Pung Chhiv Kek Galabru – Cambodia

Linked with Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights LICADHO.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Kek Galabru (born 1942) is one of Cambodia’s foremost defenders of human rights. After studying medicine in France and practicing it while following her diplomat husband to various posts abroad, she became instrumental in achieving political peace in her country. In 1992, she founded the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (Licadho), which she heads at great personal risk. Licadho educates the people on their democratic rights and provides defense in court for victims of torture, domestic violence and police attacks. Kek Galabru looks like a queen, slim and erect in her long blue silk dress. In fact, her parents, both teachers and later government ministers, were friends of the royal family.This enabled her to play a key role in opening negotiations between Cambodia’s Prime Minster Hun Sen and opposition leader Prince Sihanouk, which led to the Paris Peace Accords of 1991 … She says: “Courage means to brave intimidation in order to do something for the people” … (1000peacewomen 1/2).


Pung Chhiv Kek Galabru – Cambodia

She works for the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights LICADHO.

… “An official from the Council of Ministers recently said that a new draft law allowing foreigners to own Khmer land will be sent to the National Assembly to be deliberated and adopted in the near future. “The draft law, which is known to have been initiated to satisfy the goal of wealthy foreigners, especially Chinese and Yuon [Vietnamese], is receiving strong reactions from civil society and from Khmer people. “Ms. Pung Chhiv Kek [Dr. Kek Galabru], president of the local human rights organization Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, said that nowadays, land issues in Cambodia are moving towards a crisis; if the law permits foreigners to own Khmer land, it would cause a situation of double deprivation. “Based on the Cambodian constitution, foreigner shall not have the right to own a house or a building, and they shall not have the right to own a plot of land in Cambodia, this right is only for those who hold Khmer citizenship. If the new draft law is adopted, it would be a surprise and very terrifying for the future of Cambodia. Parts of Cambodian land would be lost to foreigners for money … (full text, 14 February 2008).

Find her on Google Book-search.

1000peacewomen 2/2: … But Dr. Galabru is mainly dedicated to grassroots work. The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, better known as Licadho, which she founded in 1992 and continues to direct, has offices in half of Cambodia’s provinces, with 1,000 mostly volunteers as collaborators.

Its first self-given task is to educate people to vote freely, disregarding the threats of the ruling party. One of its main activities is to represent victims of domestic or police violence (mainly women, children, opposition leaders, teachers, social workers and members of NGOs) in court where it has won about a third of its cases.

It also fights the massive illegal logging condoned by the corrupt government and the army. Above all, it teaches people their rights through classes, comic books, TV and radio programs and theater productions. As Dr. Galabru says, “The mere fact of our presence makes a difference.” And she keeps fighting in spite of serious threats against her person and a brutal attack on one of her two daughters engaged in the same causes.

Her definition of courage is, “To do something for the people inspite of the intimidation.” No wonder the taxi-driver had no problem finding her modest office in Phnom Penh: Everybody in Cambodia knows Licadho. (on 1000peacewomen).

Beside being cited for the Nobel Prize nomination, no more articles found in english about our peacewomen.

Articles about Human Rights in Cambodia:

Human rights in Cambodia – on wikipedia: The human rights situation in Cambodia is facing growing criticisms both within the country and an increasingly alarmed international community. After a series of flagrant violation against basic human rights a feeling of incertitude regarding the direction the country is emerging, sometimes comparing the situation to a new-born Burma.
In its 2004 report on Cambodia, Human Rights Watch stated that “Authorities continue to ban or disperse most public demonstrations. Politicians and journalists critical of the government face violence and intimidation and are barred from equal access to the broadcast media. In addition, the judiciary remains weak and subject to political influence. Trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation through networks protected or backed by police or government officials is rampant. The government continues to turn a blind eye to fraudulent confiscation of farmers’ land, illegal logging, and widespread plundering of natural resources.” The current state of the country could be described as a semblance of pluralistic democracy.
In July 2004, the royalist opposition party FUNCINPEC formed a coalition government with the Cambodian People Party (CPP) after a political deadlock of more than a year. More recently, Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) members have been targeted for criminal prosecutions, after seeing the parliamentarian immunity of several SRP member lifted by a criticized closed-door hand vote with members of the parliament … (full text).


International Organizations (about Human Rights):

The Danish Instiute for Human Rights;

Chinese Human Rights;

Human Rights Cambodia on Google News-results;

Human Rights NGOs on Google-search;

Categories on wikipedia:

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