The Cambodia Human Rights Committee is defending the Kingdom’s rights records by highlighting the number of recommendations it received during the third Universal Periodic Review in January with other countries.
Cambodia was one of 14 countries scrutinised by the United Nations during the UPR cycle in January. Out of 193 UN member states, 73 made 198 recommendations to Cambodia to improve human rights in the Kingdom. CHRC noted 25 recommendations and acknowledged 173.
CHRC president Keo Remy yesterday spoke during the first national workshop to disseminate and implement the recommendations and said when compared to other countries, Cambodia received fewer recommendations.
“I’d like to make it clear to those who criticised us. It was not just Cambodia, other countries out there also had their human rights records set on fire,” Mr Remy said. “If we compare us with other countries, we are better than some of them.”
He noted that 108 countries made 268 recommendations to Malaysia, 95 countries made 218 recommendations to South Korea and 115 countries made 297 recommendations to France.
“Human rights issues exist everywhere, not just Cambodia. Do not take advantage of the human rights situation as propaganda for politics,” Mr Remy said. “Cambodia was not grilled during the review. Some people were confused about this. We were there to answer questions related to reports of human rights in the country.”
CHRC spokesman Chin Malin yesterday said that today it will divide Cambodia’s 173 recommendations among ministries and public institutions.
Mr Malin said that stakeholders offered input yesterday during the national workshop.
“These recommendations touched on almost all ministries and sectors, including politics, economics, education, social development and so on,” he said. “It is important to gather all inputs from related parties, including the government, local and international civil society groups and the United Nations.”
Mr Remy said the CHRC will next establish a working group, led by the related parties to monitor the implementation of the recommendations to ensure the Kingdom protects human rights.
UN resident coordinator Pauline Tamesis yesterday said the government plays an important role in implementing UPR recommendations. Ms Tamesis said civil society groups should monitor the government’s progress to ensure human rights in the Kingdom are protected.
“The UPR review is a floor to open discussion related to the human rights situation between the government, civil society groups, and related partners. The UN encourages the participation of all stakeholders,” she said.