This Life Beyond Bars – Moving Forward
TLC is proud to share yet another feature on the This Life Beyond Bars progam, published in the Phnom Penh Post’s Siem Reap Insider on 16 November 2012. The article is based on an interview with a 19-year-old student, supported by the This Life Beyond Bars program, who was released from Siem Reap prison almost a year ago. The contents outlines the desperate plight families face in the event of a child being sent to prison in Cambodia, and the terrible conditions these children are subjected to.
Many children who are sent to prison in Cambodia have committed petty crimes, and are from poor backgrounds. Generally these kids will go through the system without support. 90 per cent do not get bail and are often locked up pre-trail. Along with this, even the prisons with ‘good’ conditions in Cambodia are still far from meeting the standards set by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children are subjected to harsh punishment behind these bars. They are provided with little food; forced to live in the cramped cells, which are rife with violence and disease; and are expected to provide money for almost anything within the prison walls.
“One of the most important things we do is connecting families to children that are incarcerated; there are lots of barriers for families” Billy Gorter, Executive Director of TLC
This Life Beyond Bars aims at bringing individuals, families, communities and existing sub-national mechanisms to create awareness, knowledge and the capability to work together to take sustainable action on issues relating to the criminal justice system. TLC currently assist 14 students in Siem Reap prison and another 28 students in Bateay Meanchey prison, through a number of projects.
TLC would like to take this opportunity to once again thank all of our TLBB program donors, including AusAID and Lotus Charitable Trust for their support. The TLBB program will continue to work closely with local prison authorities to improve options for children in prison in Cambodia, their families and their communities.
For more information about This Life Beyond Bars, click here.
To support the vital work of This Life Cambodia click here.