exploitation of human persons, that says:
Any person who commits debauchery acts onto a minor person of below 15 years old, even if there is consent from the concerned minor person or if upon buying such minor person from somebody else or from a head of the prostitutes, shall be subject to punishment from ten (10) to twenty (20) years in prison. In case of not giving up, the maximum punishment term shall be applied.
The court may, in addition to the above principal punishment, apply a sub-punishment by restriction of the civil rights and non-authorization of residence.
In our Don Bosco Cambodia projects, all children and youth registered in our programs are considered vulnerable people. It applies especially to the following individuals:
- Children under 18 years old.
- Children and youth who are coming from very poor communities and do not have more opportunities, so they rely on Don Bosco projects to get a future.
- Girls and young women of any age.
- Children and youth with disabilities.
- Children and youth who have been abused, rescued from human trafficking, child workers, child beggars or victims of domestic violence, abandonment, and orphans.
- Children and youth who are victims of discrimination by their families or communities for their physical disabilities, sexual preferences, gender, ethnicity or any other kind of discrimination.
All these people are considered vulnerable. They must be subject of special attention and care.
Policies for teachers, volunteers, staff, and any person involved in any project at Don Bosco in Cambodia in a permanent or temporal way:
- Please announce your visit with the guard. In any special case, you will ask to provide an identification document. It includes people who worked before in Don Bosco.
- Don’t take photos or film students without authorization.
- Taking pictures of children and youth without their knowledge in order to make fun of them, is forbidden.
- No pictures of nude children and/or youth or violating their privacy.
- Children traveling in a Don Bosco car must be always with a responsible adult.
- Adults can’t give special attentions to a particular child or student.
- Adults must not be alone with children inside rooms, cars or private areas. Meet children and students in public areas.
- Adults won’t make promises to children and students such as taking them their countries or sending special gifts.
- Adults won’t give money to children and students. If a child or student has a particular need, please refer to Don Bosco Kep administration.
- Don Bosco Kep requests police records from foreign volunteers or people that will deal with children and students.
- Child offenders or individuals that have been convicted for child offenses are not authorized to approach children in Don Bosco Kep. If their presence is necessary in any way, an extraordinary reference from a tribunal or police department stating that such person is not a risk to children is mandatory.
- Child offenders or individuals that have been convicted for child offenses must not live near Don Bosco Kep or public schools, or any area where children use to meet within 1 kilometer around the school. An extraordinary reference from a tribunal or police department stating that such person is not a risk to children is mandatory for any exception.
- Don Bosco Kep keeps the right to request the authorities that a person with child offenses record be removed and placed far from Don Bosco Kep.
- Adults must not court Don Bosco Kep students, even if they are older than 18 years old or have special relationships that can be understood as an intimate relationship. Foreign volunteers saying that engage with a student as their girlfriend/boyfriend will be dismissed.
- Adults courting children are strictly prohibited in Don Bosco Kep. It is our duty to report to authorities any suspicious activity where children could be victim of any sort of abuse by an adult.
- Adults working in Don Bosco as teachers, volunteers or managers, are required to follow this Child Protection Policy and this includes the protection of any child related or not with the school.
- Nobody is authorized to use the Internet of Don Bosco Kep to open pornographic sites. It is strictly forbidden to use the Internet to court children or to see material that shows nude children; or to perform any online action that means an offense against children. It is our duty to report this actions to the authorities.
- Adults related to Don Bosco Kep must not engage in prostitution activities, especially if such activities involve underage persons.
- The Don Rua Youth Hostel is for people aged 18-35 years old. Groups of underage people must have an adult leader and have permissions from parents and tutors. Adults renting a room with children must provide lawful permissions for the children. Unregistered people coming to the Youth Hostel are not allowed. It is our duty to report to the authorities any unlawful/irregular activity.
- Adults must have a lawful authorization from Don Bosco Kep administration in order to take children and students out of the school for special activities, even if students are older than 18.
- Parents cannot remove children or youth from the school without notifying the school authorities.
- Guards will not allow parents to remove children and youth from the school without an authorization. The fact that they are parents do not give them authority to remove children and youth without notifying the school authorities.
- It is strictly forbidden to use physically violence against children and students related or not to Don Bosco Kep. Adults using violence against children and students will be dismissed or reported. This includes psychological bullying, humiliation, screaming or any other way that put children and students in disadvantage.
- Teachers and adults are responsible for looking after children and youth at all times.
- If a child or a young person has discipline issues, that does not excuse any teacher from doing their work, that is caring and assisting that child or young person at all times.
- Adults must not touch children and students in any way that can be understood as harassment, in public or in private.
- Places reserved for gender separation must be respected in a strictly way: Males must not enter female areas; females must not enter male’s areas. Exceptions must be justified.
- Boundaries of respect between children and youth must be respected. Youth should not discriminate children for any reason. The school will provide training to youth in order to respect and care for children.
- Don Bosco Kep teachers must work closely with children and students to prevent bullying inside the school. Children or students that are victim of bullying, must be assisted all the time. Students or children that commit bullying to others must be assisted also to change their behavior.
- It is strictly forbidden to bring guns, drugs, cigarettes or explosives inside Don Bosco Kep School. Drugs users cannot apply as teachers in Don Bosco Cambodia.
- Don Bosco Kep is a non-smoking area.
- Adults must not invite children and students to drink alcohol under any reason.
- Adults must dress in a proper way and respect the Cambodian culture. Please do not dress in a way that can be seen as arousal to students. Be aware of cultural shocks: What could be seen as normal in your country, can be a scandal in this one.
- Children and youth should be assisted when they cross the National Road 33A between the schools.
- Vehicles crossing the National Road 33A must reduce speed when going between the schools.
- The maximum speed within the Don Bosco Campus is 20 kilometers per hour.
If you see something suspicious that could put a child in danger of any sort of abuse, please report it to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 097.371.2020 in Kep or Kampot Province immediately. You can also call the Cambodia Child Network if any kind of abuse is underway right now to: 012–311-112. You can also call the Cambodian Police if you suspect of sexual abuse on underage kids or human trafficking: 023-997-919.
If you see any suspicious case, don’t try to take actions by yourself. Call for professional assistance. If you take photographic or filming evidences, it can be useful.
What can be suspicious?
- An underage person with an adult that seems not related to him/her. Be aware of biethnic families. Try to make sure about their relationship between them before taking action.
- An adult bringing an underage person inside a hotel or guesthouse.
- In Cambodia people of the same gender show physical affection (boys holding the hands of other boys, embracing each other, etc.) Be aware that this doesn’t really means homosexuality. It is a cultural show of friendship. If you are a man and a boy holds your hand, that means friendship. Do not confuse it with sexual actions. Some people take advantage of this fact to sexually approach teenagers, If you see an adult––especially a foreigner––touching in a non-proper way (meaning keeping the necessary distance) a child and covering up under the it is “cultural,” you can conclude it is only abuse. In this case, please contact the administration at once.
Other actions to prevent child abuse in Cambodia:
- Don’t give money to child beggars. Most of them are used by criminal adults.
- Don’t buy things from children on beaches or other tourist spots after 6:00 p.m. (18:00). That will keep them at the place during the night hoping for more clients.
- The “pot of milk” with a little girl and a baby are scams… don’t believe it.
- Don’t accept “children tourist guides.” Ignore them and they will not follow you.
- Don’t accept to participate in “orphanage tourism.” It is scam… If you want to donate to orphanages, investigate which ones are real and provide funds directly to them, or you can contact us.