What we do

What does the Cambodia Office do?

In Cambodia, the Office implements the High Commissioner’s global mandate to protect and promote human rights. It works with the government, the judicial and legislative bodies, civil society and other national and international actors, to support the consolidation of peace and inclusive development of Cambodia. It does so through the promotion of rule of law and of compliance with the human rights standards ratified by Cambodia.

Since 1993, the office has been pursuing this effort in the following areas:

  • Supporting the development of a legal and institutional framework which protects the exercise of human rights, consistent with the international human rights standards enshrined in Cambodia’s Constitution;
  • Monitoring the implementation of laws and the actions of state institutions responsible for respecting and upholding rights, reporting problematic areas to the Government and other relevant actors for corrective action, and looking jointly for solutions;
  • Supporting the Government‘s cooperation with the UN Human Rights Council and its mechanisms, and promoting the ratification of international human rights treaties;
  • Supporting the capacity of civil society actors (human rights NGOs, women’s associations, media, trade unions, and others) to monitor and advocate for human rights, and protecting their activities through fostering a climate of mutual respect, dialogue and cooperation with the Government.
OHCHR in Cambodia maintains a head office in Phnom Penh and a regional office in Battambang.

What does OHCHR offer?

OHCHR provides the following services to the Government, civil society and other stakeholders:

  • Ongoing assessments of the human rights situation, which are communicated to the relevant authorities in order to help bring about improvements;
  • Legal analyses of draft laws, and advice on compliance with international human rights standards;
  • Support, advice and training to assist the Government with reporting to the international treaty monitoring bodies, and to encourage implementation of their recommendations;
  • Training and guidance on human rights issues, domestic law and the use of international human rights mechanisms;
  • Cooperation with relevant authorities and NGOs to protect specific individuals or groups whose rights are under threat;
  • Small grants to civil society actors and communities to help them address human rights issues.

OHCHR’s spirit of cooperation

The primary responsibility to protect human rights rests with the Government. To improve the protection of human rights, an honest assessment of issues of concern is required, along with constructive dialogue between the Government, civil society and international actors, to identify and implement solutions. To this end, OHCHR in Cambodia works toward fostering dialogue and cooperative efforts among all stakeholders and toward creating an environment where divergent views can be expressed freely and peacefully.

You can find more about our Cambodia office's work since 1993 in this 4-min video.