On the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of International Human Rights Day, the Cambodian government will highlight its “profound commitment” to human rights. 

Keo Remy, president of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC), shared this through a short video statement released on December 2. The government, he said, will articulate its dedication to human rights promotion, specifically highlighting social protection initiatives integrated into its Pentagonal Strategy-Phase I.

Cambodia, in partnership with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, Switzerland, will commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) during this anniversary.

The UDHR, established in 1948 by representatives with diverse legal and cultural backgrounds worldwide, stands as a global standard proclaimed by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on December 10, 1948.

“Cambodia will actively engage in the 75th-anniversary event occurring in Geneva from December 11 to 12, hosted at the OHCHR headquarters. We will deliver a government statement affirming our commitment to human rights promotion, encompassing both historical efforts and the government’s Pentagonal Strategy,” Remy said.

He also indicated six priority policies concerning human rights promotion within the Pentagonal Strategy.

The first policy centres on advancing healthcare through the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programme. The second focuses on providing vocational and technical training to disadvantaged young people nationwide.

The third policy entails establishing a national social protection strategy for impoverished and vulnerable groups during periods of economic crisis and emergency.

Highlighting the fourth point, he noted introducing and promoting the implementation of a strategy for developing the informal economy to enhance its participation in the overall economic system.

The fifth policy involves creating coordination mechanisms and financing programmes to boost production, marketing and maintain key agricultural prices at appropriate levels.

Regarding the sixth policy, Remy outlined the government’s deployment of agricultural technical officers to all communes engaged in agricultural activities throughout the country. This initiative aims to promote agricultural productivity and support families, particularly in rural areas.

“The government has demonstrated a robust commitment to safeguarding and promoting human rights across national, regional and all UN mechanisms. Cambodia is a leading country, having adopted eight out of nine international conventions on human rights,” he said.

He said that Cambodia permits the OHCHR’s presence and welcomes the Special Rapporteur on human rights, noting the country’s absence of a death penalty.

Remy added that beginning with the leadership of former Prime Minister Hun Sen, the government has ensured democracy and security, anchored in respect for human rights, as stipulated by the 1993 Cambodian Constitution.

Rights group ADHOC spokesperson Soeng Sen Karuna said that while acknowledging the government’s commitment as positive, civil society wants to see the practical implementation of this commitment. This includes a focus on expanding freedoms, particularly in the realms of political rights and reviewing existing laws.