Prison Issues

Photo Album
Thousands Demand Justice for Human Rights Day Celebrations

December 17, 2015

To celebrate International Human Rights Day (IHRD), about 10,000 people from rural and urban communities participated in 20 marches and events across the country from December 6 to December 10. These were organized by the informal network Friends of December 10th, which includes youth, land communities, associations, farmers, monks, and NGOs. On December 10, groups peacefully marched from various locations in Phnom Penh toward the Ministry of Justice to demand that the government resolve Cambodia’s land conflict epidemic; reform the judicial system and release human rights defenders and activists; raise the minimum wage and respect labour rights; end state-sponsored violence; and respect freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly. This year’s IHRD theme was ‘Justice’.

LICADHO Cancels IHRD Prison Activities for the First Time in 20 Years Due to Prohibitive Restrictions

December 6, 2015audio available

LICADHO will not be able to conduct activities planned in 18 prisons for International Human Rights Day (IHRD) on December 10, 2015 due to prohibitive written conditions set by the General Department of Prisons (GDP).

LICADHO Urges Government to Support Child Rights and to Protect Youth in Prisons

May 31, 2015audio available

LICADHO’s Children’s Rights Office (CRO), in partnership with the Child Protection Group (CPG) network, will celebrate International Children’s Day 2015 in several locations. On 28 May, early celebrations took place in Dangkor Middle School, Phnom Penh. On 1 June, the official date of International Children’s Day, celebrations will take place in the morning (8:30am-11:00am) at Sangkat Norkor Thom, Siem Reap, Sal Mohorsrop Theater, Koh Kong, and at Build Bright University in Sihanoukville, Preah Sihanouk. At these locations, the CRO and CPGs will organize public forums and interactive theatre performances concerning child rights, and help distribute social assistance packages to the families of vulnerable children and youth. Approximately 2,350 people are expected to attend the celebrations.

Mothers Behind Bars: The Impact of Detention on Women and their Children

May 26, 2015

Today, LICADHO releases its report “Mothers Behind Bars: The Impact of Detention on Women and their Children” which seeks to raise awareness of the harmful, and sometimes devastating, impact a mother’s imprisonment can have on her children.

The report finds that authorities, in particular judges and prosecutors, can dramatically improve the lives of many children by properly complying with existing legal procedures to reduce the number of mothers who are detained unnecessarily.

Long-term Solutions Necessary for the Welfare of Children whose Mothers Face Imprisonment

March 18, 2015audio available

Following the recent release of 22 women from prison, LICADHO welcomes news that the Ministries of Justice and Interior will discuss longer term solutions to ensuring the welfare of children whose mothers face prison sentences.

LICADHO has recently conducted detailed research into the arrest and sentencing of mothers with dependent children and has found that the welfare of the child is rarely taken into account when a mother is sent to pre-trial detention or at sentencing. Many women interviewed told LICADHO that judges did not even ask them if they had children or not before sending them to prison.

LICADHO Cancels its Long-Time International Women’s Day Activities in Prisons due to Government Restrictions

March 5, 2015audio available

It is with deep regret that LICADHO announces it will not conduct annual activities in Cambodian prisons this year for International Women’s Day, which will be celebrated on March 8.

For over 15 years LICADHO has visited Cambodian prisons on International Women’s Day (IWD) to provide care packages to female prisoners, female guards and to the children living in prison with their mothers. In the past 10 years, LICADHO has also coordinated special entertainment in prisons including speeches, games, traditional dancing and shows performed by the prisoners themselves. The activities have been well received by the prisoners and used to be supported by the prison authorities.

Release of Imprisoned Mothers and Pregnant Women Will Provide Some Relief but Does Not Address Underlying Issues

March 2, 2015audio available

Late last week a committee headed by the Ministry of Justice announced that 16 incarcerated women, including 15 women with children and one pregnant woman, will be released before International Women’s Day on March 8, 2015. The committee also stated that the government plans to release pregnant women and women with children every year.

Childhood Behind Bars - Growing up in a Cambodian Prison – Dara’s Story

February 15, 2015

As of November 2014 there were 40 children between the ages of one month and almost four years living with their mothers in the Cambodian prisons monitored by LICADHO. Approximately half of them were born in prison and have never experienced life beyond the prison walls. Whilst there have been few detailed studies assessing the long-term impact of prison life on a child’s development, it is clear that for some children early life behind bars can have devastating physical and psychological consequences and life in Cambodian prisons is no exception.

Rights at a Price: Life Inside Cambodia’s Prisons

January 20, 2015

Ahead of the appeal hearing this week for 10 land activists and one monk, all wrongfully convicted and imprisoned following unfair trials, LICADHO is publishing a new report about the current state of Cambodian prisons and the human rights implications for those held in them.

The report “Rights at a Price: Life inside Cambodia’s Prisons” details the ongoing, systematic abuse, discrimination, exploitation and corruption within Cambodia’s prison system and notes that despite steps towards reform, many challenges remain, including prison overcrowding, poor infrastructure, lack of appeal transportation, weak implementation of the law and lack of knowledge amongst prison officials.

LICADHO Calls for Immediate Family Access to all Three CNRP Youth Leaders Currently Detained in Prey Sar’s CC1 Prison

August 20, 2014audio available

LICADHO calls for immediate family access to all three CNRP youth leaders currently detained in Prey Sar’s CC1 prison. Khin Chamreun, Neang Sokhun and San Kimheng have now been in pre-trial detention for 18 days and have not been permitted any family visits.

Torture and Ill-Treatment: Testimony from Inside Cambodia's Police Stations and Prisons

June 26, 2014

On June 26, International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, LICADHO releases new testimony and analysis of torture and ill-treatment in Cambodia’s police stations and prisons, including the abuse of females and juveniles and those experiencing mental health problems.

On International Children’s Day, LICADHO calls for Improved Protection of Children in Prison

May 30, 2014audio available

LICADHO will mark International Children’s Day 2014 by distributing food and materials to juvenile prisoners, small children living with their incarcerated mothers in prison and pregnant women in eight of Cambodia’s prisons . International Children’s Day officially falls on June 1.

Submissions to the UN’s Universal Periodic Review for Cambodia

January 28, 2014

Today, the United Nations will conduct a Universal Periodical Review (UPR) of Cambodia to look into some of the key human rights issues affecting the country, from systematic attacks against human rights defenders to labour trafficking and obstacles against basic freedoms such as right to assembly and expression. LICADHO, by itself and with partners, has contributed to this process by submitting a number of documents.

Statement LICADHO Celebrates International Human Rights Day in Cambodian Prisons

December 8, 2013audio available

As thousands of people gather across Cambodia to celebrate International Human Rights Day (IHRD), LICADHO will also be celebrating with prisoners in 18 prisons across Cambodia.

LICADHO will organize basic food package distribution to more than 13,000 prisoners in 18 Cambodian prisons,1 including nutrient drinks and snacks. LICADHO will provide a more comprehensive care package to four prisoners that LICADHO considers human rights defenders. LICADHO will also organize entertainment for prisoners, such as traditional dancing and music.

Childhood Behind Bars - Growing up in a Cambodian Prison – Sokun’s Story

October 15, 2013

In Cambodia today there are many young children living in prison with their mothers 1 yet there is little understanding amongst authorities and society at large of the short and long term impact of prison life on children. In this, Cambodia is not alone – to date there are only a few studies of the effects on children who spend their early years behind bars.

Prisoners are among the most marginalized groups in any society, and Cambodia is no different. They are cut off from society, both physically and emotionally. This is especially devastating for children who are not prisoners but are too often treated as such. The reality of Cambodian prisons is harsh for anyone, but for a child it can be devastating.