WHO WE ARE
LSCW was established by Vichuta Ly, a Khmer-Canadian lawyer. Having lived in Canada since 1980, Vichuta Ly returned to Cambodia in 1999 and quickly realised that there was a serious gap in legal services for women and children victims.
On July 2 2002, LSCW was registered as a non-governmental organisation with the Cambodian Ministry of Interior (licence no. 626). It was established as a not-for-profit organisation that would be independent of all political parties.
The provision of free legal advice to women and child victims of crime remains the foundation of LSCW’s work. Unlike other legal aid providers, LSCW is solely victim-focused and does not provide defence representation (except in cases of child offenders under the age of 15).
This approach has enabled LSCW to develop a holistic approach to victim support, building relationships with governmental and non-governmental providers of support services (such as shelter accommodation, counselling and health care).
Our vision is a just and open society in Cambodia in which human rights and the dignity of the individual are respected, within the rule of law.
Our mission is to contribute to the development of the rule of law, to promote access to justice and to protect human rights, including the rights of migrants.
- To prevent violence and abuse against women and children in Cambodia
- To ensure that perpetrators of violence and abuse against women and children are held accountable within the criminal justice system under the rule of law
- To work towards the elimination of trafficking in person and the exploitation of migrants
- To develop constructive partnerships and networks with other civil society organizations, both within Cambodia and across its neighbouring countries
- To be an active participant in national, regional and international efforts to counter trafficking and to protect the human rights of migrants
- To train Cambodian law students and to build their capacity to support our target groups
WE AIM TO ACHIEVE THIS BY
- Making people aware of their legal rights and their entitlement to pursue justice through the courts
- Providing free legal advice and representing the most vulnerable victims of abuse and exploitation
- Advocating for the rights of women and children at all levels
- Advocating for the needs of migrants in the South-East Asia region
- Educating and building the capacity of those in positions of authority on the needs of victims of crime and migrants, and how best to support them
- Working with the government and civil society to develop policy and practice for a strong and sustainable legal system
The team is made up of more than 30 members, of which the majority are women. LSCW is independent of all political parties and is a non-profit organisation run by Vichuta Ly.
Vichuta Ly, Director
Vichuta fled from the Khmer Rouge regime to Canada with her family and is now fighting with all her might for the rights of women and children in her native Cambodia. Born in Phnom Penh and trained as a lawyer at the University of Montreal, she set up LSCW in 2002 when she returned to Cambodia. She has been a legal and research consultant for a variety of enterprises and continues to support her staff and other NGOs to protect the rights of Cambodian citizens.
Mr. Mom Sokchar, Program Manager
Sokchar works on questions relating to trafficking of persons and also participates in project management. He was born in Battambang province. He graduated from the faculty of law in 2000 and started work with LSCW in 2002, making him the first employee of LSCW. He has been passionate about protecting victims, specifically cross-border trafficked survivors, for over 10 years now.
Mrs. Ky Lineth, Finance Manager
Other members of the team supply legal services to women and children within the following teams: a mobile protection team and a team responsible for prevention (both based in Phnom Penh), and a legal team in Kampot.
LSCW is a member of the following national and regional forums
- Migrant Forum of Asia (MFA)
- Mekong Migrant Network (MMN), member and chair of the steering group
- Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women (GAATW)
- SEA Legal Aid Network
- NGO CEDAW
- Stakeholders’ Group of the United Nations Action for Cooperation Against Trafficking in Person (UN ACT)
- The Women Caucus, ASEAN Women and Children Committee (Cambodia representative)
- Asia and Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN)
The LSCW team aims to achieve and foster cooperation and collaboration among NGOs, international organisations, UN agencies, governments and civil society actors, both at the national and regional levels, in an effort to find solutions to the problems existing in Cambodia today.
LSCW provides legal assistance and support to victims through trained Cambodian lawyers, and continued research into conditions affecting women and children and Cambodian migrant workers. For LSCW to be able to deliver an effective service to its beneficiaries, it is imperative that all relevant stakeholders work together to provide services to victims under a holistic approach. LSCW values this approach, and maintains strong working partnerships with other service providers across the country.