Droits de l’Homme au #Cambodge : Rapports du Secrétaire Général et de la Rapporteuse Spéciale des Nations Unies

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia Rhona Smith (L) speaks to reporters at a press conference in Phnom Penh, May 9, 2019.

 

Conclusions dans le rapport du Secrétaire General

73. The Secretary-General:

(a) Urges the Government and other political actors to engage in a dialogue in order
to reduce tensions and encourages more open public debate, with full respect for the
rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of peaceful
assembly and the right to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through
freely chosen representatives;

(b) Calls upon the Government to strengthen guarantees for the unhindered work
of civil society organizations, including human rights organizations, by consolidating
and broadening the space for these organizations to operate, in particular by
undertaking a review of the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations
through a broad consultative process and taking into account the views of affected
associations and organizations;

(c) Encourages the Government to take steps to ensure the independence of the
judiciary and to improve its transparency and efficiency, including by undertaking
studies and surveys in the area of judicial integrity with the technical assistance of
OHCHR;

(d) Encourages the Government to ensure that the National Committee against
Torture receives an adequate budget and has the means to administer that budget in
order for it to undertake its important work in the field of prevention of torture and illtreatment in places of deprivation of liberty;

(e) Invites the Government to strengthen the promotion of human rights in the
context of implementing the Cambodian Sustainable Development Goals and other
development strategies, in particular by introducing more and clearer targets and
indicators under Cambodian Sustainable Development Goal 16 and by undertaking
studies, with the assistance of OHCHR, to identify those at risk of being left behind in
development processes;

(f) Encourages the Government to consider simplifying the community land titling
process.

Conclusions dans le rapport de la Rapporteuse Spéciale

V. Conclusions and recommendations

71. A year on from the national elections of 29 July 2018, the human rights situation
in Cambodia remains dominated by the repression of political rights. The Cambodia
National Rescue Party remains banned, its former President, Kem Sokha, remains in
detention, the political rights of its supporters and members continue to be denied and
the Cambodian People’s Party has consolidated its overwhelming dominance over State
institutions. Some apparent openings of democratic and civic space in the last months
of 2018 do not appear to be effecting change: over 140 members of the former
Cambodia National Rescue Party have received summons and some have been detained
for expressing support for their former leaders or for attending gatherings; the
revocation of the three-day notification requirement for civil society organizations
before holding activities has not been matched by a reduction in official monitoring of
such activities; and statements by government officials have tended to vilify civil society
organizations, in particular human rights organizations.

72. The Special Rapporteur has noted aggressive rhetoric from the leaders of both
the Cambodian People’s Party and the former Cambodia National Rescue Party which
is doing nothing to move beyond the current political situation and create a spirit of
dialogue and reconciliation. As Cambodia advances into its new political mandate as a
de facto one-party State, a new political culture, focusing on issues, openness to different
opinions and the free expression of ideas, would go a long way to ensuring a shared
future that benefits all Cambodians. Challenges to ideas and policies are part of the
normal democratic debate in multiparty liberal democracies, as enshrined in the
Constitution. Greater participation in decision-making and heightened accountability
will strengthen, not weaken, governance. The Special Rapporteur remains committed
to listening to all stakeholders in an impartial manner and supporting inclusive
dialogue, as she continues to monitor and advocate for the enjoyment of human rights
by everyone in Cambodia.

73. Improving the enjoyment of political rights is an end in itself, but it is also
important to meeting the country’s commitments to implementing the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development. So much is clearly recognized in Sustainable Development
Goal 16 and target 16.7 on ensuring participatory decision-making at all levels. It is also
noteworthy that the proportion of female government officials in ministries and
agencies has increased from 40 per cent in 2016 to 41 per cent in 2018.22 In that regard,
the Cambodian Sustainable Development Goals Framework would benefit from a
clearer reflection of the human rights aspects of the 2030 Agenda. Human rights bring
to life the people who are at the centre of the Sustainable Development Goals. A clearer
articulation of human rights in the Government’s strategic development framework
and practical actions will help to support the country’s rapid development and for it to
be inclusive, peaceful and just, leaving no one behind. That would help all Cambodians
and support the country’s aspiration to be an “oasis of peace”, based on democratic
principles and human rights, and focused on progress, development and prosperity.

74. In that regard, the Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government of
Cambodia:

(a) Release Kem Sokha from detention and conclude the investigation of the charges
against him swiftly or drop the charges;

(b) Address disenfranchisement at the local level, including, for example, new
elections at the commune level that respect the people’s rights to vote and to be elected
at genuine periodic elections, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors;

(c) Create a space for political dialogue between the Government and opposition
political actors, including members of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party,
and hold discussions including on reinstating the 118 banned members of the Cambodia
National Rescue Party;

(d) Submit overdue treaty body reports, update the common core document and
systematically address (in consultation with stakeholders) the concluding observations
of the treaty bodies and the recommendations of the special procedures and the
universal periodic review;

(e) Allow civil society organizations to undertake activities at the subnational level
without harassment and surveillance or any undue restrictions;

(f) Allow peaceful demonstrations in compliance with the Law on Peaceful
Demonstration and its implementing guidelines and stop the excessive use of force when
policing assemblies;

(g) Launch a participatory process, including consultation with civil society
organizations, to review and amend, as necessary, the Law on Political Parties, the Law
on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations, the Trade Union Law and the
Telecommunications Law to bring them into line with international human rights
standards;

(h) Adopt the law on access to information as a means of promoting greater
transparency of government institutions;

(i) Consider adopting a comprehensive law on non-discrimination to help ensure
that no one is left behind;

(j) Review Cambodian Sustainable Development Goal 16 to ensure comprehensive
and more ambitious coverage of the targets and indicators set out in Sustainable
Development Goal 16;

(k) Ensure much deeper engagement of the Ministry of Justice, the Anti-Corruption
Unit and the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction to
capture key policies in the Cambodian Sustainable Development Goals;

(l) Hold a national conference to follow up on and promote coordinated
implementation of the recommendations from the third universal periodic review and
the outcome of the voluntary national review of implementation of the Sustainable
Development Goals in July 2019;

(m) Increase the space for a free press, including for independent journalists, to
operate, and review or drop the charges against the two former Radio Free Asia
journalists;

(n) Undertake a comprehensive study that identifies those at risk of being left behind
in the implementation of the Cambodian Sustainable Development Goals and ways to
improve data collection, disaggregation and analysis to ensure the monitoring of Goals
takes into account those most at risk of being left behind;

(o) Continue the dialogue between the Ministry of the Interior and civil society
organizations, expand and strengthen the dialogue at the subnational level and include
other ministries and government authorities;

(p) Ensure respect for the economic and social rights of communities along the Tonle
Sap prior to any relocation and ensure that all members of Vietnamese communities
enjoy legal identity and birth registration;

(q) Promote community-based treatment of drug users and stop involuntary
internment and treatment of drug users without proper independent authorization and
oversight;

(r) Undertake an independent review of the Phnom Penh Social Affairs Transit
Centre (Prey Speu) in relation to its compliance with international standards, including
the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;

(s) Convene a national conference to review the implementation of the
recommendations of the 2015 national conference on persons in street situations;

(t) Make concerted efforts to tackle corruption and the lack of transparency in the
judiciary, including through undertaking a judicial integrity study;

(u) Adopt the legal aid policy.

 

Assessing protection of those at risk of being left behind

 

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