Victor Madrigal-Borloz, an independent UN specialist on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual trends and gender identity, is on a 10 day tour of the Kingdom, at the request of the government.

“I see this visit as an important step in complying with the mandate given to me by the Human Rights Council to establish dialogue and seek cooperation related to the human rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and gender diverse (LGBT) community,” said Madrigal-Borloz.

He will visit Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang and will meet with local and national authorities, human rights defenders and advocates, religious leaders and others.

He will note measures being taken to eliminate violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and hear evidence relating to inequality and remaining challenges.

He added data would be gathered to analyse the causes of violence and discrimination.

“My assessment will provide grounds for recommendations to the state and other stakeholders,” said Madrigal-Borloz.

Cambodian Human Rights Committee spokesman Katta Orn said that the visit is an excellent opportunity for the Kingdom to promote the rights of the LGBT community. It was up to everyone – not just the government or advocates – to prioritise the rights and freedoms of LGBT people, and eliminate all forms of discrimination against them.

“LGBT people have the same rights as non-LGBT people. They are guaranteed by international legal standards and by the Constitution and other laws of Cambodia,” he added.

“Members of the LGBT community in Cambodia enjoy a wide range of freedoms,” he continued.

He said the Kingdom offers greater freedoms than many other countries in the region, some of which go so far as to punish homosexuality.

Madrigal-Borloz took office in 2018, and is also a senior researcher with the Eleanor Roosevelt Programme at Harvard Law School’s human rights programme.