First Step Cambodia, Voice of Children
An important part of Childhood’s work is to identify and support marginalized groups that have been forgotten or neglected in the work against violence and abuse. Boys are such a group. Sexual abuse against boys is often forgotten or diminished. In some cases the abuse is laughed at, in others the boy is blamed. Among many boys there is also a fear of being pointed out as homosexual or “unmanly”. All of this makes it difficult for boys to speak about abuse, and to gain access to support. Together with our partner Regnbågsfonden (Rainbow Foundation), Childhood has launched an initiative to draw attention to and strengthen the work to prevent sexual abuse of boys.
Committed player for boys in Siem Reap
Childhood has partnered with First Step Cambodia since 2014. Initially, support for sexually exploited children, regardless if they were boys or girls, was not available in in Siem Reap. Together with Childhood and other local Childhood partners, First Step has built a strong network for early detection of abuse, therapy and treatment, psychosocial family support. Jag tog bort att de har fosterfamiljer. First Step has developed into a nationally established player who also educates others about boys’ vulnerability.
Important studies on boys’ vulnerability
In 2019, Childhood invested in two country studies on boys’ vulnerability, one in Cambodia and one in Nepal because of the extensive lack of research about the risks and needs specific for boys. Through interviews with exposed boys and caring adults, the understanding of needed and relevant efforts has increased.
Photo: Joel Borgström