UN expert to visit Cambodia to assess human rights situation
12 August 2022
GENEVA (12 August 2022) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Cambodia Vitit Muntarbhorn will conduct his first official visit to Cambodia from 15 to 26 August 2022.
He will assess the situation of human rights in the country and the government’s efforts towards creating an enabling environment for the enjoyment of all human rights including political and civil rights and economic, social and cultural rights following the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I look forward to meeting a wide range of stakeholders including government representatives, human rights defenders and other relevant stakeholders to assess the human rights situation in Cambodia and Cambodia’s efforts to implement international human rights law,” Professor Muntarbhorn said.
The independent expert, visiting the country in-person on the invitation of the government, will hold meetings across the country. He will meet with national and local government officials, international and local civil society representatives, and other relevant representatives during his visit.
The independent expert will present his preliminary observations during a press conference to be held on 26 August 2022 at 14:00 local time. Attendance will be strictly limited to journalists.
He will present his next report to the Human Rights Council in October 2022.
Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn was appointed as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia in March 2021. Professor Vitit is a Thai law Professor with longstanding experience working pro bono for the UN on human rights. He has helped the UN in a variety of positions, including as former UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Democratic People Republic of Korea, former UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, former Chairperson of the UN appointed Commission of Inquiry on the Ivory Coast, and former member of the UN appointed Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.
Professor Vitit is a Professor Emeritus at the Faculty of Law, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. He is a graduate of Oxford University (M.A.,B.C.L. (Oxon.) and Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Licence Speciale en Droit Europeen (Brux.)). He is also a Barrister at Law (the Middle Temple, London). For several years, Professor Vitit Co-Chaired the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism. He has published widely on International Law, Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law, and Law and Development. He is the recipient of a number of awards, including the 2004 UNESCO Human Rights Education Prize. He was bestowed a Knighthood (KBE) in 2018.
The Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts and Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.