Who we are
The United Nations has maintained an office focused on the protection and promotion of human rights in Cambodia since 1993. It is part of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
What is OHCHR?
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is the principal United Nations agency responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights. It is part of the Secretariat of the United Nations, an inter-governmental organization made up of 193 Member States.
OHCHR’s headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. It maintains an office at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, country and regional offices, and human rights advisers assigned to United Nations Country Teams. It also manages United Nations peacekeeping missions around the world.
Who is the High Commissioner for Human Rights?
The High Commissioner for Human Rights is the most senior United Nations official charged with protecting and promoting human rights around the world. The High Commissioner works under the direction of the Secretary-General and reports to the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council. The current High Commissioner, Mr. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein (Jordan), took up office in September 2014. Click here for more information...
What is the history of the OHCHR Cambodia Country Office?
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has been operating in Cambodia since October 1993. The 1991 Paris Peace Accords had given the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) a mandate to monitor the human rights situation during the transitional period (1991-1993). Once the work of UNTAC was concluded, the Accords mandated the United Nations to continue its human rights work in the country. The Office’s programme developed from this mandate. The Office evolved from a large presence immediately after the conflict (with 7 sub-national offices) to a development-focused office today with only one regional office.
The presence and mandate of the Office is governed by an annual resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as a bilateral agreement with the Royal Government. The Office is mandated to work closely with the Government, civil society organizations and interested Member States to support the Government’s duty to meet its obligations under international human rights law.
The current Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia is Ms. Wan-Hea LEE.
Previous representatives were:
Mr James Heenan (acting) (2011-2013)
Mr. Christophe Peschoux (2007-2011)
Ms. Margo Picken (2001-2007)
Ms. Rita Reddy (1999-2000)
Ms. Rosemary McCreery (1998-1999)
Mr David Hawk (acting) (1996-1998)
Mr. Daniel Prémont (1994-1996).
Memorandums of Understanding
OHCHR operates in Cambodia through what is called a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which is an agreement signed by both the Office and the Government. All of OHCHR's MoUs can be found here:
March 1996 - March 1998 English Khmer
March 1998 - March 2000 English Khmer
February 2002 - December 2003 English Khmer
January 2005 - December 2006 English Khmer
November 2007 - May 2009 English Khmer
January 2010 - December 2011 English Khmer
January 2012 - December 2013 English Khmer
January 2014 - December 2015 English Khmer
January 2017 - December 2018 English Khmer