The Cambodian Human Rights Committee president spoke during a pro-LGBT event in Phnom Penh on Saturday and called on the public to end discrimination and prevent violence against the community.
The event, organised by Rainbow Community Kampuchea, was held during International Human Rights Day.
CHRC president Keo Remy said the government has made efforts in recent years to curb violence and discrimination against the LGBT community in the Kingdom, but discrimination among some members of the public is still apparent.
“Senior government leaders have instructed and called on everyone to not discriminate against LGBT people in Cambodia,” Mr Remy said. “Families, communities and society should not discriminate against LGBT people.”
He said citizens, especially parents, should avoid using violence and refrain from discriminating against LGBT people.
“If you have children who are [LGBT], please do not use violence or evict them from homes – acknowledge the truth, love them and the community so we can all have harmony,” Mr Remy said.
He noted LGBT people should not cause chaos in society and called on them to contribute to society by working in the fields of arts and culture.
According to a recent report by RoCK on domestic violence, LGBT people in the Kingdom face a lack of recognition from their families.
It said physical, mental, economic and sexual forms of violence against LGBT people resulted in the rejection of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The report added 30 percent of participants in the research contemplated suicide due to family reasons.
RoCK coordinator Ly Pisey said the government must consider amending laws to protect LGBT rights by recognising marriage, gender identity and curbing discrimination.
“No one wants to be isolated, no one wants to be away from their parents and no one wants to be kicked out of society,” Ms Pisey said. “What we want is protection, love and recognition.”
Sothy Linda, a transgender person, said the law plays an important role in protecting LGBT laws.
“I believe that love and changing the law can protect us all as we make Cambodia a warm place for us LGBT people,” Mr Linda said.
The LGBT community in the Kingdom has been urging the government to draft and revise laws and policies to protect their rights.
However, Prime Minister Hun Sen in February said the Kingdom is not yet ready to create legislation to allow same-sex marriage because the issue is “controversial”.
“We cannot create a law to allow for the marriage of LGBT people and some countries are also facing controversy over this issue,” Mr Hun Sen said at the time. “We also do not need to have such a law because we do not prevent same-sex relationships and we do not arrest LGBT people and put them in prison.”
“We have also never mistreated or punished LGBT people, so there is no problem if there is no such law,” he added.