Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu
Operations Enfants du Cambodge
UNICEF uses the term ‘child protection’ to refer to preventing and responding to violence, exploitation and abuse against children – including commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking, child labor and harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation/cutting and child marriage. UNICEF’s child protection programs also target children who are uniquely vulnerable to these abuses, such as when living without parental care, in conflict with the law and in armed conflict. Violations of the child’s right to protection take place in every country and are massive, under recognized and under-reported barriers to child survival and development, in addition to being human rights violations. Children subjected to violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect are at risk of death, poor physical and mental health, HIV/AIDS infection, educational problems, displacement, homeless-ness, vagrancy and poor parenting skills later in life.

Policy Statement
Operations Enfants du Cambodge is committed to practice which protects children from harm. Staff and volunteers in this organization accept and recognize our responsibilities to develop awareness of the issues which cause children harm.

This policy is based on the following principles:
  • The welfare of the child is paramount.
  • All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.
  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
  • All staff and social workers have a responsibility to report concerns to the Designated Person with responsibility for child protection (project manager related to child protection). Staff/ volunteers are not trained to deal with situations of abuse or to decide if abuse has occurred
We will aim to safeguard children by:
  • Adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers.
  • Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents and careers, staff and volunteers.
  • Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.
  • Carefully following the procedures for recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers.
  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through support, supervision and training.
  • We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice regularly.
This policy sets out agreed guidelines relating to the following areas:
  • Responding to allegations of abuse, including those made against staff and volunteers
  • Recruitment and vetting of Staff and volunteers
  • Supervision of organizational activities
1. Definitions of abuse

Physical abuse
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or career feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after. This situation is commonly described as factitious illness, fabricated or induced illness in children or “Munchausen Syndrome by proxy” after the person who first identified this situation. A person might do this because they enjoy or need the attention they get through having a sick child. Physical abuse, as well as being the result of a deliberate act, can also be caused through omission or the failure to act to protect.

Emotional abuse
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve making a child feel or believe they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of the other person.
It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. It may also involve causing children to feel frequently frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of a child.

Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of, or consents to, what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative acts such as rape, buggery or oral sex, or non-penetrative acts such as fondling. Sexual abuse may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. Boys and girls can be sexually abused by males and or females, by adults and by other young people. This includes people from all different walks of life.

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It may involve a parent or a carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, leaving a young child home alone or the failure to ensure that a child gets appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs. It is accepted that in all forms of abuse there are elements of emotional abuse, and that some children are subjected to more than one form of abuse at any time. These four definitions do not minimize other forms of maltreatment.


2. Recognizing and Responding to Abuse

The following signs may or may not be indicators that abuse has taken place, but the possibility should be considered.

Physical signs of abuse: Any injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them; -Injuries which occur to the body in places which are not normally exposed to falls or games; -Unexplained bruising, marks or injuries on any part of the body; -Bruises which reflect hand marks or fingertips (from slapping or pinching); -Cigarette burns; -Bite marks; -Broken bones; - scalds; -Injuries which have not received medical attention; - Neglect-under nourishment, failure to grow, constant hunger, stealing or gorging food, untreated illnesses, inadequate care; - Repeated urinary infections or unexplained stomach pains.

Changes in behavior which can also indicate physical abuse:-Fear of parents being approached for an explanation; -   Aggressive behavior or severe temper outbursts; -Flinching when approached or touched; -Reluctance to get changed, for example, wearing long sleeves in hot weather; -Depression; -Withdrawn behavior; -Running away from home.

Emotional signs of abuse: The physical signs of emotional abuse may include: -A failure to thrive or grow particularly if a child puts on weight in other circumstances e.g. in hospital or away from their parents’ care; -Sudden speech disorders; -Persistent tiredness;- Development delay, either in terms of physical or emotional progress.

Changes in behavior which can also indicate emotional abuse include:-Obsessions or phobias; -Sudden under-achievement or lack of concentration; -Inappropriate relationships with peers and/or adults;-Being unable to play;-Attention seeking behavior; -Fear of making mistakes;-Self-harm; -Fear of parent being approached regarding their behavior.

Sexual Abuse: The physical signs of sexual abuse may include:-Pain or itching in the genital/anal area; -Bruising or bleeding near genital/anal areas; -Sexually transmitted disease; -Vaginal discharge or infection; -Stomach pains, -Discomfort when walking or sitting down; -Pregnancy.

Changes in behavior which can also indicate sexual abuse include: Sudden or unexplained changes in behavior e.g. becoming withdrawn or aggressive; -Fear of being left with a specific person or group of people; -Having nightmares; -Running away from home; -Sexual knowledge which is beyond their age or development al level; -Sexual drawings or language; -Bedwetting; -Eating problems such as over-eating or anorexia; -Self-harm or mutilation, sometimes leading to suicide attempts; -Saying they have secrets they cannot tell anyone about; -Substance or drug abuse; -Suddenly having unexplained sources of money; -Not allowed to have friends (particularly in adolescence); -Acting in a sexually explicit way with adults.

Neglect: The physical signs of neglect may include:-Constant hunger, sometimes stealing food from other children; -Constantly dirty or smelly; -Loss of weight or being constantly underweight; -Inappropriate dress for the conditions.

Changes in behavior which can also indicate neglect include:-Complaining of being tired all the time; -Not requesting medical assistance and/or failing to attend appointments; -Having few friends; -Mentioning being left alone or unsupervised.


3. What to do if you (OEC staff) suspect that abuse may have occurred
  1. You must report the concerns immediately to OEC who will designates necessary person to:
    • Obtain information from staff, volunteers, children or parents and careers, who have child protection concerns and to record this information.
    • Assess the information quickly and carefully and ask for further information as appropriate.
    • They should also consult with a statutory child protection such as parents association (PA) and Child Club (CC) to clarify any doubts or worries.
    • The designated person should make a referral to a statutory child protection agency or the police without delay.


  2. The designated person has been nominated by OEC to refer allegations or suspicions of neglect or abuse to the statutory authorities, Commune Committee for Women and Children (CCWC) and then to the security police of the commune.

    Suspicions will not be discussed with anyone other than those nominated above.
  3. It is the right of any individual to make direct referrals to the child protection agencies. If for any reason you believe that the nominated persons have not responded appropriately to your concerns, then it is up to you to contact the CCWC and commune security directly.

Allegations of physical injury or neglect
If a child has a symptom of physical injury or neglect the designated person will:

1. Contact Social Services for advice in cases of deliberate injury or concerns about the safety of the child. The parents should not be informed by the organization in these circumstances.
     2. Where emergency medical attention is necessary it will be sought immediately. The designated person in cooperation with CCWC will inform the doctor of any suspicions of abuse.
     3. In other circumstances speak with the parent/career/guardian and suggest that medical help/attention is sought for the child. The doctor will then initiate further action if necessary.
     4. If appropriate the parent/career will be encouraged to seek help from Social Services. If the parent/care/guardian fails to act the designated person should in case of real concern contact ADHOC or LICHADO or LAC for assistance or advice.|


Allegations of sexual abuse
In the event of allegations or suspicions of sexual abuse the designated person will:

1. Contact the social worker for children, PA and CCWC and families directly. The designated person will not speak to anyone else.
    2. If the designated person is unsure whether or not to follow the above guidance then advice from the ADHOC or LICHADO or LAC will be sought. In fact the two first organizations have the duties to proceed the affairs to the court.
    3. Under no circumstances is the designated person attempt to carry out any investigation into the allegation or suspicions of sexual abuse. The role of the designated person is to collect and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and to provide this information to ADHOC or LICHADO whose task it is to investigate the matter and to assist the victim legally.
    4. Whilst allegations or suspicions of sexual abuse should normally be reported to the designated person, their absence should not delay referral first to security police of the commune.
4. Responding to a child making an allegation of abuse
  • Stay calm, listen carefully to what is being said
  • Find an appropriate early opportunity to explain that it is likely that the information will need to be share with others-do not promise to keep secrets
  • Allow the child to continue at his/her own pace
  • Ask questions for clarification only, and at all-time avoid asking questions that suggest a particular answer
  • Reassure the child that they have done the right thing in telling you
  • Tell them what you will do next and with whom the information will be shared
  • Record in writing what was said using the child’s own words as soon as possible, note the date, time, any names mentioned, to whom the information was given and ensure that the record is signed and dated
Helpful statements to make
  • I believe you (or showing acceptance of what the child says)
  • Thank you for telling me
  • It’s not your fault
  • I will help you
Do not say
  • Why didn’t you tell anyone before?
  • I can’t believe it!
  • Are you sure that this is true?
  • Why? Who? When? Where?
  • Never make false promises
5. What to do after a child has talked to you about abuse

The procedure

  1. Make notes as soon as possible (ideally within 1 hour of being told) you should write down exactly what the child has said and what you said in reply and what was happening immediately before being told (i.e. the activity being delivered) You should record the dates, times and when you made the record. All hand written notes should be kept securely.
  2. You should report your discussion with the designated person as soon as possible. If this person is implicated you need to report to the CCWC, commune security and to ADHOC and LICHADO for further assistance.
  3. You should under no circumstances discuss your suspicions or allegations with anyone other than those nominated above.
  4. After a child has disclosed abuse, the designated persons should carefully consider whether or not it is safe for a child to return home to potentially abusive situation. On these rare occasions it may be necessary to take immediate action to contact Social and Women Affairs of the lieu putting safety measures into effect.
6. Recruitment and appointment of workers and volunteers

In recruiting and appointing workers OEC will be responsible for the following:

  • Identifying the tasks and responsibilities involved and the type of person most suitable for the job.
  • Drawing up the Selection criteria and putting together a list of essential and desirable qualifications, skills and experience.
  • All applicants should apply in writing and their application will cover their personal details, previous and current work/volunteering experience.
  • We will always send a copy of Statement of Commitment with the application pack.
  • We will make sure that we measure the application against the selection criteria.
  • All applicants need to sign a declaration stating that there is no reason why they should be considered unsuitable to work with children under the age of 18. They are also required to declare any pending case against them.
  • We will ask for photographic evidence to confirm the identity of the applicant.
  • We will request to see documentation of any qualifications detailed by the applicant.
  • We will always interview our candidates; ask for two references.
  • We will at least three people from our organization on the interview panel.
  • We will request two written references from people who are not family members or friends and who have knowledge of the applicant’s experience. We will ask the referee to also comment on their suitability for working with children. We will also try and follow up written references with a telephone call.
  • The same principles apply to young people who have been involved with the organization and have become volunteers.
7. Allegations against a member of staff

We will assure all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child. Where there is a complaint against a member of staff there may be three types of investigation:

  • A criminal investigation.
  • A child protection investigation.
  • A disciplinary or misconduct investigation.

The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence the disciplinary investigation, but not necessarily.


8. Action if there are concerns
  1. Concerns about poor practice:
  • If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice; this will be dealt with as a misconduct issue.
  • If the allegation is about poor practice by the Designated Person or if the matter has been handled inadequately and concerns remain, it should be reported to the Management Committee (MC) who will decide how to deal with the allegation and whether or not the organization should initiate disciplinary proceedings.
  1. Concerns about suspected abuse:
  • Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either a member of staff or a volunteer should be reported to the Designated Person, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.
  • The Designated person will refer the allegation to the police.
  • The parents or careers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible for complete clarification.
  • If the Designated Person is the subject of the suspicion/allegation, the report must be made to the MC who will refer first to local authority of the lieu.
  1. Internal Enquiries and Suspension:
  • The MC will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further police and social services inquiries.
  • Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police inquiries the organization will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff or volunteer can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled. This may be a difficult decision; particularly where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such cases, the organization must reach a decision based upon the available information which could suggest that on a balance of probability, it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The welfare of the child should remain of paramount importance throughout.


9. Supervisory arrangements for the management of OEC activities and services.

We will aim to protect children from abuse and our team members from false allegations by adopting the following guidelines:

  • We will keep a register of all children attending our activities.
  • We will keep a register of all team members (both paid staff members and volunteers).
  • We will keep a record of all sessions including monitoring and evaluation records.
  • Our team members will record any unusual events on the accident/incident form.
  • Written consent from a parent or guardian will be obtained for every child attending our activities.
  • Where possible our team members should not be alone with a child, although we recognize that there may be times when this may be necessary or helpful.
  • We recognize that physical touch between adults and children can be healthy and acceptable in public places. However our team members will be discouraged from this in circumstances where an adult or child is left alone.
  • All team members should treat all children with dignity and respect in both attitude language and actions.
10. Support and Training

Welcome to

Home | About Us | What we do | Why we do | Where we do | Human Resource of OEC | Leaders’ page | Fundraising| Financial report | Vacancy


Address: Operations Enfants du Cambodge (OEC)
No 23 , Sophy II, Rattanak commune, Battambang city, Battambang province, Cambodia
Tel: +855(0) 53 952 752