Image: Sopheap Chak speaks at the University of Queensland’s Centre for Communication and Social Change Awards 2013. Credit: Amelia Crisp.
The Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) has won the University of Queensland’s Communication for Social Change (CSC) Award 2013 in the organisational category in recognition of their work developing the Sithi Portal to enhance the amount of monitoring, documentation and information sharing about political and civil rights in Cambodia.
The CCHR began work in 2008 utilising the availability of the internet to develop the Sithi Portal to promote human rights and help to shape more detailed research and analysis in support for advocacy and civil liberties.
CCHR spokeswoman Sopheap Chak, who travelled to Queensland for the award ceremony on behalf of the organisation, says there are only a few independent media outlets that give space for human rights groups or the public’s view.
“It is important that we use media platforms like the internet to encourage discussion and promote this new research and information,” Ms Chak said.
Ms Chak also discusses how this evidence-based data provided by the Sithi Portal enhances the advocacy campaigns, making their claims stronger and more valid.
A main feature of the Sithi Portal is the development of the human rights maps – a selection of maps showing the location of reported rape crimes, killed journalists, land conflict cases and many more – which assists particularly in these claims.
This system is particularly useful and intelligent in Cambodia as their internet infrastructure and ICT systems are well-built and accessible to many citizens.
“We are fortunate to have a good ICT infrastructure, which allows more things to be reported and more people to get involved – making our information and data more detailed and useful,” Ms Chak said.
The CSC award is assisting the centre by allowing more information and awareness about human rights issues to reach more countries and people.
“We are thankful for the award as it is raising awareness for human rights in Cambodia because working offline is risky and harmful however working online where people all over the world can see may make a difference to the situation,” Ms Chak said.
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