Unsafe migration practices pose a real risk to many marginalized children and families in Cambodia. Every year Cambodian children and families cross the border into Thailand to seek work or to beg on the streets of the city. Unfortunately the risks they face are many, including the risk of being further exploited or of being placed into detention as illegal migrants. Since 2005, Friends International has supported many children and families facing these situations. Their cross-border migration project collaborates with Thai and Cambodian authorities to attack the issues driving unsafe migration at the roots:
- Supporting at-risk children and families through holistic service provision in Bangkok and Aranyaprathet (on the border with Cambodia),
- Assisting migrants in returning to their countries of origin (Cambodia, Laos),
- Supporting their lasting reintegration into home communities with local NGO's within the CYTI Alliance,
- Undertaking prevention work in high risk areas of cities and communities.
GEcsn's support to Friends International started in February 2007 and consisted in helping in the creation and planning of projects, connecting specialists and volunteers to the project, networking with other like-minded organizations in the South East Asia region such as Mith Samlanh in Phnom Penh (www.mithsamlanh.org) along with considerable financial support in launching the project.
GEcsn continues to support the following Friends International project:
The Phnom Penh 24/7 ChildSafe Network Hotline - 24/7 ChildSafe Hotline - which was set up in July 2009 following a contribution from GEcsn. Functioning in 3 languages (Thai, Khmer and Lao), the hotline provides direct access for children or concerned persons to child protection services. It is linked directly to the services provided by Friends International and other NGO's, allowing the caller to get immediate help if necessary.