Media Advisory – 28th May 2015
City for Children – Celebrating International Children’s Day in the Urban Poor Settlements of Phnom Penh
Local urban NGO Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) in partnership with the Czech development NGO People in Need (PIN) are holding the “City for Children” event, as an opportunity to celebrate the 66th International Children’s Day on Monday 1st June in in 4 urban poor villages of Phnom Penh.
The event will be held at on Monday 1st June 2015, at “Vihea Thom” (the Large Mosque) at Kilometer 09, in Village 3, Sangkat Chrang Chamres Mouy, Khan Russey Keo, Phnom Penh from 8 am to 11 am.
Conditions for children living in urban poor settlements (of which there are 340 according to STT’s Phnom Penh Survey published in 2014) are affected by the lower rates of provision of public amenities, including supply of water, sanitation, sewage, and power. According to research published by PIN and Unicef earlier this year, every third child in the urban poor communities is undernourished. These children are smaller, weaker and do worse at school (if they attend one) than children which have access to balanced diet and safe water supply and sanitation.
In 2014, STT and PIN launched the collaborative project “City for All – Human Rights Based Spatial Planning” funded by the EU delegation in Cambodia and the Czech Development Agency, with the aim to promote a rights’ based approach to urban development. The project works with four villages in the area of Chrang Chamres Mouy, which are situated on the banks of the Tonle Sap river, where due to lack of tenure security, communities live under threat of eviction. The project works with the communities and local authorities to provide residents with assessments of their legal tenure claims, and to develop new urban plans for onsite upgrading to make the land use more effective, while avoiding involuntary resettlement.
Amongst other community strengthening exercises of the project, such as mapping and enumeration workshops, STT and PIN are holding this half-day event for 100 children and their parents from the four villages (Village I, II, III and Village Khor) at the above location. The event encourages children to think about their urban living environment, by giving them the opportunity to discuss and draw what their ideal city would look like.
“In our experience, inviting children and their parents to attend an event focused on children’s vision of their ideal houses and city helps a lot with the involvement of the community as a whole in our participatory mapping and infrastructure upgrading project”, says Mr Ee Sarom, Executive Director of STT. “With 10 years working in urban poor settlements, STT has witnessed again and again how children are affected by poor living conditions, which are often worse in the case of forced resettlement. We hope this event can help raise awareness of the importance of our children’s place in the city.”
In addition to the on-the-ground work carried out in Chrang Chamres Mouy, the “City for All – Human Rights Based Spatial Planning” project engages students in Phnom Penh in a “Spatial Planning Lab”. This involves a series of workshops and lectures such as Disaster Risk Sensitive Land Use Planning, Human Rights Based Spatial Planning, Gender and Spatial Planning etc., to help future urban planners consider the importance of a rights’ based approach to the development of Cambodia’s capital city.
PIN has also conducted assessments to identify the most disaster prone areas and increase local capacity to cope with disasters and suggest a set of appropriate mitigation measures.
For additional information please contact:
Mr. EE Sarom, Executive Director, STT: 012 836 533 (Khmer, English)
Mr. SASIN Piotr, Country Director, PIN: 011 676 331 (English)