Who We Are?

Hello and welcome,

Thank you for visiting the website of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR). Your interest in, and support of, CCHR is greatly appreciated and essential to our ongoing efforts to promote and protect human rights in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Cambodia is at a crossroads: rapid economic growth in recent years has expanded the opportunities available to Cambodian citizens, yet the Government’s failure to systematically respect and promote human rights has led to widespread violations which continue to hinder the development of true democracy in the country. More often than not, the interests of the wealthy and powerful trump those of average Cambodian citizens, at a detriment to the whole country.

CCHR works to address these issues, through monitoring human rights violations and the democratic process, advocating for policy and legislative changes necessary to the promotion of human rights, and through empowering activists and communities to advocate for their rights.

We also promote a collaborative approach to human rights. This means we work in association with other partners and seek to address human rights from the ground up. Each of our projects seeks to empower a number of different actors: ordinary people, grassroots activists, community-based organizations and so on. On this site you will find information regarding these actors but you will also find links to our partners (both national and international), donors and other organizations working to promote human rights in Cambodia.

We encourage you to use this website to learn more about the human rights situation in Cambodia and about CCHR’s history, staff and work in promoting human rights and democracy. 

Our logo — a dove flying in a circle of blue sky — symbolizes Cambodia's claim for freedom.

CCHR is a leading non-aligned, independent, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect democracy and respect for human rights — primarily civil and political rights - in Cambodia. We empower civil society to claim its rights and drive for progress; and through detailed research and analysis we develop innovative policy, and advocate for its implementation.

Read more: Accountability Governance & Funding

Human rights activist Kem Sokha launched and registered CCHR in November 2002. In December 2005 he was arrested and detained with others activists accused of criminal defamation for comments written by an unknown individual on banners displayed at Human Rights Day celebrations. The activists were released following international pressure and a campaign for freedom of expression led by CCHR’s then Advocacy Director, Ou Virak.

In early 2007 Kem Sokha left CCHR to pursue a career in politics. Ou Virak replaced him as CCHR President and in the same year won the Reebok Human Rights Award for his work promoting freedom of expression. In March 2014, Ou Virak stood down as CCHR President and was replaced by Ms. Chak Sopheap, who is now leading CCHR in the role of Executive Director.​

In recognition of our work CCHR staff members have won or been nominated for the following prizes: