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Supporting the establishment of a Cambodian NHRI

Graphic: Participants during the online workshop

The APF has participated in a workshop to discuss development of the draft law to establish an NHRI in Cambodia.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights LogoOffice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Asia Pacific Forum LogoAsia Pacific Forum

The APF has participated in a workshop convened by the Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to discuss development of the draft law to establish a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) in Cambodia.  

Held on 28 October, the online workshop was an opportunity to exchange experiences and receive input for the draft law to establish an NHRI in compliance with the Paris Principles. 

In the opening session, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms Pauline Tamesis, said that setting up an NHRI in accordance with the Paris Principles will be a crucial step for Cambodia, with an inclusive, participatory, and transparent process of consultations–including with civil society–essential for the drafting of the law and the establishment of the NHRI.

The President of the CHRC, H.E. Keo Remy, outlined the background of the legislation drafting process and thanked the Embassy of Australia, OHCHR and the APF for their support in developing the draft law. 

In addition to key stakeholders, the workshop was attended by Commissioners from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) and the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines who shared their own experiences in overseeing the NHRI mandate.  

Since July 2021, the draft law has been open for public consultation, through the CHRC Facebook page and other social media sites, with submissions invited from a range of stakeholders, including civil society organisations, government ministries and the general public. 

The APF has worked closely with colleagues in Cambodia over the past year, providing policy advice throughout the drafting process on best practices from around the region to ensure compliance with the international standards for NHRIs.  

During the workshop, APF Director Mr Kieren Fitzpatrick, said the APF would be available to provide advice to the Cambodian National Assembly in case there is a need to provide greater understanding on the specific functions of NHRIs, and welcomed the opportunity to continue engaging with the CHRC and appointed commissioners. 

One of the fundamental roles of the APF is supporting the establishment of NHRIs in the Asia Pacific region, with strong and effective NHRIs playing a vital role in protecting and promoting human rights in the region. 

Date: 30 November 2021


Image credits

  1. Participants during the online workshop - OHCHR Cambodia https://bit.ly/3I60HBZ