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Job cuts at UN human rights

The United Nation's human rights office in Cambodia has confirmed jobs will be lost

at the agency in the wake of a "program refocus".

That follows a 25 percent drop in funding for the year beginning September which

will leave $3.5 million for the Cambodian office, one of the three largest in the

world.

"There will be some job reductions but the process is not over so we can't say

exactly how many," said spokesperson Francesca Marotta.

Around 60 staff, including consultants, work for the office, and the positions would

go before September. Staff would receive severance packages "in accordance with

UN policy".

She said that the agency's core budget would remain the same, but "extra-budgetary"

contributions were set to shrink. Funding typically comes from head office in Geneva,

Switzerland, and voluntary contributions from member states of the UN.

Marotta said the demands of expanding programs in Afghanistan and East Timor had

not directly resulted in the cuts, but they had affected the amount donors would

contribute to Cambodia.

"As part of the yearly program cycle we have looked at recent resolutions in

the General Assembly of the UN for our program priorities," she said.

Those include a focus on economic, social and cultural rights, implementation of

the land law, next year's national election, human rights monitoring and protection,

the integration of human rights into legislation, and judicial reform with its focus

on impunity.

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