APHR Board Members Mu Sochua (MP, Cambodia) and Charles Santiago (MP, Malaysia) joined lawmakers from five continents at an international meeting on the role of parliamentarians in atrocity prevention at the The Hague Institute for Global Justice in the Netherlands. The event, “Global Parliamentarians: The Role of the Legislative Branch in Building National Mechanisms for Atrocity Prevention,” was held on 13 and 14 April 2017, and was organized by The Stanley Foundation, The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, The Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect, and the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies.
The only two MPs from Asia, Mu Sochua and Charles Santiago contributed to extensive discussions on legislators’ roles in building national mechanisms for atrocity prevention and global efforts to promote the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). Organizers and participants reviewed how parliamentarians can contribute to mass atrocity prevention, specifically through the creation of national mechanisms, and shared experiences related to legislative action for atrocity prevention.
The meeting helped to raise awareness of best practices and legislative roles for creating national mechanisms and taking action to prevent atrocities, the roles and expertise required for each in doing so, and a clear path forward for future collaboration to advocate, train, and sensitize lawmakers on these issues.
Mu Sochua and Charles Santiago also took the opportunity to meet with representatives from the European Union (EU) in Brussels, in order to build awareness among the EU and its member states of the critical political situation facing Cambodia, as well as other key human rights issues in the ASEAN region. They shared APHR’s recent report, Death Knell for Democracy: Attacks on Lawmakers and the Threat to Cambodia’s Institutions, during their meetings with parliamentarians and officials in a number of EU states to raise the profile of Cambodia and the issues it is facing as it gears up for communal elections on 4 June of this year and national elections scheduled for 2018.