Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC) president Keo Remy has announced that he intends to recruit taekwondo coaches to train patients undergoing drug rehabilitation at the Orkas Knhom Centre.

The instructors will be hired following the SEA Games, and it is hoped that physical fitness and mental focus will assist the centre’s patients to get healthy and reintegrate into society.

Remy visited the centre last week and met with the 1,721 people who are receiving treatment and rehabilitation there.

The CHRC said that the visit was aimed at examining the living conditions of the facility’s inpatients.

“We are focused on the exercise of their basic rights, health care, food supply, vocational and physical training, as well as their eventual reintegration into society,” it said.

Remy praised the centre’s management and medical and non-medical staff for their hard work and dedication to managing, caring for and treating the victims of drugs.

He urged them to continue to pay close attention to national and international human rights standards.

He also addressed the inpatients.

“Those of you who are receiving treatment and rehabilitation here must strive to change yourselves. Please concentrate on using your stay here to improve your mental and physical health so you can return to society and contribute to building, protecting and developing the Kingdom,” he said.

Remy, who is also president of the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) of Cambodia, also announced that he would provide the centre with martial arts instructors as soon as the SEA Games were completed.

“I believe it will help the patients stay healthy and strong, and will help them to reintegrate with their families once they have recovered from their addictions,” he said.

Soeung Sen Karua, spokesman for rights group Adhoc, said that the inspection visit was an excellent opportunity for the CHRC to learn what the treatment situation is like on the ground.

“I would like to see all educational or vocational training centres that work in the field of drug rehabilitation respecting the human rights of their patients and providing them with effective services,” he added.

Sen Karua hoped that patients would receive an adequate education and adopt a new lease on life once they were released.