Cambodia’s Human Rights Committee says it has done a lot to help LGBTI people.
The CHRC’s director, Keo Remy, made the comments at a special event on the weekend. The event marked the ten year anniversary of LGBTI organization, Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK).
Remy said Cambodia’s president, Hun Sen, has publicly declared his support for the LGBTI community many times. Sen’s priority was to lower the increasing HIV rates amongst LGBTI people in the south east Asian nation.
‘Samdech Techo Hun Sen already said that he supports LGBT people, but he highlighted the need to prevent HIV infections,’ he said as reported in the Khmer Times.
‘We have to talk honestly with each other about negative problems that people may have about health and lives.’
‘He also said there was an increase of HIV infections within the LGBT community, especially in those under the age of 30.
‘We have to be careful about our own welfare.’
Remy said parents of LGBTI people and the general public had a responsibility to not discriminate against the community.
RoCK’s coordinator, Pisey Ly, backed Remy’s comment. But Ly admitted there was still a long way to go convincing Cambodian society to accept the LGBTI community.
‘We have gained supportive environments from the government, which is a good thing for us so that we can keep going and not be depressed,’ she said. ‘Although discrimination has decreased, a lot of people at work still do not yet understand LGBT issues because they only recruit male or female staffers.
‘However, our situation is making our lives too difficult.’
Cambodia still has more work to do
Cambodia is often considered to be one of the most progressive countries in the region when it comes to LGBTI rights. Even Camobdia’s King Norodom Sihamoni is in favour of same-sex marriage.
Even though the country does not recognize same-sex marriage, many LGBTI couples live openly. Many are even registered as partners in the national ‘family books’.
RoCK has urged the government to do more to recognize LGBTI people legally.
Pisey called for the government to create marriage certificates, family books and national ID cards for LGBTI people according to the gender and sexual identity.