In order to affect change in the degree to which the human rights of all Cambodian people are fully respected and promoted by the Cambodian government, significant legislative, policy and structural reforms are required. CCHR seeks to work on a policy level analyzing wider trends and underlying causes of human rights violations, and providing recommendations for the reforms that are required in order to ensure an end to human rights violations. CCHR engages in sustained advocacy for the achievement of these reforms. Campaigns are an essential element of our advocacy and are one of the strategies through which we seek to encourage the government to strengthen its respect for the human rights of all Cambodian people.
Our peaceful campaigns combine several techniques – demonstrations, letters to members of parliament, petitions, etc. – that are designed to show the government our disapproval of a particular policy or our demand for a particular reform. Our campaigns seek to provide ordinary people with an opportunity to contribute to efforts to demand change and to promote human rights.
We have a track record of success in campaigning for human rights in Cambodia. In December 2005, in our capacity as coordinator of the Alliance for Freedom of Expression (AFEC) in Cambodia, we led a campaign in response to the imprisonment of a number of prominent human rights activists who had been imprisoned after an unknown person wrote disparaging remarks about Prime Minister Hun Sen on a banner used during Human Rights Day celebrations. AFEC distributed 100,000 yellow ribbons as a symbol of the need to support freedom of expression throughout Cambodia. The launch of this campaign echoed throughout the world and large numbers of Cambodians wore yellow ribbons to public events sending a clear message to the government that Cambodian civil society did not accept repression against its leading activists. Assisted by international pressure, AFEC succeeded in securing the release of the human rights activists.
In February 2006, again in our capacity as coordinator of AFEC, we organized a march for freedom of expression that resulted in Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen promising to decriminalize defamation. While defamation remains a criminal offence, the custodial sentence that previously accompanied it was removed. From 25 February to 15 March 2007, AFEC organized a 314-kilometre march from Phnom Penh to Angkor Wat for freedom of expression, non-violence and political tolerance in Cambodia ahead of commune council elections.
Please follow the links below to stay up to date with our most recent campaigns and get involved to promote respect for the human rights of the Cambodian people.