Last Updated 10 November 2016

Cambodia remains under the rule of Prime Minister Hun Sen (in power since 1985), following a military coup orchestrated by Hun Sen in 1997. Hun Sen’s government is regularly accused of neglecting human rights and repressing political opposition. Cambodia is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world.

Systemic Discrimination

Constitution and government

The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as freedom of opinion and expression.  However, Buddhism is the official state religion, and is strongly favoured by government practice.

The constitution prohibits discrimination based on religion. However, the government promotes Buddhist holidays, provides Buddhist training and education to monks and others in pagodas, and modestly supports an institute that performs research and publishes materials on Khmer culture and Buddhist traditions.

Education and children’s rights

The government permits Buddhist religious instruction in public schools. Other forms of religious instruction are prohibited in public schools; however, non-Buddhist religious instruction may be provided by private institutions.

Freedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values

The government does not fully respect freedom of expression and exerts significant control over the media. The internet is mostly free of government control.


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