“We believe the next generation of decision makers have an important role to play in the promotion of human rights in Cambodia.
The old public car ferries with loud Khmer music takes you from the buzzling Phnom Penh to the Cambodian country side in less than ten minutes. On that side of the river I can drive my old Vespa on small roads through the rice fields, with water buffalos, barking dogs, friendly and smiling people, small shops with warm soft drinks and the occasional local hair dressing saloon. It is beautiful, extremely relaxing and during those rides I always appreciate that I have the opportunity to live in Cambodia.
Even though a minor project compared to everything else RWI does in Cambodia, I feel very proud of an initiative that provides scholarships to young female students from disadvantaged backgrounds to study law. I am deeply impressed with the commitment of these young students. They are Cambodia’s future and it is a privilege to work with them and meet them for human rights sessions on a regular basis.
It is unfortunate that the term migrant nowadays very often is associated with something negative. In general migration is a good thing. Migration normally contributes to economic growth and development in both the country of origin and destination. Through migration cultural diversity is enhanced. Understanding and respect among people are nurtured. A society can never develop in isolation and the exchange of ideas and peoples are therefore of key importance to any society. There is nothing new about that.
We cannot forget that people living and working outside of their country of origin are particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses. We must always remember that States have an obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of all persons within their border. The citizenship or immigration status of the person does not matter. It is therefore important that States have relevant legislation and policies in place that do not discriminate against migrants and that such laws are implemented in a non-discriminatory manner.”
The Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI), a leading Swedish research and education institute focusing on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. In Cambodia, RWI is implementing a human rights capacity development programme focusing in particular on Universities and Judicial Training Institutions.