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The Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR)

The Cambodian Centre for Human Rights is a prominent Phnom Penh based non-governmental organisation that works to promote and protect democracy and respect for human rights across Cambodia. It was the first NGO to organise public forums in Cambodia and won the Information Society Innovation Fund Award (ISIF) in 2011. In 2016, the organisation experienced several successes for LGBT rights through its “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” (SOGI) project. CCHR has organised at least 165 radio shows, diversely focusing on land rights, business and human rights, digital rights and fair trial rights and has produced two educational videos promoting freedom of expression. It also runs a project for human rights defenders which aims to promote the right to defend human rights and protect defenders at risk.

In Cambodia, the crackdown on the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly intensified ahead of elections in 2017 and 2018. The authorities’ misuse of the justice system to silence human rights defenders and critical voices increased, while the security forces continued to harass and punish civil society. HRDs face threats, physical attacks, arrest, judicial harassment, arbitrary detention and killing for peacefully carrying out their work. Intimidation and heavy surveillance caused several to leave the country in fear for their safety. Peaceful protests continued to be hampered by the authorities.