Thursday, May 12, 2016

# 193 An open letter to LICADHO, ADHOC and other Cambodian human rights organisations.

Dear LICADHO, ADHOC and other human rights organizations,

Is the Cambodian Children’s Fund contract below a binding legal document?

Does the CCF contract breach the legal, human and constitutional rights of the parents who sign it?

I draw your attention, in particular, to

“Article 3a

(i)            The parents/guardians agree to reimburse and compensate any costs of expense including blood test and vaccination for child, and financial and materials support to their family, although it was a gift or loan, and other expenses while their children were residing in CCF if they demand to bring their children back…”

I draw your attention also to the:

Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation

Article 8:Definition of Unlawful Removal

The act of unlawful removal removal in this act shall mean to:

1)    Remove a person from his/her current place of residence to a place under the actor’s or a third persons control by means of force, threat, deception, abuse of power, or enticement, or
2)    Without legal authority or any other legal justification to do so to take a minor person under general custody or curatoship or legal custody away from the legal custody of the parents, care taker or guardian.
Article 9: Unlawful removal, inter alia, of Minor

A person who unlawfully removes a minor or a person under general custody or curatorship or legal custody shall be punished with imprisonment for 2 to 5 years.

In accordance with Cambodian law, does CCF’s refusal to return children to their families without payment constitute “unlawful removal” as defined by Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation?

The Cambodian Children’s Fund refuses to allow parents to keep a copy of this contract. Do you believe that this is an abrogation of the human rights of the parents?

If CCF is in breach of any of the human legal or constitutional rights of the Cambodian parents who sign this contract (and children who have no choice but to abide by its terms), will any human rights organization in Cambodia defend the rights of  exceptionally poor people who are unable to pay thousands of dollars to CCF if they wish to have their children returned to their care?

                                   Kingdom of Cambodia

Nation Religion King

Cambodian Children’s Fund



This Duty of Care Agreement (hereafter referred to as the “Agreement “) is entered by and between the following parties on this ____ day of_____, 20__:

_________________ [and] ________________, citizen/s of the Kingdom of Cambodia having Cambodian identification card number/s ______________ and  ______________, and residing at ___________ Village, __________ Commune, __________ District, __________Province, Kingdom of Cambodia (hereinafter referred to as the “Parents”); and

Cambodia Children’s Fund, a foreign non-governmental organization, duly registered and operating in Cambodia with it registered address at # 870 Street Lum, Dom Nak Thom, Khan Stueng Mean Chey, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, (the “CCF Community Centre”) represented by a designated CCF official Cambodian citizen having Cambodian identification (hereafter referred to as the “CCF”).

The Parents and the CCF may hereinafter be individually referred to as a “Party and collectively referred to as the “Parties”.


A.         The Parents are the lawful parents/guardian of _________, a child born on________ at________ Village, ______ Commune, _________ District, _______ Province, Cambodia (the “Child”) and the Parents have the authority to act on behalf of the child including, but not limited to, the power to sign this Agreement;

B.         The CCF is a not-for-profit origination operating for humanitarian purposes with the objective to provide impoverished children with quality education, care and professional opportunities to better enable them to acquire employment and contribute positively to their communities (the “CCF’s Programs”);
C.         The CCF is willing to give its assistance to the Child by accepting them into the CCF’s programs and caring for the child at the CCF Centre or such other location where the CCF operates its programs.  This agreement encompasses all CCF operations, including CCF facilities, vocational training centers operated by CCF and any future operations;

D.         The Parents grant the duty of care of the Child to the CCF during the period of the Child’s stay with the CCF in accordance with the terms of this Agreement.

Now, therefore the Parties have agreed on the terms and conditions of this Agreement as follows:

Article 1          Purpose and Nature of the Duty of Care

1.1  The Parents/guardian agree to allow CCF to enter the Child into the CCF Programs which will involve providing the basic needs of the child including shelter, education, healthcare and food, as well as quality education and vocational training. 

1.2  The CCF agrees to care for the Child and operate the CCF Programs to the best of its abilities and capabilities and in accordance with the CCF Charter. 

1.3  Both the CCF and the Parents/guardians acknowledge and agree that whilst CCF will take the duty of care for this child seriously during the term of this Agreement, at all times the Parents/guardians will remain the true legal parents/guardians of the Child and shall retain all the legal responsibilities applicable to legal parents/guardians under the law. 

Article 2          Duration and Termination of the Duty of Care

2.1  This Agreement shall be effective on the signature date of this Agreement until the date on which the child is returned to the care of his/her parents/guardians (the “Duty of Care Period”) upon termination.

2.2  Each Party has the right to terminate this Agreement upon the giving of reasonable notice to the other party, upon which termination the Child will be returned to the Parents/guardians provided that the CCF is confident that the child’s welfare is not at risk.  If in the circumstances of any risk, the CCF will inform the relevant authorities.

Article 3          Parents’ Promises and Acknowledgements

The Parents promise and acknowledge as follows:

(a)        The Parents/guardians agree and authorize the CCF, acting reasonably and in the best interests of the Child in the CCF’s opinion, to make medical and health decisions in relation to the Child, including but not limited to:

(i)              An initial medical exam on the child’s arrival to identify any pre-existing illness, injuries or signs of any form of abuse.
(ii)             providing vaccinations against disease;
(iii)            performing regular health checks on the Child which may involve testing blood for the purposes of screening for contagious and blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis B and HIV; and
(iv)            providing care, emergency or otherwise, in the event of grave illness or accidents effecting the child, if deemed by the CCF, acting reasonably, to be vital to the health of the Child or potentially life threatening;

and parents/guardians agree that the CCF shall not be liable in any way for any injury or illness resulting from the above administration of medical and health care.  In addition, the CCF is under no obligation to treat medical conditions beyond common ailments and general health treatments.

(b)        The Parents/guardians acknowledge that the CCF is allowed to use photographs of the child on its website and advertisements.

(c)        The Parents/guardians will encourage the child to come to CCF to study regularly and punctually.  Any unexplained, frequent absences can result in expulsion from the CCF.

(d)        The Parents/guardians acknowledge that the CCF can expel the child if the child’s behavior goes against the policies and the practice of the CCF or the well-being of other children.

(e)        The Parents/guardians agree and permit their children, who reside and/or study in CCF, to take part in the CCF programs without any condition. In such case, there is no necessity for CCF to get prior approval from the parents/guardians for their children to begin any new CCF program.

(f)         The Parents/guardians agree with the CCF to administer its Programs and to make decisions with respect to the child’s advantages in terms of program involvements and that the Parents/guardians will not interfere in such decision making processes. 

(g)        The Parents/guardians acknowledge that the CCF is a humanitarian not-for-profit organization and that it is reliant upon funding from charitable sources.  Accordingly, they acknowledge that the CCF may not be able to provide the CCF Programs in the event that such funding is not available and that CCF is able to terminate this Agreement in accordance with Clause 2 and will have no liability or obligation, financial, pastoral or otherwise, in the event of such termination. 
(h)        The parents/guardian acknowledge that if their child gets a mild or serious injury or death in or out of the CCF premise incidentally by their carelessness or in a situation that beyond the control of the CCF would not be the responsibility of the CCF and the CCF would be under no obligations to compensate to the family of any damage, especially the child who has a serious ailment, for instance, epilepsy or convulsion diseases and so on

(I)         The Parents/guardians agree to reimburse and compensate any cost of expense including blood test and vaccination for child, and financial and materials support to their family, although it was a gift or loan, and other expenses while their children were residing in CCF if they demand to bring their children back or the decision made by the child him/herself and that such those decisions may affect the child’s future and advantages without obvious justification from the parents/guardians.

Article 4          Obligations of the CCF

The CCF will do the following:

(a)        Provide the child, during the Duty of Care Period, with the basic needs of the child including shelter, healthcare and food, as well as quality education and vocational training.  The CCF shall be under no obligation to provide any further assistance to the Child, although it may chose to do so from time to time in its absolute discretion.

(b)        Not claim or demand any costs whatsoever from the Parents in relation to the provision of the matters outlined in Article 4(a) or any other matter whatsoever related to the CCF Programs, whether during or after the Duty of Care Period. But if the kid’s parents/guardians violate their duty as stipulated in article 3, they must compensate CCF in compliance with the article 3(I).

(c)        Return the Child to the Parents, upon completion of his or her education or training or on demand, provided that the CCF is confident that the child’s welfare is not at risk. In such circumstances the CCF will inform the relevant authorities.

(d)        Endeavor to inform the Parents/guardians of all matters relating to any serious medical or non-medical matters, however, CCF reserves the right to act without prior consultation with the parents in the event of grave illness or accidents effecting the child, if deemed by the CCF, acting reasonably, to be vital to the health of the Child or potentially life threatening and with the certification from medical doctor in charge.

Article 5          Amendment, Supplement and settling of dispute

The Parties agree that all amendments, supplements or interpretations of the Agreement shall be agreed by the Parties in writing.

Any dispute that may arise out of this Agreement shall be settled by the Parties amicably. Any dispute which cannot be amicably settled by the Parties shall be settled by binding arbitration in a location to be decided by the mutual agreement of the Parties. The dispute shall be settled by one arbitrator or more mutually agreeable by the Parties. The arbitrator’s decision shall be final and binding on the Parties. The Parties agree that they will not refer their dispute to any court in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Article 6          Severability

If any of the provisions of this Security Agreement shall be held invalid or unenforceable, this Security Agreement shall be construed as if not containing those provisions and the rights and obligations of the Parties shall be construed and enforced accordingly.

Article 7          Validity of the Agreement

This Agreement is made in English and in Khmer languages in four originals (two in English and two in Khmer). Both languages have equal effect. This Agreement is effective on the date of its signature by the Parties.
This Agreement has been read aloud to the Parents/guardians. The Parents have understood and agreed to the terms contained in this Agreement and have acknowledged such understanding and agreement by signing and/or thumb printing this Agreement below next to their respective names.

In witness whereof, the Parties execute this Agreement before the witnesses on the date stated above

Parents/guardians                                                      Witnesses

__________________                                                            __________________

Mr. …………………….                                                   Name: …………………

__________________                                                            __________________

Mrs. ……………………                                                  Name: …………………


____________________                                            ____________________

By its authorized representative                                               Name: ……………………
Name: ………………­…………..