Celebrating International Children's Day in the urban poor settlements of Phnom Penh

Publish Date: 
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), in collaboration with People in Need (PIN), Urban Poor Women Development (UPWD), and the Open Institute (OI), celebrated International Children’s Day on June 1st, 2017, with the event “City for Children” in Phnom Penh (Cambodia). 

Around 200 participants attended the celebration, including 120 children, around 50 of whom are residents of the poor settlement of Prek Takong 1 Village in Boeung Tompun. Participants also included representatives from the Municipality of Phnom Penh, local authorities, as well as donor and consortium partners of the Human Rights Based Spatial Planning project.

The purpose of the event was to encourage children and their families to think about the environment in their city, through a discussion about “their ideal city”, in which they depicted through drawings and paintings. With the emphasis on empowering youth, specifically those living in poor, urban communities, they targeted a key part of the human rights based spatial planning project, in a fun and creative manner, in their vision for the city.

In 2016 STT, PIN, UPWD and OI launched the second phase of the collaborative project “City for all – Human Rights Based Spatial Planning”, funded by the European Union (EU) delegation in Cambodia and the Czech Development Cooperation. This project promoted a rights-based approach to urban development by targeting areas under threat of eviction. They worked with the communities and the Local Authorities to provide residents with assessments of their legal tenure claims, and to develop new urban plans for onsite upgrading to make the land use more effective, while avoiding involuntary resettlement.

In addition to the on-the-ground work carried out in urban poor communities, the “City for All – Human Rights Based Spatial Planning” project engaged students in Phnom Penh through a series of Spatial Planning Labs. The students participated in a series of workshops and lectures, such as Disaster Risk Sensitive Land Use Planning, Human Rights Based Spatial Planning, and Gender and Spatial Planning, to help future urban planners consider the importance of a rights’ based approach in the development of Cambodia’s capital city.

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