The Cambodia Human Rights Committee (CHRC) led a delegation to participate in the 32nd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, for the third time, it said in a press release issued on Friday. It said Cambodia had already submitted documents last November for the review.
The delegation included officials from the ministries of Justice; Information; Labour and Vocational Training; Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; as well as Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation.
A timetable published by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said Cambodia’s Human Right situation would be reviewed on January 30.
Senegal, Pakistan and the UK
OHCHR said each review is facilitated by a group of three member states called “troikas”, which act as rapporteurs.
The three states to facilitate Cambodia’s UPR would be Senegal, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Their report will be filed on February 1.
CHRC spokesman Chin Malin said on Sunday that the Cambodian delegation was led by CHRC head Keo Remy, who is also the Prime Minister’s Attaché. He said the previous two UPRs for Cambodia were held in 2009 and 2014.
He said the UPR is a mechanism of checks and balances in order to improve human rights in UN member states, all of which must go through this mechanism.
In the case of Cambodia, it will serve to check if the Kingdom had implemented previous recommendations.
“In 2014, we received 205 commendations, but the government decided to accept only 163 for implementation. So, now we have to report on how far we have implemented the 163 recommendations, what challenges we had encountered, and show our will to solve them,” Malin said.
Respond to criticism
He said Remy would present the situation of Cambodia in all sectors and will respond to any criticism, whether they were made with political agenda or otherwise and would show the way to go forward.
Malin said Cambodia would accept recommendations to further improve its human rights situation and report to the OHCHR in the next five years.
“The Cambodian delegation led by HE Keo Remy will present the progress of human rights, its challenges, the political situation, democracy, and the rule of law in Cambodia, which are unlike what the opposition and some opposition-aligned NGOs and international community claims,” Malin said.
Other NGOs and the OHCHR had also submitted their reports which were not much positive on Cambodia. However, the Kingdom, he said, is ready to clarify the actual situation.