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Democracy, Human Rights and Governance

USAID is nurturing the development of the next generation of Cambodian leaders.
USAID is nurturing the development of the next generation of Cambodian leaders.
USAID/Dustin Roasa

Cambodia’s transition to democracy started approximately 20 years ago with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. In the post-conflict context, the Royal Government of Cambodia emphasized stability while taking key steps toward democratization. Cambodia’s parliamentary elections in 2008 were freer than any previously held in the country, and the 2012 local elections were considered free. Nevertheless, political power remains imbalanced, and opposition parties struggle for sufficient political space to reach out to the electorate. The judiciary remains weak, complicating the legal process. 

USAID works closely with civil society organizations to promote human rights, civil and political liberties, and strengthen the role of women and youth in the political process. By informing and fueling public debate about transparency and accountability, USAID lays the groundwork for building the political will for change. Our programs encourage youth and women to get involved in the democratic process. 


  • Involved over 370,000 youth in civic educations programs, and reached over two million viewers with the Youth Leadership Challenge TV program. 
  • Involved more than 31,000 citizens from indigenous populations in advocacy for the Prey Lang forest.
  • Prepared 396 political party trainers from five political parties to conduct voter registration training across all provinces in Cambodia.  
  • Helped create the National Anti-Human Trafficking Committee to lead and coordinate all efforts by government agencies and civil society to combat human trafficking.  
  • Supported the creation of a criminal case database that tracks trafficking-in-persons crimes and improves understanding of the problem in Cambodia.

Last updated: January 28, 2016

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