Cambodia Updates the UN at Geneva on Its Progress and Accomplishments in Human Rights

The Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the United Nations at Geneva has delivered a total of 22 statements, during the 50th Session of Human Rights Council (HRC) from June 13 to July 8, 2022.

According to a press release of Permanent Mission AKP received yesterday, Cambodia’s statement featured normative and practical progress and accomplishments of the Kingdom in diverse categories of human rights and including three joint statements of ASEAN. The country’s efforts as the Chair of ASEAN to address the situation in Myanmar were also briefed. Below are highlights of the above-said remarks.

• Cambodia’s “blossom strategy” to irrigate Covid-19 vaccines in a free and non-discriminatory fashion, including for inmates and foreign residents, resulted in inoculation of more than 94% of the total population. Rounds of social protection interventions were also offered to the disadvantaged, the vulnerable, and business enterprises affected by the pandemic. A draft law on social protection is being prepared.

• The UN system hailed the Kingdom for remarkable progress in enlarging social protection coverage. Since the launch of the "National Social Protection Policy Framework" in 2016, social assistance and social security schemes have significantly expanded to ensure that not only the most vulnerable, but more Cambodians who are at risk of falling into poverty, are better protected.

• Cambodia’s digital education is being developed in both formal and non-formal settings. To support it, high-speed internet will reach out to thousands of public schools by 2023. Cambodia ranked top in Southeast Asia and 3rd in Asia in terms of the lowest mobile data cost. Cambodia is expected to have sufficient internet access in remote villages, communes and districts by 2027.

• Nearly 80% of our entire population are active social media users, airing their views freely on public affairs. Their voices, including critical opinions, are further amplified by nearly 2,000 traditional and digital media outlets operating without censorship and restriction, as guaranteed by the Law on Press Regime.

• Cambodia accepted some UPR recommendations related to LGBTI rights. To further wipe out bullying and discrimination in society and workplace, the comprehensive curriculum on sex education, incorporating gender equality and LGBTI issues, has been introduced in school, along with other public awareness campaigns through media, and formal and informal education.

• Cambodia is committed to integrating mental health service into the different levels of care across the health system with the focus on the strengthening of primary health care in line with the WHO recommendations and “Mental Health Global Action Plan”.

• The UN Resident Coordinator praised the Kingdom for well integrating gender perspective into all national policies. The number of female civil servants has risen to nearly 50%, with 26% of them are serving in a decision-making role, while the number of female business owners has reached 61% nationwide. On peace and security, Cambodia ranked 13th among the 122 nations and 2nd in ASEAN for deploying women peacekeepers under the UN peacekeeping operations.

• Cambodia is one of the outstanding states in ratifying the ILO’s fundamental conventions including those on minimum age and prohibition of the worst form of child labor. In 2021, more than 100 campaigns on child labor were carried out at various types of workplaces with participation of nearly 3,000 workers, employers and parents.

• Cambodia supports the call to scale up actions for climate change mitigation and regional adaptation while reaffirming our commitment to the Climate Change Paris Agreement, in line with the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities”. National Bank of Cambodia adopted policies with the code of conduct for granting lower-risk loans to activities mitigating climate change.

• The exercise of the freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly carries with it special duties, responsibilities and limitations provided by laws, as stipulated in articles 19 (3), 21 and 22 (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It is the duty of everyone, including the purported human rights defenders, to exercise their rights responsibly within the bounds of the law.

• Cambodia joins the renewed call by many delegations for the OHCHR to work in a fair and depoliticized manner, guided by the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity, and to engage in constructive dialogues based on verified sources of information and genuine cooperation.

During the said 4-week interactions, Cambodia co-sponsored 10 joint statements on the topics of promoting multilateralism, family and work balance, technical assistance, climate change, nexus of technology to good governance, women’s rights, etc., added the press release.

In its 50th Session, the HRC hosted a total of 23 interactive dialogues with special rapporteurs and 8 panel discussions as well as adopted 23 resolutions on thematic and country-specific issues.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press