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Senior Minister Om Yentieng: Cambodia Leads the Region in Respect for Human Rights

PHNOM PENH: Senior Minister Om Yentieng has said that Cambodia has taken the lead in the region in promoting and protecting human rights.

Addressing an event to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of International Human Rights Day at the Royal University of Phnom Penh on Thursday morning, 8 December, Senior Minister Om Yentieng recalled Cambodia's history of war and genocide, the physical and mental impacts of which can still be felt by Cambodians today. He said that beginning from 7 January 1979, however, Cambodia was able to once again start from zero and work towards building a democratic society under an umbrella of peace, which has been maintained until the present day.

Senior Minister Om Yentieng added that some of the factors which led Cambodia to become a leader of human rights in the region include the non-implementation of the death penalty, the accession of eight out of nine international human rights treaties, as well as four additional protocols in line with the Authorization of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia.

"These factors provide strong evidence and testimony that reflect the true will of the Royal Government of Cambodia to promote and protect human rights,” he said.

The President of the Cambodian Human Rights Commission, Keo Remy, has said that the human rights situation in Cambodia is getting better and more prominent as the world faces the Covid-19 pandemic. He contributed this to factors such as the national vaccination campaign, the provision of social equity to people affected by Covid-19, the maintenance of peace and stability, and no restrictions on human rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and religious rights.

"Samdech Techo, the Prime Minister, since liberation in 1979, has promoted the right to life, and liberation from human and natural challenges,” he said. “Vaccination has especially allowed Cambodia to return to normalcy. Citizens have the right to earn a living, they come to gain knowledge in schools and universities. These are points which show that Cambodia is leading in normalization [of human rights] under the leadership of the Prime Minister.”

Senior Minister Om Yentieng added that Cambodia is able to achieve everything it has until now because of peace, which is the foundation of human rights and development, and is inseparable from the participation and contribution of leaders, authorities, civil society officials, citizens and young people.

International Human Rights Day is celebrated annually on 10 December, the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This Universal Declaration is an important document that proclaims the inseparable right that everyone has the right to be human, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, politics, national origins, society, property, birth, or other status. The declaration is available in more than 500 languages, and is the most widely translated document in the world.

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