UN Human Rights Expert Appreciates RGC’s Achievements

AKP Phnom Penh, November 01, 2018 —

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia, Ms. Rhona Smith has lauded the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC)’s achievements.

The UN human rights expert made the appreciation during her meeting with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction H.E. Chea Sophara in Phnom Penh yesterday afternoon.

According to a press release of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction issued after the meeting, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister congratulated on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the RGC and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to implement a technical cooperation programme on human rights in Cambodia and informed her of the Kingdom’s progress in all sectors under the wise and resolute leadership of Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen against the backdrop of full peace, multiparty liberal democracy, political stability, rule of law, protection of human rights, economic development, and poverty reduction.

H.E. Chea Sophara reported on results achieved in the land and construction sectors, including the registration of approximately 5 million land parcels, accounting for 71 percent of a total of approximately 7 million land parcels, with the aim to provide land tenure security and capital for people; the registration of communal land of 24 indigenous communities which contributes to protecting the identities, good tradition, and customs of Cambodia’s ethnic groups; the provision of social land concessions and housing to small landholders and landless people; and collaboration with private-sector partners in the development of affordable housing, which focuses on improving people’s access to housing and land rights. The settlement of land disputes has been based on legal principles and respect for universal human rights, which has brought about many positive and laudable results and social harmony.

For her part, Ms. Rhona Smith expressed her congratulations and high appreciation for the RGC’s achievements. With regard to the land and construction sectors, she supported the social land concession and affordable housing programmes, which are important to people’s decent living and to people’s improved access to land and housing. She also requested further acceleration of indigenous communal land registration in order to prevent eventual encroachment on communal land and the acceleration of land registration across the country, which is the core of human rights, because land use is a basis for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, poverty eradication, and food security. She also requested continued assistance from specialised units of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction in providing additional comments and input for a draft report on the situation of human rights in Cambodia to be prepared in the near future.

The UN special rapporteur is on an 11-day visit in Cambodia, from Oct. 29 to Nov. 8. Beside Cambodian senior officials, she also planned to meet with representatives of civil society and members of the diplomatic community.

Ms. Rhona Smith undertakes regular official missions to Cambodia and reports annually to the Human Rights Council, which appointed her as UN Special Rappoteur in March 2015. She will present her next report to the Council in September 2019.

By C. Nika