By: Dr. Hem Sras, Dean for College of Law
Phom Ravy, who was an alumnus of the College of Law (CoL) at The University of Cambodia (UC) and is also a Master’s graduate from Riga Graduate School of Law in Latvia, presented and shared his research findings with current CoL students on the topic “The
Statelessness and Legal Framework” on August 27, 2018. According to his presentation, there are around 15 million people who are stateless. These people are facing a number of fundamental rights in society such as the right to access education, health care, jobs,
freedom of movement, and civil and political rights, etc. There are a number of causes that give rise to statelessness such as gaps in law on nationality/ citizenship, migration, children born in a foreign country, emergence of a new state or changes in borders.
Currently, there are two main international instruments governing statelessness such as the Convention on Status of Stateless Person in 1954 and the Convention on Reduction of Statelessness in 1961. Besides these, statelessness is also subject to a number of articles stated in Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1945, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 1969, and Convention of Rights of the Child of 1990.
In addition to the international instruments, domestic law also plays an important role to protect statelessness. He raised the case of Cambodia as an example. Cambodia has three main laws governing the issue of statelessness such as the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia 1993, Law on Immigration 1994, and Law on Nationality 1996. Among them, the latter plays a crucial role in recognizing and protecting statelessness in Cambodia. Under his research, he suggested that more legal frameworks, especially domestic ones, should be adopted to protect more statelessness. The presentation went smoothly with exchanges of questions
and answers between the students and the speaker. The session ended with friendly group photos.