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APLE Annual Retreat 2015





On 28 July – 1 August 2015, APLE Cambodia conducted its annual retreat for all staff in Sihanoukville. The retreat provided staff the opportunity to share their work, to initiate a strategic planning process, to learn from the best practices by relevant stakeholders in the province, and to get first aid training. In addition, we visited our partner organization M’lop Tapang and a field visit to Cambrew Angkor factory. The retreat encouraged staff to focus on their tasks and continue their hard work of protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation.







LEGAL SUPPORT PROGRAM
Child-Friendly Practices Come to Fruition in Cambodian Courts
On 21 July, during the trial at Siem Reap Provincial Court, we saw an APLE privacy screen being used in the courtroom, which enabled our client to testify in confidence and without fear. Often, our lawyer has to propose its use; however, the judge put it there from the start this time. This shows a great development and progress towards the use of child-friendly practices in court.
 
With funding from Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, APLE has donated 16 privacy screens to the courts in Phnom Penh, Kandal, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Battambang, and Banteay Meanchey, as well as the Appeal Court and Supreme Court. Though criminal courtrooms are often scary for children, these privacy screens help to comfort and protect children who find themselves in this difficult situation.

Legal Support Program in Number:

- 19 victims and family members received follow-up legal
counseling and support
- 13 victims and families represented at courts



INVESTIGATION PROGRAM
Informants Are the Eyes and Ears on the Ground to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse
Reports from informants have proven to be very valuable in the prevention of child sexual abuse and exploitation. Recognizing this, APLE seeks to establish a new network of informants in hotspot locations to ensure that suspicious behaviour is reported in a timely manner. While the number of reports to our 24/7 Hotline increases continuously, there remain some challenges. People do not want to report because they may not understand, trust, or want to be involved with the legal process; however, there is no reason for hesitancy.
 
Recently, one of APLE’s established informants reported a suspicion to APLE. An initial investigation into the case was immediately conducted by our experienced investigators to determine what might have happened before contacting the police. The suspicions were confirmed and APLE reported the case to the police. Based on evidence collected by police, the offender was arrested for allegedly exploiting underage girls. Thanks to the informant’s report, two girls have been rescued from the exploitation.
 
Please do not hesitate to report any suspicion of child sexual abuse to: www.aplecambodia.org/reportcrimes. You can report anonymously and all reports remain confidential.


Investigation Program in Number:

- 20 cases received through hotline, email and staff
- 18 investigation cases investigated and followed up



TRAINING AND SOCIAL WORK PROGRAMS
Empowering the Community to Prevent Abuse and Client Rebuilds Life through School and Work
Empowering the Community to Prevent Abuse

On 17 July, APLE conducted two training sessions for informants about how to identify grooming techniques and report the crimes.
 
The selected informants include taxi drivers, hotel staff, cooks, tour guides, students, villagers, NGO personnel, and local authorities that are in the forefront of child protection. One of the participants stated that she feels she has gained new knowledge and experience through the APLE training. She wants to share it with her community to spread information that can help keep children safe. One of APLE’s priorities is to empower communities to prevent abuse in the first place.  

APLE Client Rebuilds Life through School and Work

A boy victim was rescued from sexual abuse in mid-2012 and provided with social and legal protection. He was just 14 years old at that time. Then, he was referred to a partner NGO for rehabilitation after his family requested APLE for further assistance.
 
Since his reintegration to his family, an APLE Social Worker has continued to follow up with the boy victim and his family to ensure the community and family encourage, protect, and support him. In 2015, he has continued Grade 7 studies at high school. His future dream is unclear because it is long time away for him, but his current dream is to buy a motorbike. He is trying to save money to buy it in the near future. Recently, an APLE social worker followed up with him and learned that he got a job as a security guard. Our congratulations to him as he has built a strong commitment and made a good plan for his own life.


Awareness & training and social support program in number:

- 48 (10F) at the two trainings
- 111 follow-up meetings with clients
- 1 victim got access to medical care
- 2 referrals to shelter












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