2011 Cambodia


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The 2010-2011 Crowley project examined mental health and human rights in Cambodia. Mental health has been largely missing from the global health agenda and has been woefully ignored in developing countries like Cambodia despite its significant health, economic, social, and human rights ramifications. Persons with mental disabilities are also reportedly amongst the most marginalized groups in Cambodian society, though little research has been done to document their situation.

For two weeks in May 2011, Fordham Law School Professors Daniel McLaughlin, Joy Chia, Alena Herklotz, James Kainen and Elisabeth Wickeri led a delegation including eight law students on an overseas project to investigate and document the state of mental health services and the extent to which they respond to Cambodians’ mental health needs in light of the right to health under international and Cambodian law. The delegation also sought to document the most pressing human rights concerns facing persons with mental disabilities in Cambodia. The students participating in the documentation project were Crowley Scholars Stephanie Baez, Bridgette Dunlap, Haseeb Fatmi, Alexandra Rizio, Diana Schaffner, Nitzan Sternberg, John Tschirgi, and Michael Zimmerman.

The delegation conducted wide-ranging interviews with various stakeholders and experts in the field, including persons receiving and providing mental health and psychosocial support services, disability right advocates, public health practitioners, members of the government and the judiciary, academics, lawyers, community organizers, local leaders, and non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, whose expertise informed a broader understanding of the issues.

Read “Mental Health and Human Rights in Cambodia” (PDF).


Read the Khmer translation of “Mental Health and Human Rights in Cambodia” (PDF) here.

Press Coverage of the Crowley Program 2011 Cambodia work and report:

Abby Seiff. “Mental Health Sector Severely Underfunded.” The Cambodia Daily (August 22, 2012).

To read more about the current human rights situation in Cambodia, please consult:

Amnesty International

Human Rights Watch


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