Ambassador Björn Häggmark met on 8 January with H. E. Keo Remy, President of Cambodia Human Rights Committee. The importance of systematic work for protection and promotion of human rights was underlined in the discussion, and measures in Cambodia and Sweden in that respect were shared. Ambassador Häggmark welcomed efforts in Cambodia to assist poor persons or persons in vulnerable situations with advice or legal assistance. The Ambassador took also note of Cambodia's progress in providing reports according to the requirements of different human rights conventions.
Developments regarding consultations with stakeholders, not least civil society, were discussed. Ambassador Häggmark shared Swedish experiences and practices, where dialogue between government and civil society is frequent, takes many forms and often reflects diverging positions. Such dialogue can, however, build trust and enable progress.
Ambassador Häggmark underlined the importance that respect of human rights have for Sweden at home and internationally, and recalled the concern that Sweden and the European Union have expressed concerning declining political and civic space in Cambodia.
Sweden's development cooperation with Cambodia has a human rights based approach (HRBA), which means that all activities should contribute to the protection and promotion of human rights, which is closely interlinked to democracy and the rule of law. Key principles of the HRBA are non-discrimination, participation, transparency and accountability.