During International Human Rights week, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) calls for all Cambodians and donors alike to stand up for human rights in Cambodia. In light of the alarming deterioration of human rights since the start of 2012, it is an opportunity for poignant reflection and resolute determination, says the organization.
Communities must ask themselves how many more forced land evictions, illegal land grabs and extrajudicial killings they are willing to stomach. Civil society must ask itself how many more human rights defenders they are willing to see harassed, jailed or exiled. And donors must ask themselves how much more money they are willing to pour into a country where human rights are so evidently in a free fall. After a year in which so much was expected, with Cambodia holding the ASEAN chair, now it is time to set fear and disillusionment aside, and to stand up for human rights says CCHR.
“Land evictions, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the independence of the judiciary, corruption, impunity for serious crimes, the illegal use of armed forces, illegal logging — these are all huge human rights issues at the moment. Without any political will to change, it is up to the Cambodian people and the donors. Cambodian people must own up to their responsibility to protect the human rights of all people, especially the most vulnerable. And donors — and Western taxpayers — should think seriously about where their money is going, and what they can do to change things. International Human Rights Day 2012 should give everyone cause to think — and act accordingly,” said CCHR President Ou Virak.