Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - U.N. Plants Seed for Long-Term Rights Work



U.N. Plants Seed for Long-Term Rights Work

U.N. Plants Seed for Long-Term Rights Work

Symposium lays foundation for post-UNTAC support for Khmer Human Rights Groups

The first-ever international symposium on human rights was held in Phnom Penh

last week in a landmark effort by the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia

(UNTAC) to nurture indigenous Cambodian human rights organizations.

Dennis McNamara, UNTAC Human Rights Component director said the process of building

human rights in Cambodia "remains fragile in the extreme."

"It is therefore imperative to us that this symposium starts the process of

formalizing an international and regional support network for Cambodian human rights

activities," McNamara said.

The three-day symposium, held Nov. 30 through Dec. 2, brought together more than

40 human rights activists from around the world, U.N. officials and the leaders of

the four non-profit, human rights organizations that have been established in Cambodia

since the peace accords were signed last year.

Representatives from three of the four political parties who signed the peace accords

were also present. The Khmer Rouge declined to participate.

UNTAC hopes that by bringing together human rights groups from the region to meet

with Khmers working towards similar ends, Cambodian human rights organizations can

benefit from the support and experience of more well-established and well-funded

institutions.

"We need NGOs as operational partners to provide future expertise, networks,

national advocacy and advice, as well as to implement education and training programs,"

McNamara said.

"This is useful for us," said Thun Saray, president of the Cambodian Human

Rights Association (CHRA). "We can share experiences and compare approaches.

"We plan to set up our own network," Saray said when asked how foreign

NGOs could help Cambodian human rights organizations. "But we want additional

support before UNTAC leaves. We need to strengthen, to consolidate our organizations.

We need technical assistance, training, information and financial support. We also

want moral support."

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration