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Democracy, Human Rights and Governance

Language: English | Khmer
USAID's programs encourage youth and women to get involved in the democratic process.
USAID's programs encourage youth and women to get involved in the democratic process.
Better Factories Cambodia

USAID works closely with civil society organizations to promote human rights, civil and political liberties, and strengthen the role of women and youth in the political process. By informing and encouraging constructive public debate about transparency and accountability, USAID lays the groundwork for building the political will for change. Our programs encourage youth and women to get involved in the democratic process. USAID has also been able to successfully use technology, develop private-public partnerships, and work with civil society organizations to address governance and human rights issues.

Key impacts in the sector include:

  • In partnership with a Cambodian internet service provider, USAID launched a hotline to improve voter awareness and engagement for elections. Between 2013 and 2014, USAID provided candidate and voting information to 680,000 callers leading up to and after Cambodia’s 2013 election. In 2015, the system was transferred to the political parties in preparation for the 2017 commune and 2018 national elections.
  • USAID reached almost 180,000 young Cambodians at risk of being trafficked with information and services to protect themselves and migrate safely.
  • In 2015, with USAID support, the Government of Cambodia launched Victim Identification Guidelines for human trafficking - an important step to strengthen services for survivors of human trafficking.
  • In 2015, USAID provided legal advice to over 900 factory workers, handling nearly 1,300 legal cases affecting 81,200 workers in 50 factories, with 47 percent of the cases successfully resolved. USAID’s supportfor labor rights and advocacy helped meet garment worker’s demands for increased minimum wage from $100 to $128 per month.
  • Launched the television show ‘Next Generation’ in 2012 to provide a platform for educating and engaging millions of youth throughout the country on civic, social, and political issues. To date, 40 episodes of policy debates have been broadcasted. Similarly, another TV program, the Youth Leadership Challenge has produced 58 episodes and reaches over 2 million viewers.
  • USAID has continued to support the Documentation Center of Cambodia, the world’s largest archive of the Khmer Rouge period. Support for a secure digital storage system, photographs, interview material and court documents resulted in a collection that has over 893,000 pages of material, 85 percent of which came directly from USAID. These materials were submitted to the courts during the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.
  • Supported the country’s first law conference on LGBTI rights creating a dialogue space for more than 80 lawyers, students, advocates, activists, and government officials. USAID continued to support subsequent events, and a U.S. government supported organization has developed the only comprehensive list of lawyers willing to accept LGBTI cases.