“Cambodia’s Progress in the Field of Human Rights Highlighted at the Human Rights Council”

The Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the United Nations Office and other International Organisations at Geneva has highlight Cambodia’s Progress in the field of Human Rights at the Human Rights Council.

The following is the Permanent Mission’s full press release dated July 15:

“The Human Rights Council (HRC) concluded its 47th Session on 14 July 2021 after having hosted a total of 23 thematic Interactive Dialogues and 7 Panel Discussions as well as having adopted 25 resolutions and 2 decisions on thematic and country-specific issues.

During the 4-week interactions (21 June – 14 July 2021), the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the United Nations Office at Geneva delivered a total of 17 statements, featuring normative and practical achievements and progress of the kingdom in wide-ranging areas of human rights with some highlights below.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, no one can be safe until everyone is safe. The

• vaccines must be a global public good to be distributed in a humanitarian

spirit for all countries. Cambodia’s free national inoculation rollout, including foreigners, has achieved more than 52% of the target population (as of 14 July 2021).

• To support livelihood of the hard-hit families, Cambodian government rolled out a “cash transfer scheme for impoverished households” through a digital mode and on the basis of equity, equality and efficiency. Additional social protection packages are being introduced to aid the affected families in the lockdown zones.

• On the right to housing, Cambodia has put in place comprehensive land policies, namely Land for Social Concession, Land Allocation for Social and Economic Development, Systematic Land Registration, and Indigenous Communal Land Registration, in order to promote people’s accessibility to land and housing in a sustainable and socially responsible manner.

• Cambodia is committed to integrate mental health services into the different levels of care across the health system. The Kingdom is in the process of formulating a “Strategic Action Plan for Mental Health 2022-2026”.

• Despite its low prevalence in Cambodia, the elimination of leprosy remains a priority of the government. A National Centre for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control has been working closely with other stakeholders to treat the patients free of charge with significant progress.

• As a state party to CEDAW, Cambodia is committed to eliminating the discrimination against women and girls, evidenced through the adoption of various social protection frameworks as well as delivery of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services at many points for women.

• Cambodia has never been on the list of female genital mutilation country profile. Its track record of promoting gender equality is also remarkable.

• To realise the SDGs, Cambodia attaches great importance to the ending of all violence against women and girls, including rape. Numerous legal and policy frameworks focusing on victim-centred approach including trainings to law enforcers and local government officials, and legal aid have been put in place to effectively prevent and respond to this criminal act.

• As a state party to Palermo Protocol in 2007, Cambodia continues to take a comprehensive approach to eradicate trafficking in persons by integrating spirit and principles of the said protocol into the amended national Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation.

• In Cambodia, drug dealers face charges but not capital punishment. Drug addicts are the victims who can voluntarily access comprehensive treatment, mental counseling, and vocational training at the Drug Treatment and Rehab Centres, and health centres.

• The delegation emphasised that unlawful or mercenary protests pressuring judiciary or disrupting public order are not a constitutional exercise of peaceful assembly.

• With regard to freedom of opinion and expression, Cambodian Permanent Representative stressed that coronavirus is a vicious ailment, but fake news and disinformation are not less malicious. To counter them requires publication of the truth. To this end, Cambodia prioritised journalists in the free and voluntary national vaccination programme starting in February 2021 in order for them to carry out their frontline work safely and to keep the public informed of the reality during the pandemic.

• Regarding right to education, Cambodian Permanent Representative emphasised, “Although the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in disruption of education, Cambodia assured the distance learning programme. In preparation for the school re-opening when the situation permits, Cambodia was praised by the UNESCO as one of the 17 countries in the world to prioritise inoculation for teachers. In addition, Cambodia also adopted a new Education Sector Plan (2019-2023), stressing the principles of inclusive, equitable and quality education as well as promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

• Cambodia’s firm commitment to genocide prevention was presented with a focus on accountability, education and protection dimensions.

During this 47th Session of the HRC, Cambodia also co-sponsored 11 joint statements, 01 decision and 03 resolutions on myriad topics of the human rights, namely rights of older persons, rights of migrants, fair and equitable distribution of vaccines, international human rights cooperation, systemic racism, leprosy, strengthening of documentation within the human rights council, nexus between development and human rights, etc.”

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press