CHHRA is a small, committed Cambodian NGO working for the main goal: “To improve and safeguard human rights related to health of the Cambodian people, especially the vulnerable groups of women and children.”
CHHRA was established in 1995 and now focuses on the areas of health, water, sanitation and hygiene. On its development path, CHHRA received the opportunity from various funding agencies to contribute to key government strategies promoting access to health care services and poverty reduction strategies for the poor.
Since 2005, CHHRA in partnership with Malteser International has been able to diversify its programme, especially within health, water, sanitation and hygiene. CHHRA is particularly adept at implementing community centered approaches and strong working relationships with local governance structures, local authorities and provincial leaders, such as the chairmanship of the provincial Development – NGO network (DANGO) and membership in the provincial technical working group (Pro TWG) for WASH and Health.
HISTORY & PREVIOUS PROJECTS
In 1995 CHHRA was founded as a result of grassroots co-operation between Cambodian human rights defenders and the International Red Cross, to promote human rights and to support the work of local people in the re-construction and re-development of the new Cambodia.
CHHRA staff were involved in a study of health conditions in 13 Cambodian prisons in 1994 and found that there were almost no health care systems functioning in the Cambodian prisons. The abuses of this vulnerable group triggered CHHRA to develop a pilot project for improving rights of prisoners to health care in 1996.
Between 1997 and 2002 CHHRA replicated its Prison program in Takeo, Pursat, Kampong Thom and Sihanouk Ville prisons. CHHRA developed a health care system for each prison it worked in by building on the existing system. The prison health record CHHRA developed has been adapted by MOI for use in all prisons.
In 1999 CHHRA initiated formation of a Prison Health Sectoral Group (PHSG) under MEDICAM. This group is making recommendations for the new health care system currently being developed by Ministry of Interior in collaboration with Cambodia Criminal Justice Assistant Project (CCJAP). Furthermore, the group worked to urge the Ministry of Health through Ministry of Interior to take the responsibility in providing health care to prisoners.
In 2000, CHHRA returned to research as a means to promote and safeguard rights of the general population to health with support and funding from The Asia Foundation (TAF). CHHRA’s initial research was on rights related to HIV/AIDS. CHHRA began by analyzing Cambodian policies and laws related to HIV/AIDS in terms of human rights and investigating abuses of human rights related to testing blood for HIV/AIDS with free and informed consent and confidentiality. The results of these two projects were published and advocated for changes.
. In 2002, CHHRA conducted 3 more research projects and produced reports:
- One study looked at the rights of the TB patients to access health information significant to their ability to access and receive treatment for TB. The report identified problems with access to information and identified potential solutions.
- A second study assessed if the right to health of the Cambodian people is being protected in terms of drug sales by pharmacies. The study determined that government measures fail to adequately protect individuals from harmful effects of drugs and endanger public health by not preventing unqualified drug sellers from selling prescription drugs without a prescription.
- A follow up study to the first HIV testing rights study looked at practices of health staff in the public and private sectors related to testing for HIV. The report revealed major violations of people’s rights (informed consent and confidentiality) related to testing for HIV.
In 2002, CHHRA began a program in Pursat Province under TAF to promote rights of women and children to health. Initial activities were to raise awareness of key stakeholders. A training curriculum and Information Education and Communication (IEC) training materials were developed and used to teach villagers in 3 communes within 2 health centers catchment areas. In 2003, the project moved to involving communities in demanding their own rights and the Village Representative Project was begun. Forty-two Village Representatives (VRs) in 9 villages were selected, trained, and mentored through initial village initiated actions to improve health in their village.
From March 2004 to December 2006, CHHRA continued this project, “Advocacy for Community Actions in the Context of Human rights especially the Rights of Health”, with funding from East West Management Institute (EWMI).
CHHRA used the results of the 2 HIV studies to initiate a training program in 2003 to promote respect of rights related to HIV/AIDS. CHHRA targeted key people from NGOs working in the fields of health and human rights and to health professionals from management positions in the government health system for training. The training is designed so trainees can use knowledge gained from the courses to adapt their services or programs to improve the rights of people who are testing for HIV or to train others in rights related to HIV/AIDS. A total of 164 key people in the Phnom Penh area were trained in 2003.
CHHRA received funding for the Health Equity Fund (HEF) project in the Siem Reap Referral Hospital from Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC) from February 2005.
In March 2006, CHHRA won the competitive bid to manage HEF in Siem Reap and Otdar Meanchey provinces – Malteser international.
Improved Health and Poverty Reduction through Self-Help and CBHI in Oddar Meanchey province
Poverty reduction and improved health, water and sanitation conditions through self-help initiatives in disadvantaged communes in Oddar Meanchey and Banteay Meanchey province
Sin Kim Horn
Kim Horn has worked with CHHRA since 1995 and he is one of the founding members of the organisation.
Noeum has over 17 years’ experience in community development and health provision both in Thailand and Cambodia.
Before becoming a M&E officer, Vesna worked as community outreach worker for several organisations.
Admin & Accounting
Savdy is a fully qualified accountant who overseas CHHRA’s finances and administration.