Meet the Cambodian student at the Master's Programme in Human Rights

“The Situation in the Rural Areas Needs to Improve”

A semester ago we interviewed Rathana Ken, the Master’s Programme student from Cambodia who was awarded a scholarship from the Cambodian Programme of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Now, already established in Lund for quite a while, she tells us about her first impressions regarding the new environment and the Master’s Programme in International Human Rights Law she is enrolled in.

How has the adaptation to the new environment been?

Very good so far. In the beginning I was very shocked by the cold weather though. In Cambodia we have either a dry or rainy season. I am not used to winter. However, it is not a big problem now.

Also, when I first arrived to Lund I would have some difficulties trying to find the concrete ingredients that I need to cook proper Cambodian dishes. But now that I know the city a lot better, I don’t have much trouble to find the groceries and shops that I need.

Concerning the people, I’d say it is quite easy to get along with the people in my living accommodation. Same with the people at the Master’s Programme in International Human Rights Law that I am studying. They are very kind and friendly. Furthermore, I met some Cambodian students in the city with whom I can spend time with whenever I feel homesick.

Are you happy with your education in Lund?

Yes. Quite a lot. I have the feeling that Sweden and concretely this Master’s Programme I am studying has a high standard. In the beginning it was a little bit hard for me to get used to the methodology used in class, but now I can happily say that I have caught up with all of it.

Which subject in the Master’s Programme in International Human Rights Law are you most passionate about?

Last semester we had a course centered around the right to life, the right to liberty and security of the person and the right to private and family life. We studied them in relation to how they are interpreted in the European Court of Human Rights. However, we also compared those interpretations to the ones given by other regional bodies, such as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for example. These lectures were quite inspiring.

Also, I am looking very much forward to start the course about migration. I think it is very relevant, especially these days.

What are your expectations for the future?

My expectations for the future are mainly focused in Cambodia. I want to go back there and share with my community the insight about Human Rights that I had the chance to learn about here. The situation in the rural areas needs to improve. I would like to develop projects for that purpose. At the same time, I see myself as a professor at University in the areas of Human Rights that I are most passionate about.

Also, I would like to see an increase in the number girls in education programmes. I want to contribute to the welfare of my community in every way I can.

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