The visit was Smith’s fifth in the role and comes as the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen has led a months-long crackdown on political opposition and civil society. Kem Sokha, the CNRP president, was jailed in September, accused of leading a foreign-backed plot to overthrow Hun Sen.
"Despite efforts from the government agencies and relevant NGOs, we still cannot ensure a safe space for women, making them vulnerable to sexual harassment and assaults. On a positive note, we have also noticed that more and more women are engaged in leadership roles in the private sector or are running their own business."
The protesters were responding to threats made by Hun Sen to “chase and beat” Cambodian-Australians who burned his effigy during a visit to the country for the Asean-Australia Summit later this month.