A sustainable solution to Cambodia’s complex and deeply rooted human rights problems will not be found through financial or technical assistance alone, but will require effective mechanisms of accountability and political commitment to genuine reform.
OHCHR will seek to improve dialogue and cooperation with the Government at the policy making and implementation levels, advocate for Government accountability to its citizens and respect for national laws and for its obligations under international human rights treaties. This work will include advice and assistance to the Government on the implementation of human rights treaties to which it is a party, particularly the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).
The Office will continue to focus on developing and implementing laws and policies that comply with international human rights obligations and standards, particularly in relation to the administration of justice, the protection and promotion of fundamental freedoms, safeguarding the rights of indigenous communities, and equitable and transparent management of land and other natural resources.
OHCHR will also provide advice to the Government on the establishment of a national human rights institution that complies with the Paris Principles.
The Office will continue to work with the Government on the organization and administration of justice and access to effective remedy, including on individual cases and specific situations that require preventive or remedial action by the relevant authorities. As part of its rule-of-law programme, the Office will follow the work of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, established in June 2007 to try crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge period, with the aim of gathering good practices and models that may help support the independence and integrity of the Cambodian judiciary and contribute to efforts to combat impunity for human rights abuses, past and present.
OHCHR will continue to raise national and international awareness and understanding of the human rights situation in Cambodia through monitoring, analysis and reporting on trends, issues and cases.
As the only member of the UN Country Team with a protection and public reporting mandate, OHCHR will continue to promote joint efforts by the Country Team and donor agencies, including through technical working groups, to address common issues of concern, such as access to justice, transparency and accountability, and human rights-based approaches to development, including in the management of land and natural resources.
Through strengthened partnerships, capacity-building activities and direct protection interventions on behalf of civil society actors and human rights defenders, OHCHR will promote a supportive environment for citizens’ participation in public and political life, including action to uphold human rights.
With its partners in the UN Country Team and the wider donor community, the Office will promote greater integration of human rights into the work of the UN and other international actors in Cambodia, and greater respect for human rights and the rule of law in the development, implementation and enforcement of national laws and policies. The UNDAF for 2006-2010, to which the Office contributes substantively, is a strong, rightsbased document that identifies four focus areas: good governance and the promotion and protection of human rights; agriculture and rural poverty; capacity building and human resource development for the social sector; and support for the National Strategic Development Plan (2006-2010). While the Office’s programme contributes to all of these objectives, its emphasis is on protection, assistance and advisory work in the first two areas.
The Office will continue its efforts to promote and support increased government and civil society engagement and cooperation with UN treaty bodies, special procedures and the Human Rights Council. This will include providing advice and assistance to the Government to ensure progress on its reporting obligations under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), the ICESCR, and the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), and on its engagement with the Human Rights Council. The Office will also encourage civil society to participate in treaty reporting and Universal Periodic Review processes by submitting shadow reports or information to relevant Committees. The Office will continue to promote engagement with special procedures mandate-holders by the Government and civil society.