Human Rights Legal Officeadvocating for victims through the courts
The judiciary in Cambodia is corrupt and deteriorating, making it virtually useless as a tool for ordinary people to secure redress.
Authorities and well-connected elites also frequently abuse the court system, using criminal charges as a tool to intimidate, harass and demobilize human rights activists. Meanwhile, for many real crimes, impunity reigns: People of wealth and influence pay their way out of police custody and the courts.
A lack of legal aid lawyers in Cambodia means that victims of human rights abuses are often without legal representation, leaving them more vulnerable to the corrupt practices of the judiciary or grossly unfair out-of-court settlements.
In this challenging environment, the Human Rights Legal Office aims to assist human rights victims by providing professional and honest legal representation.
What we do
- Provide free legal representation in certain types of human rights violation cases: land grabbing/evictions, human rights defenders and gender based violence (rape, domestic abuse and sex trafficking) and, on a case-by-case basis, in situations of torture by the police or prison officials and illegal arrests
- Provide human rights victims with legal advice through the Human Rights Legal Office paralegal team
- Refer human rights victims to other non-governmental organizations providing free legal services
- Coordinate with the Medial Office and Social Work Office to ensure that clients of the legal project receive medical, psychological and material assistance