Knowledge transfer from Moldova to Cambodia
«We won't run out of work in the field of children's rights anytime soon»
Interview with child rights expert Smiljana Frick in Cambodia
Smiljana Frick is an expert on children's rights. After studying philosophy in Belgrade, she completed a master's degree on the subject in Berlin. As a representative of the LED for the child rights organization CRIC in the Republic of Moldova, she gained valuable experience in a coaching role for ten years. Now she has relocated to Cambodia.
What are you doing in Cambodia, Smiljana? What is your focus?
During the first months in Cambodia, I continued to work with the child rights organization CRIC in Moldova. That worked, since a lot of the work happens online anyway. We got involved in interesting global processes on human rights defenders. But I'll be happy to talk about that another time.
Can you bring your experience from Moldova to Cambodia?
Yes, I have been working with the Cambodia Children's Rights Coalition, the network of organizations advocating for children's rights, since September. I already knew the organization through my work with Child Rights Connect, the center of excellence that manages the interface between the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child with civil society organizations in this field. The Coalition brings together about 60 organizations, national and international.
And what do you do at the Coalition?
Oh, the Coalition Secretariat is involved in very different and diverse activities, amazing for such a small team. My work centers on helping the Secretariat coordinate the many organizations in the wake of Cambodia's recent report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. As a result of this reporting, the Cambodian government has received an extensive list of recommendations that now need to be taken up and worked through. As a first major activity, I provided some internal training for the Secretariat.
What was this training about?
It was mainly about getting to know the monitoring and reporting mechanism of the Convention on the Rights of the Child better and to see where civil society can get involved and in what form. Child and youth participation in this process is important for the coalition. To make this possible, we are first translating the recommendations of the UN committee into Khmer, in a way that children and youth as well as non-specialists can understand. It is encouraging to have such a motivated team in the coalition, because we will not run out of work in the field of children's rights anytime soon.
To the picture on the right: The Child Rights Coalition in Cambodia, for which Smiljana Frick works, unites about 60 organizations, national and international.