New Day funds APLE Cambodia – January to June 2017

In January 2017, New Day made a bridging grant to APLE as they carry out a restructuring of their activities given a strategic focus shift.  The grant of US$12,500 funds the Court Support Program, including activity and program costs and partial cover of staff salaries.

In June 2017 this grant closed and New Day has successfully completed our funding relationship with APLE.  You can read their final report here: Semester Report (Jan-Jun 2017)_New Day Asia

It has been a pleasure and privilege to work with APLE over the past 5 years and support their essential work in Cambodia.  APLE Director Seila Samleang and his team have committed themselves to tirelessly work against Child Sexual Abuse in the country and represent the victims and their families in the court system.  We admire their dedication and will continue to promote them where possible.

You can read the latest annual report from APLE here: 2016 Annual Report

 

New Day Visits APLE, Phnom Penh – October 2016

On 18 October, Liza Green met with the APLE team in Phnom Penh to receive an update on the New Day 2016 grant to fund their Court Support Program.  The New Day contribution to this program is mainly the salary cover for 1 lawyer and a legal assistant along with covering proportions of other salary costs at the organisation.  The Court Support program provides Crisis Intervention, Legal Court Support and Social Court support to victims and their families as well as awareness training sessions.

The court process can take between 3-5 years and APLE is present throughout this time span.  From January to October 2016 APLE had provided social support to 134 victims, represented 70 victims in court and helped to convict 28 offenders.

You can read a full update report here: NDA Grant Update – Oct 2016

 

New Day funds APLE, Cambodia – January 2016

In January 2015 New Day made our 4th annual grant to APLE.  The US$25,000 will fund direct staff costs for their Court Support program that provides social work and legal support for victims and their families as their cases go through the court system in Cambodia.

We are pleased to continue our support of APLE and are proud of their recent achievement winning the international 2015 STAR Impact Award from the STAR Foundation.

We have the following summary of developments from our recent update with the organisation:

Call with Seila Samleang, APLE Country Director – January 12, 2016

APLE was established in 2003 as an international NGO and in 2014 became a fully Cambodian NGO with offices in Phnom Penh, Siem Riep, Sihanoukville and Battambang.  From 2003 to 2015 APLE rescued 746 victims from further abuse and assisted in the convictions of 251 sex offenders.  It also trained 10,698 individuals in communities and law enforcement.  APLE started a strategic planning journey in September 2014, finishing in November 2015.  It’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan includes a new mission, vision and core pillars of focus.

The motivation to undergo this strategic plan is to rational its services and focus and limit its output to its specialist areas, leaving areas where there is replication from partner NGOs.  It is also a cost effectiveness exercise.  It also wants to slowly hand over day to day investigative responsibilities to the Cambodian police through training and capacity building and mentorship.  APLE sees its cooperation with the Cambodia police as a key and unique feature, as well as the courts support it provides to victims both legally and from a social work perspective:

–  It will move away from a large team of investigators to a smaller team with investigators mentoring Cambodian police investigators to guide them through cases and build their capacity.  There has been a lot of resistance both from the Cambodian police and foreign law enforcement agencies that APLE will decrease its direct investigative capacity and activity.  APLE has agreed for this to be a slow process with the decrease happening hand in hand with the capacity building of the police.

– It will focus on its area of strength providing court support to victims and their families with two lawyers and a legal specialist on staff.  The legal specialist will be tasked with researching, advising and advocating to the Cambodian legal system and government to help to set up more comprehensive laws related to Child Sexual Abuse and  streamlined, efficient and child friendly court processes.

– It will focus on providing robust and specialist social worker support to victims and families as they go through the court process.

– It will work to train key members of the community in how to protect children from sexual abuse and identify potential abuse, building a committed informant network and running hotlines where members of the public can safely report on suspected cases.

APLE expects a slight decrease in staff Head count from 45 to 41.  They are looking to employ a grants manager, legal technical adviser and monitoring and evaluation specialist.

The APLE board was established in 2015 and is functioning well and providing support to the Country Director in strategic planning, expertise and fundraising.

 

2015 Grant to APLE, Cambodia

In January 2015 New Day made our third annual grant to Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) in Cambodia to support their efforts to investigate and prosecute Child Sexual Abuse (CSA).  Our grant of US$38,000 will support their Legal Assistance Program  and ongoing operational costs.   You can read more about their planned activities in the APLE Proposal 2015.

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APLE social worker and investigator speak with a victim”s familiy.

Site Visit to APLE – June 19 and 20, 2014

Community Awareness training session with APLE trainers.

Community Awareness training session with APLE trainers.

On June 19 and 20, New Day members Liza Green and Shannon Rogers spent 2 days with the APLE team in Phnom Penh. It was a great visit and we were impressed, as always, with their commitment and professionalism as well as their resilience in the face of such difficult work.  Below is a bullet point update of recent developments:

– APLE continues continues to have a solid team of committed and long term employees.  They have just received funding to build their organisational capacity and start a care program for their staff.  This is essential to relieve the stress of their challenging work.

– Opened a Battambang office to house investigators. They are finding many pedophiles, especially the ones who groom children and families, are moving to more remote locations. Perpetrators are realizing they need to be more discreet – awareness in Cambodia has greatly improved.

– APLE is in the process of creating an online reporting tool to address online pornography originating in Cambodia. Currently evaluating how to best tackle the legal and investigative issues.  They are collaborating with domestic and international partner organisations to achieve this.

Court officials attitudes towards victims have improved. Even the judges are asking questions in a more child friendly manner. The creation of juvenile procedures and a juvenile court is in draft law now. APLE is very happy with the draft.

 

 

New Day Grant to APLE – January, 2014

Community Awareness training session with APLE trainers.

In January 2014, New Day made a US$28,731 grant to APLE.  This grant will fund ongoing personnel and program expenses at their Phnom Penh office.  You can read the full funding proposal here:  NDA_FY14 Project Proposal-revised 16Dec13

APLE continues to do essential work in the prosecution of sex crimes against children in Cambodia and we are pleased to continue our partnership with them.

Visit to APLE – June 2013

APLE staff putting up an awareness raising poster in Phnom Penh

On June 14, 2013 New Day members Shannon Rogers, Liza Green and Chris Green spent the day with the team at Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) at their office in central Phnom Penh.  Over the course of the day we were given an in-depth explanation of all the work that APLE undertakes across the country in their efforts to investigate, prosecute and bring to justice those who commit crimes of sexual exploitation against children.  We met with Country Director, Seila Samleang, and his staff of investigators, lawyers, accountants, criminology specialists and international volunteers.  We were also grateful for the opportunity to meet and talk with Mr Jojo from World Vision Cambodia, one of APLE’s many NGO partners.

APLE staff work with a number of NGOs on the ground in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Riep to identify perpetrators of crimes against children and also to provide counselling and support for the children and their families as they go through the traumatic process of bringing their abusers to court.  Their work is painstaking (we were amazed at the level of detail they gather on each individual case) and they can spend upwards of two years on a cue before they have gathered enough evidence to alert the police for an arrest.  They are threatened and operate under a great deal of stress but everyone we spoke to talked about their passion for helping child victims and their belief in justice.

Since 2003 APLE has brought 248 perpetrators to justice and they are determined to move forward and create an environment in Cambodia that is unwelcoming and eventually closed off to pedophiles and exploiters of children.  We are pleased to be able to continue our support for them.

 

 

New Day Grant for APLE – January 2013

APLE education and awareness sessions in vulnerable communities.

In January 2013 New Day gave APLE a grant of US$10,000 to cover the following annual expenses in their Phnom Penh office: US$5,014 for personnel costs, US$480 for administration costs and US$4,457 for project activities costs.

This grant was made in consultation with APLE and after pledges from their other donors for grants that will cover the costs of their full operations in 2013. You can read a report on APLE’s activities for the period of July-December 2012 here: Project Progress Report-Jul-Dec2012 for New Day.  Their October-December Newsletter can be read here: APLE Newsletter October – December 2012.

Update on APLE Cambodia, October 2012

APLE continues their essential work investigating and prosecuting sex crimes against children in Cambodia.  Alongside this legal work they also educate at-risk children and their families about the dangers of sexual predators.  APLE Director Seila Samleang gave New Day the following update on their July to September activities:

APLE Update – July to September 2012

– In July-Sept: APLE social department have been taking care of 114 victims in total; 56 victims (46 F) in Phnom Penh, 43 victims (19 F) in Sihanoukville and 15 victims (9 F) in Siem Reap. The age range of the victims varied from 3 to 21 years of age. The social workers additionally gave social services to 87 vulnerable children and 75 vulnerable families. 

 During the same period, APLE legal department handled 56 court cases concerning 77 offenders (11 F) and was working in and out of court with 31 victims (13 M/ 18 F). There were 9 successful convictions. The convicts are 5 Cambodians, 2 Britons, 1 American, and 1 Swiss. One of the Britons, the American and the Swiss perpetrators will be deported from the country after serving their sentence.

– On August 9, APLE was elected by the 15 NGO partner organisations cooperating in the Sihanoukville NGO Advocacy Network(SNAN) to chair the Children Sub-committee for two years.

– On September 26, Sihanoukville Branch Project Officer Mr. Yi Moden participated in a conference themed “Fighting Human Trafficking – Liaison Officers Regional Cooperation in South East Asia”, organized by the Austrian Ministry of Interior in Bangkok. Among the speakers were the Department for International Affairs of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Interior, UNODC, APLE, the Australian Embassy, ECPAT, IOM, U.S ICE and several Thai Law Enforcement Agencies. The participants showed great interest in APLE’s cooperation with the Cambodian National Police and they praised APLE for its work and commitment in general and for the way it cooperates at national and international arenas.

– On September 26, A letter of intervention was sent to Minister of Justice, to request the Minister to intervene in the criminal case by Siem Reap Provincial Court against Dutch National S.R., who was acquitted of all charges of committing Indecent Act against 5 Minors under Fifteen Years. The intervention letter initiated by APLE was co-signed by 12 NGOs: Terre des Hommes – Netherlands, CWCC, COCD, KHEMARA, Krousar Thmey, Child Helpline Cambodia, Cambodia Acts, CLA, VFI, KAPE, VCOA, CWDA.

– In Jul-Sept, a total of 304 (vulnerable children, parents, local authorities and primary school students) participated in APLE education and training sessions conducted in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville to learn about characteristics of child sexual abuse, grooming trends and prevention of abuse.

– On September 27, APLE signed a funding agreement with the Swiss Embassy in Bangkok, who will support the ‘Combating Child Sexual Abuse’ project starting from September 2012 onwards, initially for the period of one year. 

– On October 5, APLE was holding a meeting with 56 representatives from local and international partner NGOs in Siem Reap to present about the severe funding crisis APLE is facing and to seek out support from the participants.

APLE refers at-risk boys to vocational training at Sihanoukville NGO M’Lop Tapang.

 

 

 

 

 

 

APLE social worker educates at risk children from one of Phnom Penh’s poorest neighborhoods.

 

 

New Day funds Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), Cambodia, June 2012

An APLE tuk tuk

Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) is a Cambodian human rights organization established to combat the sexual exploitation of children. It investigates and helps the authorities bring to justice pedophiles in Cambodia.

APLE handles 98% of pedophile cases in Cambodia and 80% of the perpetrators are classified as western sex tourists and are usually known pedophiles who have prior convictions in their country of origin. 60% of the victims are boys aged between 3 and 18 with the average age being 12. The statistics for girls are similar. Since 2003, 480 victims between the ages of 3-17 have been assisted by APLE.

The mayor challenge APLE face is corruption within the police force and judicial system.  While there has been improvement in recent years there is still along way to go. Education and awareness are ongoing challenges but APLE is addressing this by educating relevant government bodies and running banner campaigns on Tuk Tuks as well as educating Tuk Tuk drivers on the behavior of pedophiles. They also run a 24 hour help line.

During a May 2012 site visit to Phnom Penh, New Day members Georgie Inglis, Shannon Rogers and Paola de Antonellis met with Seila Samleang, Director of APLE, and two members from his operations team. New Day is very excited to be supporting APLE with a grant of US$20,500 in June 2012.   The majority of the grant will cover the cost of three lawyers and the remainder will cover be apportioned to administration and training courses costs. You can read the APLE funding request here: Concept note for NDA

Please contact project leader Georgie Inglis on georgie@zeaki.com if you would like to learn more about APLE.