Analysen und Argumente

LEGITIMACY OF GOVERNMENT MEASURES IN CAMBODIA AMID COVID-19

The Limitations of Human Rights in Compliance with International Human Rights Law

This research will seek to analyze the legality of the limitations on freedom of movement, freedom of expression, rights to food in Cambodia under the international human rights standards as a consequence of COVID-19 measures.
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Since the 20th February 2021 community outbreak event of COVID-19 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s public health is now at high risk. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has coercively moved to implement necessary health and administrative measures to tackle this pandemic. On 15th April 2021, the RGC imposed the first blanket lockdown in Phnom Penh and Ta Khmao for three weeks. Then, it was replaced by a new administrative measure that divided all areas in Phnom Penh into “Yellow Zone,” “Dark Yellow Zone,” and “Red Zone,” in which the government applies rules that differ depending on the rise of infections in that particular area Although the measures have yielded positive results in coping with the spike of cases, it also comes at the price of limitations of the fundamental human rights of Cambodian people, specifically freedom of movement, freedom of expression, and rights to food. Even in a public emergency, the restrictions of human rights should be used within the parameters provided by international human rights law, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), with the aim to restore a state of normalcy as soon as possible. The restrictions on rights are justified only when they are based on legal grounds, strictly necessary, based on scientific evidence, not arbitrary or discriminatory, of limited duration, respectful of human dignity, subject to revision, and proportionate to achieve their objectives.1

Therefore, this research will seek to analyze the legality of the limitations on freedom of movement, freedom of expression, rights to food in Cambodia under the international human rights standards as a consequence of COVID-19 measures. 

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Dr. Kristin Wesemann

Dr

Leiterin Strategie und Planung

kristin.wesemann@kas.de +49 30 26996-3803

Sophie Steybe

Referentin Publikationen

sophie.steybe@kas.de +49 30 26996-3726