Two hundred and five people gathered in the National Youth Forum on “Drug Prevention and Youth Development” held by Good Neighbors Cambodia (GNC) on Tuesday 03rd September, 2019 in Phnom Penh in order to launch the drug survey report findings concluded by voluntary youth for possible intervention from governments and stakeholders, as well as motivate young people to continue their learning at higher education or attend vocational skills training.
This joint forum happened through collaboration of GNC with the government ministries including the National Authority for Combating Drug (NACD), Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) and Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training Affair (MoLVT). There was a firm debate among participants through the presentation of drug survey finding by a group of youth, and three panel discussions, especially among the government officials from relevant ministries at national level, district office of education (DoE), commune committee for women and children (CCWC) and youth.
The Country Director of Good Neighbors Cambodia, Mr. Jaekyun Rho indicated that GNC is working to promote child rights and child protection, so the survey findings considered as remarkable and a call for action from relevant government institutions and stakeholders is compulsory. He stated that fighting against drug is the responsibility of everyone, and the people, especially children and youth at grassroots level need to be protected and safe, so that they can enjoy living and learning for personal growth. He really satisfied with the good collaboration with government, especially Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), Ministry of Labour and the National Authority for Combating Drug (NACD) to promote child right with particularly prevent and fight against drug.
H.E Thong Sokunthea, deputy secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) indicated that this is a new history that grassroots youths conducted survey on drug issues, and it is such a good initiative. The findings shed light on drug situation in community and call for action from relevant authorities. He accepted the finding and strongly encouraged youths to enlarge scope of this study in the future. He expressed a commitment to reinforce the intervention through cooperation with all government ministries and stakeholders in drug prevention and combating.
Mr. Kim Sanh, Technical Officer from School Health Department of MoEYS, during the panel discussion on drug issues expressed his optimistic to this study and acknowledged that the trafficking and using of drug among children, youth and adult are still a critical issue to society as a whole. MoEYS has made effort in drug prevention by mainstreaming drug issues and prevention in educational program and releasing announcement on drug prohibition for illegal use.
Mr. Toeng Songhout, Director of Industrial Relations Office of MoLVT, under a discussion on youth development of “One youth has at least one specific skill”, emphasized that we are currently making effort to promote vocational training skills among in/out of school youths by tailoring courses in line with labour market and making a standardise vocational training centres to make it easier for youths accessing information and enrolment. For the new academic school year, the ministry is trying to work with partners and stakeholders to open scholarship for students to learn for more than 20,000 scholarships. He really appreciates the collaboration of GNC with the ministry in order to extend the opportunity for young people to attend vocational skill program and prepare themselves for future work.