The Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC) held a workshop to share its findings on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Kingdom. It aimed to increase awareness among stakeholders and gather input to optimise the report, before it is submitted to the UN in 2028.

The workshop was chaired by Keo Remy, Senior Minister and CHRC chairman, with the support of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Cambodia.

In attendance were the leaders of relevant government institutions, civil society organisations (CSOs) and international partners.

CHRC spokesman Sreang Chenda explained that the event aimed to share the details of the Kingdom’s implementations of past recommendations – made by the UN following previous reports – with the public.

CHRC vice-chairman Ith Rady told reporters at the event that the purpose of the workshop was to explain to stakeholders, especially civil society organisations, of their respective obligations in providing input such as information, data, and recommendations for the report.

“As a member, Cambodia needs to submit a report on the implementation of the international human rights conventions to the UN, which is mandatory,” he said.

Rights group ADHOC spokesman Soeung Sen Karuna said the workshop had been a presentation rather than a consultation. He said the reality is that the human rights situation in Cambodia has not significantly improved, as basic human rights continue to be violated.

“The government must recognise the actual situation. Once recognised, remedial action must be taken and then implemented, in accordance with the set plan,” he said.

He asked the CHRC to accept the input, both positive and negative, from CSOs, in order to improve its plan of enhancing the human rights situation, noting that the international community, especially the West, is critical of Cambodia.

The CHRC submitted its first report to the UN in 2008-2009, and the second in 2019-2020. The 2028 submission will be its third.