Legal Support for Children and Women (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).