Title : On Zero Discrimination Day, CSOs urge government to “leave no one behind” in Cambodia’s development
Released Date : 01-Mar-2017
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Information Source : Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR)
On the occasion of Zero Discrimination Day 2017, we, the undersigned organizations, call upon the Royal Government of Cambodia (“RGC”) to respect, protect and promote the rights of all marginalized and discriminated groups in Cambodia, and to ensure that “no one is left behind” in Cambodia’s development, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We further call upon all Cambodians to accept and embrace members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (“LGBT”) community, people with disabilities, ethnic and racial minorities and all other marginalized groups.01 March 2017 is Zero Discrimination Day, a global initiative designed to combat the mistreatment, stigmatization and marginalization of people within society by promoting acceptance, equality and equitable treatment of all people globally. Discrimination has many forms, from racial or religious discrimination, to discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation or age, to bullying at school or at work.1 Zero Discrimination Day recognizes that the mistreatment of minority groups is a global issue and that through people, communities and nations collaborating together, the rights, freedoms and liberties of oppressed members of society can be better preserved and protected. Ensuring that these groups are full and equal partners in Cambodia’s development is a crucial component of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.The struggles of minority groups have been well documented in recent times in Cambodia. Recent research reports have uncovered widespread discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity2 as well as on the basis of ethnicity.3 Marginalized groups in Cambodia are especially vulnerable because of a lack of any legislation explicitly prohibiting discrimination. A vital step in building a more inclusive Cambodia is the introduction of comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation as a matter of priority. With Cambodia undergoing rapid development, it is vital that all sectors of society, including the most marginalized groups, are given a voice in determining and shaping the journey towards development. We extend our concern to those affected by discrimination on the basis of social status, including human rights defenders, as recently recognized by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.4 We call upon the Cambodian authorities to take decisive action to ensure the full participation of marginalized groups in crafting an equitable form of development that benefits all Cambodians.
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