The Civil Society and Fundamental Freedoms Programme (CSU) of OHCHR Cambodia works to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations and individuals to exercise their fundamental freedom of association, opinion, expression and assembly in order to effectively promote the protection of human rights in the country. It seeks to foster mutual respect and dialogue between the Royal Government of Cambodia and civil society organizations, assist the Royal Government of Cambodia to develop legislation that enables people to participate in public affairs in a free and informed manner, and monitor the implementation of legislation and policies that directly pertain to the exercise of these freedoms in Cambodia.
CSU works with the Royal Government of Cambodia, civil society, United Nations agencies, embassies and development actors to promote and protect fundamental freedoms.
The work of CSU includes providing protection to human rights defenders, as well as victims or possible victims of human rights violations, by monitoring individual cases as they arise and advocating with the relevant provincial and national authorities in favour of the respect of the rights of those concerned. In order to strengthen the capacity of the civil society, CSU provides training on the rights to freedom of assembly, the Cambodian law on peaceful demonstrations, and human rights monitoring and fact-finding. It also supports a wide range of civil society activities that seek to promote and protect fundamental freedoms.
Activities of CSU include:
Monitoring public demonstrations and gatherings
Monitoring individual cases in relation to fundamental freedoms
Providing protection to human rights defenders and victims of human rights violations
Assisting the Government and civil society organizations on the Universal Periodic Review reporting process
Monitoring the development of draft laws that potentially impact on the rights to freedom of expression, opinion, assembly and association
Assisting relevant government ministries, authorities and agencies on the implementation of laws to respect fundamental freedoms
Advocating with civil society on their rights to fundamental freedoms under international and national laws
Raising awareness and understanding of fundamental freedoms through a variety of capacity-building activities, radio shows, information leaflets and other publications