You are here

In this paper, VVOB, the Royal University of Phnom Penh and the HIVA Research Institute for Work and Society (KU Leuven University) analyse the incidence and modalities of child abuse and school-related gender-based violence in Cambodian primary and lower secondary schools at baseline. This will allow us, at a later stage, to assess the impact of VVOB's TIGER programme,  funded by the European Union, Belgium and Flanders. Crucially, findings from the baseline study help us to gain a deep understanding of the topic under study, and to assess the need for the TIGER programme, accordingly.


The Teaching for Improved Gender Equality and Responsiveness (TIGER) programme aims to tackle gender-based violence (GBV), and more specifically school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV), in Cambodia, by creating gender-responsive schools that provide a safe and learnerfriendly school environment. This paper presents the results of a mixed-methods baseline study examining the need for such a programme in Cambodia. We find that overall incidence rates of different forms of violence against and between children in the Cambodian school context are high for both sexes. School principals and teachers are not well equipped to respond to (SR)GBV. This is the result of a lack of internal regulations on that matter within schools. Consequently, teachers continue to use corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure. Our findings call for a whole-school and community-based approach to eradicate (SR)GBV and to transform the norms and beliefs that sustain it. These elements are integrated into the TIGER-programme. 


  • Sofie Cabus, KU Leuven HIVA, Belgium
  • Soth Sok, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Karolina Rutkowska, VVOB, Cambodia
  • Karen Van Horen, KU Leuven, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Belgium
  • Ides Nicaise, KU Leuven HIVA, Belgium