Who We Are?
Hello and welcome,
Thank you for visiting the website of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR). Your interest in, and support of, CCHR is greatly appreciated and essential to our ongoing efforts to promote and protect human rights in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Cambodia is at a crossroads: rapid economic growth in recent years has expanded the opportunities available to Cambodian citizens, yet the Government’s failure to systematically respect and promote human rights has led to widespread violations which continue to hinder the development of true democracy in the country. More often than not, the interests of the wealthy and powerful trump those of average Cambodian citizens, at a detriment to the whole country.
CCHR works to address these issues, through monitoring human rights violations and the democratic process, advocating for policy and legislative changes necessary to the promotion of human rights, and through empowering activists and communities to advocate for their rights.
We also promote a collaborative approach to human rights. This means we work in association with other partners and seek to address human rights from the ground up. Each of our projects seeks to empower a number of different actors: ordinary people, grassroots activists, community-based organizations and so on. On this site you will find information regarding these actors but you will also find links to our partners (both national and international), donors and other organizations working to promote human rights in Cambodia.
I encourage you to use this website to learn more about the human rights situation in Cambodia and about CCHR’s history, staff and work in promoting human rights and democracy. The site provides links to all CCHR resources, from press releases, to reports, to news stories about our work and information on how you can support CCHR and stay up to date with our activities.
If you have any questions about CCHR or want to become involved with our work, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our Facebook and Twitter pages are also an excellent way to stay updated on information related to human rights in Cambodia and to follow CCHR activities. We hope you will find the CCHR website a useful resource and will continue to visit us in the future.
Welcome and thank you for visiting our website,
Executive Director, Cambodian Center for Human Rights
Our logo — a dove flying in a circle of blue sky — symbolizes Cambodia's claim for freedom.
CCHR is a leading non-aligned, independent, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect democracy and respect for human rights — primarily civil and political rights - in Cambodia. We empower civil society to claim its rights and drive for progress; and through detailed research and analysis we develop innovative policy, and advocate for its implementation.
Human rights activist Kem Sokha launched and registered CCHR in November 2002. In December 2005 he was arrested and detained with others activists accused of criminal defamation for comments written by an unknown individual on banners displayed at Human Rights Day celebrations. The activists were released following international pressure and a campaign for freedom of expression led by CCHR’s then Advocacy Director, Ou Virak.
In early 2007 Kem Sokha left CCHR to pursue a career in politics. Ou Virak replaced him as CCHR President and in the same year won the Reebok Human Rights Award for his work promoting freedom of expression. In March 2014, Ou Virak stood down as CCHR President and was replaced by Ms. Chak Sopheap, who is now leading CCHR in the role of Executive Director.
In recognition of our work CCHR staff members have won or been nominated for the following prizes:
- Winner - 2013 Communications for Social Change Award - The Cambodian Human Right Portal www.sithi.org
- Winner - 2011 Information Society Innovation Fund Award - The Cambodian Human Right Portal www.sithi.org.
- Nominated - 2009 Lorenzo Natali Prize - CCHR Executive Director Chak Sopheap, for journalism on human rights and development.
- Nominated -2008 John Humphrey Freedom Award – Former CCHR President and Chair of the Board of Directors, Ou Virak, for work to promote and protect democracy and human rights.
- Winner - 2007 Reebok Human Rights Award – Former CCHR President and current Chair of the Board of Directors Ou Virak, for leading the campaign for freedom of expression in Cambodia.