Cambodia to Submit Human Rights Report to UN

Cambodia will submit a human rights report to the U.N. today for a universal periodic review (UPR), the second time it is participating in the process, according to the Council of Ministers’ Press and Quick Reaction Unit.

Under the UPR process established in 2006, the Human Rights Council reviews the human rights record of each U.N. member state once every four years. Cambodia underwent its first review in 2009, and the council made 91 recommendations, many of which related to Cambodia’s record on forced evictions, a lack of independence in the courts and restrictions on freedom of expression. The Press and Quick Reaction Unit said in a statement Friday that some of these recommendations have since been implemented.

“After that meeting, many countries provided 91 recommendations which are partially implemented by the government and the government is implementing some of the other recommendations that are in place in the government’s policy,” the statement reads.

“A delegation will be sent to de­fend the report from February 5 to 7, 2014,” the statement continues, without elaborating on the content of the second UPR report.

Before the last report was submitted to the U.N., the government sought input from local and international NGOs in a workshop where their recommendations were so­licited before the government submitted its review on August 2009.

After a delegation was sent to the U.N. to defend the report in De­cember 2009, the government accepted all the recommendations, which included the proposed ratification of several international human rights conventions, better tackling gender inequality, and ensuring freedom of expression.

However, the government’s formal acceptance does not bind them to im­plement any recommendations. Thun Saray, president of local rights group Adhoc, said he that he was not privy to the government report, and that the government has made no efforts this time to include outside input.

“Normally, the government has to consult with us but we have not seen any consultation. This is a problem…. The UPR process should have a consultation,” Mr. Saray said.

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