The Rule of Law Programme works to strengthen the protection of human rights under the rule of law in Cambodia. It consists of three inter-linked components:
Treaty ratification and legal framework - this component seeks to strengthen the legal framework under which human rights are protected in Cambodia. We promote ratification and effective implementation of the international human rights treaties. To date, Cambodia is party to six of the human rights treaties:
- International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
- International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)
- Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
- Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)
- Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Cambodia has also signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRDP) and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CMW). Signing a treaty signifies a commitment by the Government to ratify the treaty in the near future.
Cambodia has also ratified a number of optional protocols to these treaties which impose additional obligations on the Government: the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT); the Optional Protocol to CEDAW; and the two Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child dealing with child soldiers and with child exploitation (CRC-OPAC and CRC-OPSC).
Each of these treaties are guaranteed under article 31 of the Cambodian Constitution. In 2007, after a petition from child rights NGOs supported by OHCHR, the Constitutional Council issued a ruling clarifying that the human rights treaties are part of domestic Cambodian law and should be applied by judges in the courts. For more information, click here.