Human Rights Monitoring Officeinvestigations, support and protection
Human rights abuses in Cambodia are widespread, creating sizeable challenges for human rights groups. Rule of law is weak and the judiciary is corrupt, meaning the rich and powerful often prey upon the poor and the weak, committing acts of violence, seizing property, and infringing on the rights of others with impunity.
Land grabbing is a tragic and widespread human rights issue in Cambodia with an estimated 300,000 people affected by forced evictions since 2003. Freedom of speech and assembly are regularly curtailed on spurious grounds, while killings of political opponents, grassroots activists and members of the press persist. In addition to politically-motivated rights abuses, here a host of crimes - rape, human trafficking, physical assaults and arbitrary arrests - are regularly committed with impunity.
Monitoring such abuses is a core aspect of LICADHO’s work. The work of LICADHO’s human rights monitors - who serve as our eyes and ears – informs every other aspect of the organization’s work: Advocacy, humanitarian assistance to communities and negotiations with authorities.
LICADHO’s general human rights monitors fall under the Human Rights Monitoring Project. With a team of monitors in Phnom Penh and one in each of our 12 provincial offices, LICADHO is able to respond quickly to reports of abuse – and document them.
LICADHO’s monitoring programs do not stop with simple documentation of abuses. One of the most important roles of LICADHO monitors is their ability to assist clients in achieving a just outcome, whether by requesting intervention from local government authorities, negotiations with involved parties, or public advocacy. Clients benefit from this holistic approach, which provides diverse forms of assistance at every step of the process, from initial monitoring and documentation to social assistance to legal assistance.
LICADHO also maintains separate monitoring teams focused on women’s and children’s rights, the Children’s Rights Monitoring Project and Women’s Rights Monitoring Project. These projects are dedicated to investigating and documenting human rights abuses against women and children, and to providing specialized assistance for young victims.
What we do
Responding to attacks against Human Rights Defenders
- Identify rights violations from victims, witnesses and the media
- Respond to these abuses by assisting the victim with legal intervention or referring the victim to another NGO providing similar services
- Strengthen and empower grassroots activist networks to ensure sustainable human rights change by strengthening activism at the community level
- Follow up on cases with authorities to ensure relevant steps are taken to investigate and prosecute the perpetrator
- When necessary, appeal to the Courts to take action on stalled cases, or request intervention from the Ministry of Justice or the Supreme Council of Magistracy
- Raise the human rights agenda in the media, including accompanying victims on radio shows to discuss their experiences and providing relevant information to the media
- Coordinate the provision of first aid, counseling, food and other support for victims through the Medical Office and Social Work Office
- Maintain LICADHO’s human rights violation database in collaboration with the Advocacy, Resource and Documentation Office
- Work on advocacy activities with other NGOs, coalitions and relevant government authorities by producing reports on human rights violations and providing recommendations to the government on legislation