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APF advises on draft law to establish Cambodian NHRI

Graphic: Phnom Penh

The Government of Cambodia has released draft legislation for the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution.

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The Government of Cambodia, through the Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC), has released draft legislation for the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI). 

The Draft Law on the Organization and Functioning of the National Human Rights Commission of Cambodia (Draft Law) is now undergoing an extensive public consultation process, facilitated by the CHRC and the Office of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). 

Submissions have been invited from a range of stakeholders, including civil society organisations, government ministries and the general public.

Since 2020 the APF has been providing advice to the CHRC on draft versions of the legislation, including on amendments to support compliance with the Paris Principles, the minimum standards required by NHRIs to be independent, credible and effective institutions. 

According to the Draft Law, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is proposed to be a seven-member human rights commission comprised of a president, vice-president and five members, all of whom will be appointed through an open selection process. 

The Commission’s proposed functions will include human rights education, complaints handling, national inquiries, and engagement with the UN human rights system, among others.  

“We’re pleased to have supported the CHRC on its development of the Draft Law and look forward to continuing to engage with the Cambodian Government and other national counterparts as the legislation progresses further,” said APF’s Legal and Policy Manager, Mr Phillip Wardle.  

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 July 2021

Image credits

  1. Phnom Penh - Akarat Phasura on Shutterstock