CARE Cambodia under ACCESS 2 launched inclusive pathways for Persons with Disabilities and Gender-Based Violence in Ratanak Kiri

March 26, 2024 – CARE Cambodia and partners have conducted an introductory workshop under the Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services-Phase 2 (ACCESS II) program on Strengthening Inclusive Service for Indigenous People (ISISIP) project at Ratanak Kiri’s Provincial Hall.  The project aims to increase the voice and participation of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) survivors and persons with disabilities, strengthening subnational GBV and disability service provision, and ensuring policies respond to their needs.

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Cambodia remains a concern. All forms of GBV affect severely on women, children, and vulnerable people. With the SISIP project CARE and partners focus on the challenges Indigenous communities and women with disabilities in Ratanak Kiri where the majority of the population belongs to one of the six ethnic minorities.

The ACCESS program is funded by DFAT and managed by Abt Associates. They enable CARE to continue the work done under ACCESS 1. The second phase of the ACCESS program is from 2023-2028 and aims to address the improvement of GBV and disability service provision at national and sub-national levels. The successful introductory workshop brought together the relevant provincial departments, Development Partners, such as UNICEF, CSO’s such as TPO and PAfID, and the two Indigenous organizations CARE collaborating with in Ratanak Kiri: CIPL and the Highlanders Association.

The SISIP project aims to improve the service quality, inclusiveness, and awareness of GBV and disability services among the communities. CARE Cambodia has adopted a twin-track approach to strengthen disability inclusion and aligns with the RESPECT framework outlining seven relevant strategic interventions including relationship skills strengthening, empowerment of women, services ensured, poverty reduced, environments made safe, child and adolescent abuse prevented, transformed attitudes, beliefs, and norms.

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SISIP Introductory workshop discussion session

Sam Oeun Loeun (left) and representative of HA and other participants from civil society discuss on issues regarding social inclusion and disability.

“As a person of Indigenous community myself, I sincerely hope that this ISISP project will truly provide benefits to the Indigenous community by serving​​​​​ the needs of women who are disproportionately affected by Gender-Based Violence (GBV)​.” Sam Oeun Loeun, a representative from Highlander Association (HA) in Ratanak Kiri said. As one of an key partners for SISIP, Sam Oeun Leun added “I do hope that the project will provide effective solutions to solve problems for my Indigenous communities with important consideration to our cultural identity and social norms, based on traditions and belief systems”.

The project works closely with Indigenous women, men, adolescents and youth, girls, boys, persons with disabilities, communities, and local organizations to create a better understanding of the root causes of GBV in the community and to acknowledge the need of transformative change in their communities.

Strengthening Inclusive Service for Indigenous People (ISISIP) project is implementing under the Australia -Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services program funded by DEFAT and managed by Abt association. Read about our project on CARE Cambodia page and About ACCESS II here.