UNPO Exposes Human Rights Abuses in Cambodia and Viet Nam

UNPO has submitted reports to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in anticipation of the Universal Periodic Review of the Kingdom of Cambodia and Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. These reports focus shed light on the marginalisation of the Khmer-Kampuchea Krom, Hmong and Degar-Montagnards

UNPO has submitted reports to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in anticipation of the Universal Periodic Review of the Kingdom of Cambodia and Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. These reports focus shed light on the marginalisation of the Khmer-Kampuchea Krom, Hmong and Degar-Montagnards

The United Nations (UN) Universal Periodic Review is a mechanism which assess UN member countries’ human rights performance. Every four and a half years the situation of human rights within a state is assessed, and both Cambodia and Viet Nam are up for review at the 18th session in early 2014.

Despite the difference in countries, there is some overlap in the human rights issues. Specifically, in neither country has the indigenous status of any member been recognised, nor does either country possess an effective mechanism for processing land claims, and land-grabbing and dispossession and common practices. Moreover, religious persecution exists both in Cambodia and Viet Nam, and it has been associated with abuse by law enforcement officers, arbitrary arrests, indefinite detentions, extrajudicial torture, and the forced defrocking of monks.

Furthermore, in Viet Nam traditional Khmer names (of people, villages, districts and provinces) must be substituted with Vietnamese names, and the Khmer language is considered illegal under the constitution. Vietnamese authorities further repress the Khmer by censoring Khmer activist websites, and cultural and religious television broadcasts from abroad. Education in indigenous languages is also prohibited in most schools, and when allowed, textbooks are poorly written and ridden with mistakes. Imported textbooks are banned.

In Cambodia, the government bureaucracy makes it nearly impossible for Khmer Krom or Degar-Montagnard asylum seekers to be granted refugee status or identification cards. The requirement of unrealistic criteria (such as a permanent address in Cambodia) effectively prohibits the acquisition of such statuses. And when the refugees are able to satisfy the stringent criteria, often the authorities illegally force Khmer Krom to adopt a Cambodian name and perjure their place of birth to Cambodia. Additionally, the Cambodian state has pressured a refugee centre operated by the UN to shut down, decreasing transparency in how Cambodia deals with refugees.

UNPO’s reports make a series of recommendations to the HRC, including to:

[Viet Nam & Cambodia] Formally acknowledge and confirm the indigenous status of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom peoples, as well as that of the Christian Degar Montagnards;

[Viet Nam & Cambodia] Create an effective mechanism for the settlement of outstanding land claims by indigenous groups, and compensate those groups for the loss of their ancestral lands, as stipulated by Article 8 of the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;

[Viet Nam & Cambodia] Commit to investigating widespread allegations of abuse by law enforcement, arbitrary arrests, and extrajudicial torture, and explore possible judicial remedies for victims and their families.

[Viet Nam & Cambodia] Sign and ratify International Labour Organization Convention 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, with the aim of respecting the traditions of indigenous peoples in relation to the use of their ancestral lands;

[Viet Nam] Amend domestic law provisions that criminalizes certain religious activities on the basis of vaguely-defined crimes of national security

[Viet Nam] Permit outside experts, including those from the United Nations and independent international human rights organizations, to have access to indigenous and minority communities in Vietnam;  

[Cambodia] Afford refugee status, and the protections it entails, to all individuals, including Khmer Krom and Degar individuals, who satisfy the internationally accepted definition of a refugee. This includes ceasing the forced repatriations of Degar and Khmer Krom asylum seekers;

[Cambodia] Clarify the situation regarding the granting of citizenship to Khmer Krom individuals with authorising offices and officers, including what evidence is needed and what practices are not to be tolerated.

– See more at: http://www.unpo.org/article/16105#sthash.wnrdMpW4.dpuf

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One Response to "UNPO Exposes Human Rights Abuses in Cambodia and Viet Nam"

  1. Strey Khmer says:

    At this time of the modern life, people in the Cambodia should not faces the problem with the abuse human rights , government having jail them with the unfair justice, and corrupted judges that relating to the government’s systems inside their society.