PHNOM PENH (10 December 2017) Today, Human Rights Day, marks the launch of a year’s celebration to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We have much to celebrate. International treaties and national laws have been adopted to guarantee the rights of all, including women, children, persons with disabilities, indigenous communities and other vulnerable populations. These laws have led to real improvements in many people’s lives. Yet, with conflict and inequality persisting across the world, we should also pause and reflect about the road ahead.

It has been the experience of the United Nations system in Cambodia time and again that open participation of civil society contributes positively to meeting national development priorities in a way that is inclusive, equitable and sustains peace. Thanks to civil society’s engagement, the cooperation among local and indigenous communities and local authorities to promote sustainable forests and fisheries management have seen some positive results. And civil society organizations have been instrumental in policy-making and campaigning to respond to and prevent gender-based violence and violence against children. They have been key to achieving access to HIV prevention, treatment and care services for all in need.

Read the full op-ed in English.

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