Mission & History
Cambodian Americans for Human Rights and Democracy (CAHRAD) is a non-partisan, non-political, and non-profit organization promoting human rights and democracy in Cambodia. It was organized and founded on May 22, 2005 by a small and dedicated group of individuals who strongly believe that freedom and liberty can empower people to seek justice and dignity.
Our mission is to promote human rights and build a strong foundation of democracy in Cambodia through peaceful means, public awareness, education, advocacy, community actions and organizational alliances.
In its first year, CAHRAD’s main objective was to lay down a solid foundation, develop good and strong teamwork mentality, and establish connections with the Cambodian community in the U.S. and human rights organizations in Cambodia. Subsequent years, more emphasis is placed on fundraising in order to provide support and sponsor programs/projects that promote democracy in Cambodia.
With our limited resources and capabilities, both in manpower and finances, we were able to accomplish some crucial tasks such as participating in the peaceful demonstration against communist Vietnam on human rights abuse; sponsoring a forum on Cambodia Border issues; participating at the Cambodian World Conference; peaceful demonstration against human rights abuse by the Cambodian government; participating in the Candle Light Vigil for the release of human rights activists, Mr. Sonando Mam, Mr. Sokha Kem, and Mr. Ngoun Tieng Pang; sponsoring a forum for Cambodia Human Rights Center president, Mr. Sokha Kem; sponsoring a forum and fundraising for the Community for Democracy project; holding a Candle Light Vigil for the release of Venerable Tim Sakhorn; organizing and sponsoring national conferences among Cambodian leaders to commemorate and evaluate the 1991 Paris Peace Agreement; attending United Nations conferences; participating in the Buddhist March in front of the United Nations; holding the flower ceremony to raise fund for the Preah Vihear temple conflict; and providing scholarships to financial disadvantaged students to nurture future human rights advocates that can help Cambodia become a free and strong democratic country.
The road is long. It is not difficult but requires determination, patience, sacrifice, and resources. This is why we would like to appeal to and invite every Cambodian, old and young, to join CAHRAD in carrying out its mission so that the vision of seeing the Cambodian people enjoying freedom of expression and freedom of assembly to voice their concerns and ideas; the vision of seeing Cambodia governs its people with democratic principles such as checks and balances of power, and with rule of laws so that our compatriots can live with dignity, and lastly so that justice will be realized and achieved.
Mong Heng, Past President