Do Cambodia’s Human Rights Groups Ignore Ethnic Vietnamese?

Prominent Cambodian human rights organizations ignore discrimination and violations committed against ethnic Vietnamese communities in the country, fearful of backlash from nationalists and supporters of the now-dissolved opposition party, according to sources who spoke to The Diplomat.

Since early June, for instance, Cambodian authorities have been evicting hundreds of ethnic Vietnamese people from their floating homes on the banks of the Tonle Sap river, ostensibly as part of a “clean up” of the capital ahead of Cambodia’s assumption of the ASEAN chairmanship next year and its hosting of the Southeast Asian Games in 2023.

Yet the issue has received only limited attention, mainly comments in news reports, from human rights groups. In a June 15 article by Voice of America, Seoung Senkarona, the spokesperson for the local rights group Adhoc, was paraphrased as saying that he “supports the eviction order, but the authorities should listen to the requests from the river people and give them enough time to relocate.”

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