About APLE

APLE is a local Non Governmental Organization (NGO) registered under the law of the Kingdom of Cambodia, working dedicatedly to combat the sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

In the last 20 years, we have continued to work closely with a range of partners, facilitate cutting edge research, and respond creatively to the changing needs of children and families across all communities. This has also enabled APLE to address abuse and exploitation within institutions and play an integral role in responding to abuse and exploitation in the online environment.

History

Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) Cambodia is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization, established in 2002 with the aim to combat the sexual abuse and exploitation of children in Cambodia. Initially, APLE assisted the national police with child-friendly information gathering in cases of street-based child sexual exploitation, while also providing pro-bono legal assistance and psychological support to victims and their families.

A dire need for social support for those affected and at risk was identified, and in 2005, APLE began its social support program for the survivors. Until this day, APLE partners with other NGO service providers and refers rescued children, family members and witnesses to said institutions for specialized support, tailored to their specific, individual needs.

In 2014, APLE localized and registered with the Ministry of Interior. This strengthened our approaches and supported the development of essential and valuable partnerships to combat CSAE at national, regional and global levels. Currently, APLE operates under formal MoUs with the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation. APLE has also signed MoUs with the Cambodian Red Cross Phnom Penh Branch, other NGO service providers, and private companies, including schools and hotels.

Throughout the years, child sexual abuse and exploitation trends have shifted both worldwide and in Cambodia, making our organization adapt to the ever changing modus operandi of offenders. International collaborations as a response to child sexual abuse in travel and tourism as well as focus on online child sexual abuse and exploitation as a response to the increased risks of the worldwide web are examples of these adaptations.

Currently, APLE is financially supported by UNICEF, Plan International, World Childhood Foundation, Bread for the World, Terr des Hommes Netherlands, and other individual donors.

Current Strategy

APLE is a trusted partner of Facebook and the country member of ECPAT International, a global network of 122 organizations in 104 countries, working to end the sexual exploitation of children. APLE is also a member of INHOPE, a leading global network of 50 hotlines in 46 countries addressing child sexual abuse material online, and a partner of the Canadian Center for Child Protection to implement the project Arachnid. In Cambodia, APLE is a member of Family Care First, a network of more than 70 organizations working to prevent children from being separated from their families and provide services to them. To support extraterritorial effort in ending the sexual exploitation of children, APLE works in close collaboration with foreign law enforcement agencies such as FBI, HSI, NCA, BKA, AFP, Nordic Police, French Police, Dutch Police, Swiss Police, with the aim of enhancing investigation and prosecution against transnational child sex offenders. APLE will continue to develop and initiate relationships with a wider range of stakeholders to ensure that children’s rights are protected, and that they receive the support they deserve.

This program is designed with the aim to strengthen the national policy and legislative frameworks that enhance the protection of children from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation, and to strengthen the capacity to integrate and enforce those frameworks across all the policy areas. This program seeks to: 

  • increase the adoption and effective implementation of comprehensive policies and laws, for the protection of at-risk, or affected by, sexual abuse and exploitation
  • improve governance, accountability, coordination and collaboration among high levels of government, for effective implementation and promotion of existing policies and laws

The program’s goal is to strengthen the capacity and capability of law enforcement in performing victim-focused investigation, prosecution and sentencing for child sexual abuse and exploitation that drive greater prevention of crime and better understanding of the impact on victims. The program aims to:

  • increase institutional capacity and capability of criminal justice agencies to implement a victim focused or child centric approach when investigating and prosecuting cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation
  • increase multidisciplinary cooperation at national and international levels for the investigation, prosecution and prevention of CSAE
  • increase child-focused and proactive practices by law enforcement and judiciary, for the best possible protection and support of child victims involved in the investigation and court processes

This program’s goal is to provide access to coordinated psycho-social and legal support for child victims and their families, and to  strengthen the capacity of service providers in following the child protection and child-centric response procedures. Its objectives are to; 

  • increase access to quality gender-sensitive and child-focused support services and legal protection, for child victims and their families
  • improve coordination and collaboration between law enforcement, judiciary and other child protection services for the provision of child-focused support for child victims and their families

The program aims to ensure that all community members, private industries and media agencies have a good understanding of child protection and play their primary role to prevent abuse/exploitation from occurring. Its objectives are to:

  • ensure greater awareness and help-seeking skills around child sexual abuse and exploitation among children, young people, parents, caregivers and community members
  • enhance dissemination of public information and promotion of evidence-based knowledge about risks for children to sexual abuse and exploitation, reporting mechanisms, and preventive measures
  • increase active engagement and action of the private sector for early prevention of child sexual abuse and exploitation

Membership & Partnership

APLE is a member of two global networks dedicated to combating the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and operates under formal MoUs with the Ministry of Interior & the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation. APLE is also a trusted partner of Facebook and a member of Family Care First Network.
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