The grand prize of the nationwide Human Rights Drawing Contest sponsored by UNTAC
Human Rights Component and attracting the talents of about 10,000 children from across
Cambodia, was selected at a ceremony on Dec. 18.
"The white hand represents peace, the five fingers mean the five superpowers,"
said 12-year-old Srong Sophy, a high school student from Kandal province, describing
her picture which won first prize.
Her drawing features the peaceful Cambodian countryside and farmers working their
fields all supported by a large white hand.
The theme of the contest was "What Human Rights Means to Me," and was organized
throughout the country in honor of International Human Rights Day last month.
More than 10,000 drawings were submitted from 18 provinces, and were judged by a
jury chaired by Dennis McNamara, director of the UNTAC Human Rights Component. The
jury was made up of UNESCO representatives and the UNTAC Information and Education
The second-place winner depicted two amputees and a monk with the title, "We
Have the Same Rights to Vote."
"I chose the topic because I think that even amputees or monks have the right
to vote like the others do," said Veng Sophalin, age 13, from Psar Deum Tkov
"To me," Veng added, "human rights is the main issue for all people
in the world. Every person must enjoy his rights in general."
The third place winner was Sima Sonnet from Chatomuk Primary School, with the drawing
entitled, "December 10."
"We were very impressed by the intrinsic understanding, the basic understanding
of the children of this state," McNamara said of the contest entrants who were
all age 15 or under.