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How a China-Built Dam Destroyed an Ecosystem and Livelihoods

Thousands have lost their homes and livelihoods since the completion of one of Asia’s widest dams, the Lower Sesan 2, in Cambodia’s Mekong River Basin. Built as part of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the dam, which spans well over six kilometers…
Aerial shot of the Lower Sesan 2 dam.
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Indigenous and Ethnic Groups Coerced, Poorly Compensated

(Bangkok) – A large-scale, Chinese-financed hydroelectric dam in northeastern Cambodia, completed in 2018, has undermined the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Indigenous and ethnic minority people, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
An aerial view of a village partially underwater
Report
Summary “Dao,” an ethnic Lao man in his 40s, previously lived a largely self-sufficient life in the village of Srekor in northeastern Cambodia’s Stung Treng province. He fished on the Sesan River and farmed rice and fruit on the fertile soil along…
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July 9, 2021 Today, in advance of the fifth anniversary of the unlawful killing of prominent political commentator and human rights defender Kem Ley, the 45 undersigned organizations reiterate their call for the Cambodian authorities to create an…
Cambodian people mourning the death of political commentator and human rights defender, Kem Ley, who was shot on July 10, 2016 (credit: LICADHO)
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End Persecution of Peaceful Campaigners

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government should immediately drop baseless conspiracy and “insulting the king” charges against four environmental activists affiliated with the Mother Nature Cambodia environmental group and release the three in pretrial…
Mother Nature Cambodia activist Sun Ratha waves to her family as she is brought to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on June 19, 2021. (c) 2021 LICADHO
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Adopt Short-term, Long-term Social Protections to Safeguard Rights

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government should urgently address the economic and social impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, which disproportionately harm Cambodia’s low-income population, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent severe lockdowns especially…
A resident of a Red Zone carries bags of rice donated to his house during the coronavirus pandemic.
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One Year Anniversary of Wanchalearm Satsaksit’s Abduction

(New York) – The Cambodian authorities have failed to seriously investigate the enforced disappearance of the prominent Thai activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit in Phnom Penh one year ago, Human Rights Watch said today. During this time, Thailand’s…
Sitanun Satsaksit holds a portrait of her brother, Wanchalearm, who was forcibly disappeared while living in exile in Cambodia on June 4, 2020. 
News

Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
News
(25 May 2021) We, the undersigned international human rights organisations, call on the Cambodian government to immediately stop its assault on freedom of expression in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent months, the government has warned…
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen gives a speech in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Thursday, January 30, 2020.
News

Joint Statement

In response to growing Covid-19 outbreaks in Cambodia’s notoriously overcrowded prisons, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch again call on the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) to take urgent action to safeguard the right to health of people…
Rampant overcrowding has turned Cambodia's prisons into potential hotspots of COVID-19 transmission. 
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Ensure Aid Reaches Residents of Covid-19 ‘Red Zones’

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government should immediately grant United Nations agencies and aid groups unrestricted access to residents under strict lockdown in Covid-19 “red zones,” Human Rights Watch said today. The UN Country Team and donor countries…
Military Police patrol in a Red Zone to ensure people abide by the lockdown measures. Phnom Penh remains in lockdown as Cambodia takes drastic measures to reduce the spread of its worst COVID-19 outbreak to date.
News

Adopt Inclusive Rights-Based Approach; Seek to End Stigma

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government should revise a draft disability law to ensure equal rights for people with disabilities in accordance with international human rights law, Human Rights Watch said today. Cambodia, in 2012, ratified the…
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News

Use Less-Rights-Intrusive Measures; Adopt Data Protection Law

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government’s “Stop Covid-19” QR Code system raises serious privacy and other human rights concerns, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should use less-rights-intrusive measures to contain and prevent the spread of…
Cambodian school girls walk home at the end of their school day outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
News

Stronger Response Needed to Address Hun Sen’s Intensifying Crackdown

It’s been over three years since Cambodia’s ruling party-controlled courts arbitrarily dissolved the country’s main opposition party and with it the last vestiges of democracy in what is now effectively a single-party dictatorship. Following the…
Top row, from left to right: Gen. Kun Kim, RCAF Deputy Supreme Commander; Gen. Mok Chito, Deputy Supreme Commissioner of National Police; Gen. Neth Savoeun, Supreme Commissioner of National Police; Gen. Pol Saroeun, RCAF Supreme Commander.
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20-Year Sentences Wrong Approach to Public Health Challenge

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government should withdraw a draconian draft law that would allow for 20-year prison sentences and other disproportionate penalties for violations of Covid-19 related measures, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill contains…
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News

End Mass Criminal Trials of Politicians, Activists

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government should immediately end politically motivated trials of opposition politicians and quash recent convictions, Human Rights Watch said today. The harassment and prosecutions by the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen…
Sam Rainsy talks with media at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, November 9, 2019.
News

Reverse Newly Decreed National Internet Gateway

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government’s new National Internet Gateway will enable the government to increase online surveillance, censorship, and control of the internet that will seriously infringe on rights to free expression and privacy, Human…
A man views Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's Facebook page on his mobile phone in downtown Phnom Penh, Cambodia.