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Watchirs, Helen and Chris Ward
Cambodian HIV/AIDS and Human Rights Legislative Audit
POLICY Project, December 2003, 52 pp

"Auditing human rights is a new model of human rights monitoring that attempts to bridge the gap between international obligations and national practice as implemented in legal systems. The audit is designed as a quality assurance device using the benchmarks contained in the 'International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights', and ultimately aims to promote an enabling environment for responding effectively to the HIV/AIDS pandemic through promoting respect for human rights in the context of HIV/AIDS at the national level. The Cambodian audit revealed that challenges which face the Cambodian legal system as a whole are also a feature of the legal and regulatory framework concerning HIV/AIDS. These challenges include a scarcity of resources for the creation and operation of enforcement mechanisms, and generally a low level of legal expertise which is part of the legacy of Cambodia's recent turbulent history including the brutality and systematic destruction of infrastructure under the Khmer Rouge regime. The relative fragility of the legal system was made apparent through the process of the audit, however it has been much improved over the last decade, and efforts to strengthen the rule of law continue through a variety of programs and reforms."

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