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CHRC Stresses Human Rights in Cambodia is “Better”

Phnom Penh: Following the recent criticisms on the human rights situation in Cambodia, Commission on Human Rights Committee President, Keo Remy has stressed that the human rights situation in the kingdom is better compared to the last 30 years ago. He made the statement in line with Cambodia’s commemoration of the 28th anniversary of the Constitution Day on Friday.

He says, “The Human Right Situation in almost 30 years, it’s better! If we compare to the 1979, Cambodia only had five million people. Now, now we reach almost 16 million which means the right to live is guaranteed, I can say like that. First, the constitution says is protect to all human rights following the agreement with the United Nation. It’s short and simple about human rights situation, our Prime Minister Hun Sen gives priority to the peace in the country. Why peace is important? Take a look back to the year 1993 when we create the constitutional law without Khmer Rouge joining, some place in Cambodia before could not even conduct an election because of the Khmer Rouge controlling that area, that is why we can say Cambodia was not united at that time.”

He has recalled during the Khmer Rouge time. He was under Prince Norodom Sihanouk’s group as a top official. He participated the negotiations before the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia came into the picture creating election.

He said at first, the king wanted Cambodia to be Republic of Cambodia by choosing a system the same as France but in the end all the three parties agreed to choose Cambodia being a constitutional monarchy state. Accordingly, the king only stay in the throne for life but cannot control the power and has no right to choose successor and that power belongs to the Prime Minister. That is stated in the Article 3 that cannot be amended.

He has added, “We Cambodians sacrifice a lot for this constitution. About ‘Human Rights’ the constitution talks from article 31 to 50 about human rights only - women's rights, children's rights, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, political freedom, freedom of demonstration and more. But I want to remind that all of this rights – need to exercise rights without infringing on the rights of others and must comply with the law. So, it is noted in the constitution that must be a law set to operate. The constitution is just a basic law and needs a law to support. However, it has to follow the constitution, and to respect to the human rights and it must follow to the law to lead the country. If we are not controlled by the law and if there is no law, we can’t do anything.”

Remy has also emphasised that unlike any other countries, Cambodia respects different religions which the Prime Minister is setting a good example. There are no discriminations towards different religions. In addition, children, especially girls are entitled to education and there are no women and other gender discrimination such as the LGBTQ+ community. They are all welcomed and all are respected in the kingdom.

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