PHNOM PENH, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and a child protection NGO Hagar on Tuesday launched the first-ever guidebook, aimed to provide lawyers, child advocates, and guardians with the tools to support child victims in Cambodia's criminal justice system.
The complete guide includes tools to implement a court preparation program, which is widely regarded as crucial in minimizing the trauma often experienced by children going to court, the two organizations said in a press release, adding that training materials will also provide tools to help children and their care-givers understand the court process through checklists and steps to protect the child in court.
"Our goal is to ensure that justice courts are friendly and safe places for children who are survivors or witnesses of violence and crime, with clear processes and specialized legal actors to uphold the best interests of the child," said Debora Comini, UNICEF representative to Cambodia.
"Through the implementation of this new guide, children will receive adequate support while going through the legal processes, which is a major step forward for the rights of children in contact with the justice system," she said.
Hagar International CEO Micaela Cronin said that each year, many more children have gone through court processes that are unfamiliar and frightening to them.
"We are confident that it will contribute to a more child friendly justice system and prevent children from being further traumatized during the legal process," she said.
According to the press release, the anticipated outcome from this guide is to see a significant step towards improving the experience of child victims and witnesses in the justice process and creating a child-friendly justice system in Cambodia.