A) Brief Description of the project
With funding from Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, MIRO has implemented its project “Empowerment of Khmer Krom Women to Political Participation and Gender Equality” from January to December 2015. The project is a component of the three years project plan 2015- 2017.
1. Project Goals and Objectives
Goal: Khmer KromWomen have access to equal rights and participation in decision making processes as well as their rights are protect by law.
Objective: 1. to increasethe understanding of women rights and gender equality in Khmer Krom communities and build the capacity of Khmer Krom women to advocate for their rights. 2. to encourage Khmer Krom Women to actively participate in communal development and political decision making.
2. Project Indicators
– 40% of Khmer Krom female and male participants of the training workshops have a better understanding of gender equality;
– 60% of Khmer Krom female and male participants of the training workshops have a better understanding of commune development and political participation;
– 15% of Khmer Krom women seek outside help to deal with issues of domestic violence within their families;
– 15% of Khmer Krom women can successfully solve their problems with the authorities;
– 15% of Khmer Krom women participate actively within the community;
– 45% of Khmer Krom women and men participants confront issues of gender inequality and
domestic violence in their homes and the wider community, resulting in reduced domestic violence and gender inequality;
– 20% of Khmer Krom women participants file a rights complaint on behalf of themselves or another community member;
– 70% of the workshop participants express an understanding of the importance of commune development and political participation;
– Stakeholders pay more attention to the situation of Khmer Krom and the media covers their issues.
3. Project Outline
As a preparation for the main activities which consisted the whole day workshop to approx. 25 Khmer Krom women in three different communities in three different provinces, first training materials were compiled. Provincial staff sought a venue with adequate facilities and invited the participants from nearby communities. During the workshop, the concept of relevant human right, gender equality, domestic violence and advocacy were explained and their implications for the lives of participants discussed. Afterwards, advocacy and communication skill were trained so that the women are equipped with practical experiences on how to proceed in cases of problems related to domestic violence or other issues within the commune, who to address to seek resolution and how to address the commune or provincial authorities, police, courts and other stakeholders. After the workshop, provincial staff followed up on how participants made use what their have learned in the training workshop by conducting interview with at least 3-5 persons after each event. They also provide advice and support in individual cases, when required.
The project will incorporate these needs of Khmer Krom women and reach its goal by following the consecutive and interrelated steps
1. Build a sound foundation of awareness of women rights and gender equality in the
2. Incorporate women rights into the broader context of the commune development
4. Planned project activities
– To disseminate information and raise awareness among Khmer Krom women in three communities(in Takeo, Koh Kong and Sihanouk vile province) for women’s right, gender equality and domestic violence as well as built their capacity to advocate for their rights(one day workshop with 25 participants, in three communities);
– disseminate information to and raise the awareness of Khmer Krom women for communal development and political participation and build their capacity to actively participate in their communal life (a one day workshop for at least 25 participants);
– To advocate with local authorities about women’s rights and domestic violence, and seek joint approaches to women’s involvement in communal life;
– To provide assistance in obtaining identification papers and other relevant documents.
B) Development of project
Since the funding period started in January 2015, MIROhas conducted one training workshops on women’s rights, gender equality, domestic violence and advocacy to the Khmer Krom women and men in Takeo provinces. The workshop was held in DuanKeo town of Takeo province on 13 March 2015. There were 25 Khmer Krom participants include one group chief attended the workshop. 5 out of 25 participants were men. The main issues of the training deal with were as follows: human rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, gender equality, domestic violence and advocacy skills. These topics were shared to the participants for their learn and understand and can apply their knowledge to their lives. Beside of presentation, learning material and other documents were collected from other NGOs that related to the workshop were distribute to participants , allow them to read and study more at home, when their understand clearly ,they can share the information with friends, family and community members.
The facilitators/trainers of the training workshop were from MIRO namely:
1-Mr. SournButmao, Executive Director of MIRO as trainer
2-Mr. Noun Sovanrith, Deputy Director of MIRO as trainer
3-Mrs. SuonSovann, Project Officer of MIRO as trainer
4-Mr. Mom Mony MIRO provincial staff as training assistant/facilitator.
communities; build capacity to deal with issues thwarting gender equality (for instance domestic violence) and provide advocacy skills. and encourage activities for social and political participation of Khmer Krom women. group discussion or all participants together, questions and answers, brainstorming, exercises , presentation and explanation, feedback ,illustrated and picture, storytelling, sharing personal experiences and some real life story of participants. The trainer made use of these methods because some of participants are illiterate and have a little education. In this way,their easy to understand the topics and remember some practical during workshop. Please noted that during workshop some participants were raise a question related to their live , i.e.Mr.SamSoman asked a question , if domestic violence happened and use a weapon or knife , who can help them?. Ms. Toek Ra have a problem with her son in law, when he drunk he curse her and his wife, who can help her with this problem? .Ms. PovSaem complained about land abuse from Training workshop follow- up : MIRO provincial staff in the three provinces will conduct follow-up activities by interview the participants after workshop , their families and other community members in order to measure their understanding from the workshop as well as hear about the application of their newly knowledge . The provincial staffs were also responsible to provide assistance to people in community as to help Khmer Krom in community to get Khmer certificate, mediate and distribute about domestic violence, right abuse ,and cooperate with local authority related to Khmer Krom discrimination…etc.
Advocacy work and legal aid During the project implementation time, MIRO advocated on the legal status of Khmer Krom as well as on behalf of Khmer Krom communities and individuals. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has promised to grant Khmer Krom from Vietnam Khmer citizenship when they come to settle in Cambodia. But the RGC has failed to produce an official document whatsoever that confirms their interpretation of the Nationality Law in this respect. The only written statement ever made was a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) in Phnom Penh on 02 August 2005. In the past, MIRO had approached the UNHCR to get a copy of this letter, but the request was rejected as UNHCR considers it as an internal document. Thus, in November 2014, MIRO submitted a request to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in this regard. We hope that with a copy of this letter, local and provincial authorities will be more willing to cooperate with MIRO when they have authorized proof that Khmer Krom are Khmer and are thus eligible to services as for instance to a Social Land Concession. Authorities often request such proof from MIRO. As well, MIRO Takeo provincial staff directly intervened with local authorizes to issue national identity papers to ensure citizenship to Khmer Krombecause some of them not yet have it.For example Mr. Borin live in Lory village not yet have national identity papers, he was come for 3 time to ask police for make it , but police was not do it for him.MIRO staff in Takeo also intervened with village chief and police for that case .Police said that ,Mr. Borin should be change place of birth to in Cambodian not in Kampuchea Krom, so he will get national identity paper, now he was got it . He also invented to the Takeo court in the case of killing of Khmer Krom woman, urged for the legal prosecution of the suspect, Judge was said that this case now still investigation. He was went to meet of woman’s victim family for get more information but now her family were go back to live in Kampuchea Krom.MIRO Takeo provincial staff have corporate with authority at BoreyChalsadistrict to investigate of Khmer Krom land dispute 185 families, they were intervention to provincial governor for solved this problem, after that 48 families were recover.MIRO provincial staff will continues to help people in communities by advocate through good cooperation with all level of authority in the province and we hope that Khmer Krom people will have more better of life living , discrimination will reduce , right of life will be recognized as Cambodian people too.
THE RESULTS ACHIEVED BY THE PROJECT
After having attended the training workshop, the vast majority (over 90%) of the participants said that their very interesting all topics in the workshop, the selection topics are very useful, especially domestic violence, gender equality,women’s right and advocacy skill has increased, they said that all their knowledge and understanding from the workshop will be use for improve situation in their communities. They added that this problem in community will reduce if all people understand the right of live, avoid the violence in family and in community, and stop to discrimination between men and women. Since they considered the training session so important, around 60 percent of the participants said that they will shared what they had understood with their family, neighbors, friends, as well as community members. Participants felt more confident in solving problems occurring in daily lives. They have a clearer understanding which authorities, they can contact for intervention and protection. They believed that when people facing the problem,their will ask for help from local authorities, so all problem will recover. Domestic violence is among a problem in communities; more than 70 percent think that domestic violence is a problem in each family not in society. But after have a clear explain from theworkshop, their understand clearly that domestic violence is society issue,so theypromises that if domestic violence appear in their communities, they will intervention and report to local authority and police for protect the victim. Therefore community member start to change their behavior and have become more active in protection their community interests. All participants showed strong interest in the topic presented, they will bring their knowledge and a lot of document to distribute to people in community to know and read .They appreciate in particular to share their new knowledge in their communities and practice it when cases of domestic violence take place in the communities. Therefore, the participants requested MIRO to conduct more training workshop in the future, and have session that last longer than one day and should be focus on human rights, domestic law and domestic violence as well as have a more intense application of their knowledge, i.e.spend more time with group discussion, question and answers and practicing their skill in role plays.
OVERALL DEVELOPMENT OF THE ORGANIZATION
MIRO seeks to develop good cooperation with donors, national and international organizations and other stakeholder involved in minority rights and statelessness issues in Cambodia and beyond. For instance MIRO was invited to attend short course on Gender and Forced Migrant at Bangkok, Thailand by Asia Pacific Regional Refugee Network (APRRN) from 17-20 February 2015. During the report period, MIRO will start running three projects following the negotiated proposal with The Minga Foundation for the project “Support School Attendance for Khmer Krom Needy Children” in three provinces: Takeo, Koh Kong, and Sihanouk Ville. Also, MIRO will be negotiating with the Open Society Foundation for a secured fund.
1. Project “Support of School Attendance for Needy Children in Kampong Chhnang”. Funded by ViDan Foundation, Inc. Through this project, MIRO seeks to increase education opportunities for children whose families live in dire poverty in Kampong Chhnang province. At the same time, this project aims at strengthening the human rights of ethnic Vietnamese and improving interethnic community empowerment. Through this project, we support 95 needy children2 state curriculum, to receive additional private Vietnamese language classes, and have better employment opportunities.
2. Project “Decreasing Statelessness Among Former Ethnic Vietnamese and Khmer Krom Refugees in Cambodia”. Funded by GIZ Cambodia. Through this project, MIRO seeks to empower stateless VN and KK by helping them to understand the related law and their rights, to have these rights enforced, to increase the awareness on Cambodian local and national authority levels for the need to review existing or formulate new policies on statelessness and to fill the gaps in and enforce the laws concerning stateless persons, and to seek justice and legal solutions for discrimination and human rights violations against ethnic Vietnamese and Khmer Krom. The project is implemented in three provinces: Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, and Takeo.
3. Project “Protection and Empowerment of Khmer Krom Human Rights Defenders in Cambodia”. Funded by The Norwegian Human Rights Fund. Through this project, MIRO seeks to provide access to justice for Khmer Krom at the courts of Cambodia and ensure that they have legal representation, to protect the rights of Khmer Krom in Cambodia by preparing intervention letters and statements and by meetings with stakeholders for information and discussion, and to raise the awareness and strengthen the understanding of the civil, political and social rights of Khmer Krom HRDs, including their physical and mental integrity, their right to life and safety, and the protection from discrimination on grounds of origin, as well as the right to freedom of expression, assembly, association, religion and movement.
MIRO provincial staff in Takeo is very experienced and prepared the workshop on the ground independently and to our satisfaction. Meanwhile our local staff/key person in Koh Kong and Sihanouk Ville need to be improved about independent responsible made more good relationship with local authorities and encouraged her to work hard with Khmer Krom communities. MIRO support staff issue: through recruit process policy, in February 2015 Ms. SUON Sovann is appointed as project officer with project “Empowerment of Khmer Krom Women to Political Participation and Gender Equality”, Mr. PHOM Ravy is appointed as project officer with the project “Decreasing Statelessness Among Former Ethnic Vietnamese and Khmer Krom Refugees in Cambodia”, and Ms. MEN Sokuntheary is appointed as finance officer of MIRO. And through board of director decision-making by extraordinary meeting session was promoted Mr. NUON Sovanrith, project officer as a deputy director and Mr. SOURN Butmao, acting director as executive director. And Ms. Judith KUNZE was resigned from her position with MIROfrom March 2015. PLAN FOR THE FOLLOWING REPORTING PERIOD In the next following report period, MIRO will conduct its second and thirdtraining workshop on gender equality and domestic violence, which will take place in SreAmbel district in Koh Kong province and in Sihanouk town/province. Subsequently, MIRO provincial staff will assist to advocate Khmer Kromare not obtaining any legal documents with relevant authorities. During the training workshop, MIRO learned that some children of Khmer Krom families in Takeo have no birth certificates. Though they are admitted to primary school, they are denied entry into high school. MIRO will conduct an investigation, collect data and advocate with the local in the target area by helping them to receive an education according to the authorities to address the issue to ensure that Khmer Krom children, especially girls, can proceed with learning at a more advanced stage. The need for birth certificates will be used within the workshop as an example to understand about basic rights and used for the practical training of advocacy skills. Moreover, throughresearch MIRO discovered 52 children of 29 poverty families in Roka Krauv3 and Roka Knong4 communities cannot access primary school because they need to take care of their younger siblings and/or go to collect bags of recyclables and sell dried clams with their parents to contribute to the family income.
C ) Developments and events in the project country
Khmer Krom communities suffer from dire poverty, health problems, unemployment and lack of income sources, education and landlessness. If their living condition is not improved, this will violate their most basic human rights. These grievances are ignored by both the Cambodian society and government, despite of legal promises to Cambodian citizenship. Although, Cambodia National Rescue Party MPs have taken their seats in the National Assembly at the end of July 2014, after the 2013 election deadlock, and have started raising contentious issues such as the legal and social status of Khmer Krom. This is important to allow Khmer Krom to be able to exercise their right to vote in the national election in 2018. Based on their needs, MIRO pursues its own mission to support the minority groups in particular to improve their social, political and economic integration in the near future. MIRO plans to approach the Cambodian Government and request a clarification of its policy regarding Khmer Krom and to issue guidelines that allow for Khmer Krom to become Cambodian nationals. If omitted, the rights of Khmer Krom in Cambodia will continue to be violated and their access to state services denied.
D) Concluding the report
MIRO work is slowly trying to improve the quality of life for the Khmer Krom and ethnic Vietnamese communities in Cambodia, especially for women, by using its projects and workshops, such as by trying to help educate them of Human, Women and child rights. Though there has been some initial success so far, MIRO is going to continue to advocate to the Cambodian Government and request a clarification of its policy regarding Khmer Krom and to issue guidelines that allow for Khmer Krom and ethnic Vietnamese to become Cambodian nationals.
Report of the training workshop in Takeo province on 13 March 2015 and picture of training activities are included in the report.
Photo of workshop at Takeo province on 13 March 2015