Special Rapporteur presents his final call for change

Yesterday, during the 27th session of the Human Rights Council, Professor Surya P. Subedi presented his last report as the United Nations (the “UN”) Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia.

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UN Special Rapporteur Surya P. Subedi. (c) CCHR

The work of the Special Rapporteur involves independently investigating the human rights situation by visiting Cambodia biannually, and reporting to the UN Human Rights Council. At the conclusion of the twelfth reporting period, from 1 July 2013 – 24 July 2014, and after fulfilling the maximum six-year term, the Special Rapporteur has a deep understanding of the challenges facing Cambodia. The candid and honest nature of the report is unsurprising following his press conference at the conclusion of his last visit to Cambodia in June.

The report expresses that overall the human rights situation is generally heading in a positive direction. The Special Rapporteur praises the Royal Government of Cambodia (the “RGC”) for adopting some of his recommendations, and for willingly meeting with him. He further powerfully asserts that:

‘The year 2013 was the year in which the Cambodian people found their voice, and the Special Rapporteur is convinced that Cambodia has embarked on a new path from which there is no turning back.’

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Cambodia Universal Periodic Review: Another 4.5 years of broken promises?

On 26 June 2014, the government of Cambodia had its Universal Periodic Review outcome session at the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva. The purpose of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is for United Nations (UN) member states to peer-review the human rights records of other member states and offer recommendations that can be accepted, noted, or rejected by the State under review.  Because every state must undergo a review, and because recommendations are offered by fellow members as opposed to UN officials, the process is seen as a fair, objective, and equal way to improve each state’s human rights record.

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