Minister of Justice Koeut Rith requested that UN Special Rapporteur on human rights situation in Cambodia Vitit Muntarbhorn make his report balanced and fair as an encouragement to those Cambodians who have been working hard to promote human rights in the country.
The minster met with the special rapporteur on August 25 during the latter’s 11-day first visit to the Kingdom, which concluded today.
Rith told Vitit that the government had tried to protect and promote human rights in various aspects for the sake of the whole nation, according to a justice ministry statement released after the meeting.
“The Minister has requested that Vitit Muntarbhorn prepare his report on his visit in a balanced, fair and genuine way which reflects the real situation in Cambodia and recognises the government’s efforts; as this will motivate those who have tried so hard [to improve this field].
“He also requested that Vitit Muntarbhorn facilitate with other relevant parties to support and cooperate Cambodia more in this field,” the justice ministry said.
During the meeting, Koeut Rith and Vitit also discussed the UN’s recommendations on child rights, the establishment of a juvenile court, and the situation of overcrowding in prisons.
Rith informed the special rapporteur that the Ministry of Social affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation and the National Council for Children – as well as the justice ministry are implementing the recommendations.
With regard to overcrowding in prisons, Rith said the root causes of the problem need to be examined and solutions found must be based on legal procedures. The justice ministry has launched a campaign to solve the backlog of criminal cases at all courts of the first instance which will contributes to solving the overcrowding situation.
On establishing a juvenile court, the minister said that Cambodia had the willingness to establish specialised courts in various areas including civil, criminal, labour and commerce, as well as the juvenile court Vitit suggested. Currently, the judicial system did not have enough trained personal – especially judges and prosecutors. Therefore, Cambodia requires more time and resources to implement the suggestion.
The minister added that Cambodia is trying to solve all of its challenges step by step according to the capacity, resources, and reality of the situation in Cambodia.