Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM: Cambodia to send UN report on rights successes

PM: Cambodia to send UN report on rights successes

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Wednesday at a graduation ceremony at Western University. Hun Sen's Facebook page

PM: Cambodia to send UN report on rights successes

Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Wednesday that Cambodia will send a report to the UN to highlight the Kingdom’s achievements in fulfilling its obligations regarding the protection of indigenous people’s rights.

“We owe [the UN] a report on the exercising of the rights of indigenous people because, in reality, we are the country that has done best in regards to this compared with others in the region. Is there an ethnic conflict like with the Montagnards [in Vietnam]? No, there is not.

“So I will issue a circular to instruct all the government institutions involved to write a complete human rights report. Then the officials who need to will defend the report in Geneva.

“I will approve the expenses for their travel using the Council of Ministers’ budget,” Hun Sen said at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh on Wednesday.

He said Cambodia had fulfilled its obligations on the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) to a greater extent than it had reported.

Indigenous people, he said, had full rights and the freedom to get jobs and receive an education, and they could choose the subjects they wished to study.

Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC) spokesperson Kata Orn said an ICERD report had been submitted by the Khmer Rouge during its rule. The last report was sent in 1983.

However, he said the Kingdom had submitted a general report on human rights three months ago. It was defended by an inter-ministerial delegation late last month.

He said ICERD covers only the rights of indigenous people, not minority groups who had illegally immigrated into Cambodia. He said indigenous people in Cambodia included the Kuoy, Bunong, Sam Rae and Cham, among others.

“We pay great attention to them following the principles of non-discrimination. No matter whether in the public or private sector, in education, health and development, we are all equal because we are all Cambodians,” Orn said.

He said the government had been resolving the issues encountered by indigenous people, such as registering community land titles so they could live on their land without facing obstruction or eviction.

“In Cambodia, there are no ethnic conflicts. We live in harmony with each other. We live with unity, understanding and cooperation. What indigenous people still face are land disputes.

“We are doing our utmost to resolve this, such as through finding compromises between companies, indigenous people and the government. We will continue to register their community land. When this is done, there will be no more land disputes from them,” Orn said.

Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) director Chak Sopheap said the Kingdom was a State Party to the ICERD, while equal rights to ethnic minorities were also guaranteed under Article 31 of the Cambodian Constitution.

She said the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) had given its concluding observations on Cambodia this month. The report raised concerns about the situation regarding ethnic Vietnamese, the Khmer Krom and indigenous peoples, she said.

She said the CERD was concerned about reported hate speech, including online and by political leaders.

Khmer Krom individuals continued to be denied legal documents in practice, putting them at risk of statelessness and increasing barriers to accessing land, employment, education, health and other basic services.

She said the government had not done enough to remedy the inequalities experienced by ethnic minorities.

“The CERD Committee’s concluding observations highlighted the need for the state to take further action to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of these individuals,” she said.

However, Orn said ICERD did not cover foreign nationals living in Cambodia illegally, while the government resolved illegal immigration according to legal procedure.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Angkor Beer, 30 Years of Prestige and Still Counting

    Let’s celebrate 30 years of prestige with Angkor Beer. In this 2022, Angkor Beer is 30 years old and has been staying with Cambodian hearts in all circumstances. Head of core beer portfolio, EmYuthousaid, “We have been with Cambodians for three decades now. We, ANGKOR Beer, pride

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,