Oral statement for the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Cambodia

05/07/2019
Statement

Madam Vice- President,

FIDH and its member organization LICADHO are disappointed by the Cambodian government’s failure to use the third UPR to make a strong commitment to addressing ongoing human rights violations.

The 87% rate of acceptance of recommendations received by Cambodia doesn’t tell the whole story. Cambodia is effectively a one-party state where the ruling party controls the legislative and executive branches, and consistently exerts undue influence on the judiciary.

The government’s feeble UPR commitments to address land rights issues, undertake legislative and judicial reforms, and create the conditions for genuine multi-party democracy, remains an issue of concern - just like the government’s refusal to commit to the release of those who have been arbitrarily detained on politically motivated charges.

The failure to accept all recommendations that called on the government to issue a standing invitation for country visits to all UN special procedures illustrates the government’s selective engagement with the UN system.

On a more positive note, we welcome the government’s acceptance of recommendations that called for the adoption of legislation that legalizes same-sex marriage and prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

We are also encouraged by the acceptance of recommendations that called for the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution that complies with the ‘Paris Principles.’

Lastly, we note the government’s commitment to end the harassment of human rights defenders and journalists and to ensure that civil society is able to operate.

However, these pledges must be followed by concrete actions and we urge UN member states to continue to ensure the Cambodian government delivers on its UPR promises.

Thank you.

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