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Despite Cambodia being a Party to the Convention against Torture since 1992, torture and other ill-treatment of detainees appears to be a widespread issue, with numerous allegations of sexual violence against women in detention. Allegations are seldom investigated and prosecuted. When prosecutions do take place, the lack of independence and effectiveness of the judiciary contributes to alarming levels of impunity. Cambodia also faces high numbers of women and children trafficked through the country for sexual exploitation and forced labour.
Human rights defenders continue to suffer from violence, intimidation, and detention. Criminal “defamation” and “incitement” charges are regularly used against defenders, notably journalists, who appear to apply a degree of self-censorship. Land and environmental human rights defenders are particularly subjected to threats and harassment. State interference in, and monitoring of, human rights activities has also become a systematic practice, progressively shrinking the space in which NGOs currently operate. The OMCT and its SOS-Torture Network strive to obtain justice and the release of defenders who have been wrongfully convicted for their peaceful actions.