- By Cord Global Finance Manager, Katia Richardson

I was reminded this morning by Facebook of a post I made a year ago whilst in Cambodia. It said that 'I was feeling proud of my Cambodian colleagues who were protesting in Phnom Penh against the government clampdown on civil society and for their work in the community standing up for human rights’.

One year on the abuse of human rights continues and the space for people to defend human rights has shrunk. Several human rights leaders have been arrested recently while others have fled in fear of arrest.

During my visit to Cambodia in May 2016 some staff from our partner organisation were not able to attend the training I was delivering because they were hiding in fear of arrest. 2 days ago a vocal defender of human rights was gunned down on Monivong Boulevard, the road our office is on, in what is widely believed to be a politically motivated assassination.  

As my thoughts are with our staff who knew him and others in Cambodia who have lost a friend and ally, I am thankful that Cord’s work in Cambodia is so directly relevant to the community’s current need.

Made possible through the EU’s European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights programme, Cord’s project to strengthen the defence of human rights helps local people build the skills to practically protect people’s rights and to advocate more effectively when rights abuses happen.

As we continue to build support from donors for this project and plan how to make the next one even more effective in ensuring people’s right, this event acts as a reminder of the importance of our work in Cambodia.

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