Representatives from the government, NGOs and the UN discussed on Monday the eventual formation of an independent, national human rights commission here.
“The volume of human rights complaints here and around the world is high and continues to grow,” said Rosemary McCreery, director of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. “There are many questions about the best way to intervene in these complaints. In the end, of course, the solution lies in the creation of a strong independent institution.”
Referring to human rights violations allegedly committed by police and military, president of the Licadho human rights group Kek Galabru said only an independent commission could investigate such cases. She called on the government to mount a “strong political will” in forming an independent commission.
She argued, however, that the time still is not right for such a body. Before it can be formed, the government must write air-tight laws to prosecute potential violators, assemble the body with “non-partisan” members and commit ample finances.
Government representatives, including Om Yentieng, a top adviser to Prime Minister Hun Sen who heads the government’s Committee on Human Rights, called for a more speedy formation.
Either way, implementing the ideas of all concerned will require “open mindedness and flexibility,” said Prince Sisowath Chivon Monirak, first deputy president of the Senate.