Press release: City for Children – Celebrating International Children’s Day in the Urban Poor Settlements of Phnom Penh

In collaboration with People in Need (PIN), Urban Poor Women Development (UPWD), and the Open Institute (OI), Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) will celebrate International Children’s Day on 1st June 2017, with the event “City for Children”. Around 200 participants will attend the celebration, including 120 children, around 50 of whom are residents of Prek Takong 1 Village in Boeung Tompun. Participants will also include representatives from the Municipality of Phnom Penh, Local Authorities, as well as donor and consortium partners of the Human Rights Based Spatial Planning project.

The event will be held on Thursday 1st June 2017, at Prek Takong 1 community, Prektakong 1 Village, Sangkat Chak Angre Leu, Khan Mean Chey, Phnom Penh from 8 am to 11 am.

The purpose of this event is to encourage children and their families to think about the environment in their city, through a discussion about “their ideal city”, which they will depict through drawings and paintings.

According to the 2014 Phnom Penh Survey, conducted by STT, there are 340 urban poor settlements in Phnom Penh in which children are subjected to poor living conditions, and lack access to safe water supplies, electricity, proper sanitation and sewage systems. According to research published by PIN in 2016, one third of children in urban poor communities are undernourished, physically smaller and perform at a lower standard at school (if able to attend) as a result. This event helps to encourage children to think about their urban living environment in accordance to their vision of their “ideal city”, which will be represented through their own drawings and creations.

Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of STT states “This event is an opportunity for these children to bring their aspirations for their home to life through fun activities. It is also means that these children are learning from an early age that they can have a voice in the development of their city.”

In 2016 STT, PIN, UPWD and OI launched the second phase of the collaborative project “City for all – Human Rights Based Spatial Planning”, which is funded by the European Union (EU) delegation in Cambodia and the Czech Development Cooperation. This three-year project promotes a rights-based approach to urban development. The project’s target areas are Chrang Chamres community and the communities around Boeung Tompun Lake, which are under threat of eviction. The project works with the communities and the 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.

In addition to the on-the-ground work carried out in urban poor communities, the “City for All – Human Rights Based Spatial Planning” project engages students in Phnom Penh through a series of Spatial Planning Labs. This involves a series of workshops and lectures, such as Disaster Risk Sensitive Land Use Planning, Human Rights Based Spatial Planning, and Gender and Spatial Planning, to help future urban planners consider the importance of a rights’ based approach in the development of Cambodia’s capital city. Children’s day engages children of urban poor communities as a key part of the human rights based spatial planning project, in a fun and creative manner, in their vision for the city.

For additional information please contact:

Mr SAO Kosal, Technical Programme Manager, STT: 017 555 887 (Khmer, English)

Mr SASIN Piotr, Country Director, PIN: 011 676 331 (English)