HRC 27-Item 10: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia, Mr. Surya Subedi
24 September 2014 7:48 pm

Oral Statement Delivered by Mr. Nay Vanda on Behalf of

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Mr. President, FORUM-ASIA, along with its Cambodian members, the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (Licadho) appreciates the work of the Special Rapporteur in the past six years and welcomes his report.

Mr. Special Rapporteur, in 2014 we have witnessed a crackdown on peaceful protests in Cambodia. Several demonstrations by affected communities, workers on strike and citizens have been violently dispersed, a blanket ban on assembly has been enforced without any legal basis[1], and human rights defenders continued to be the target of intimidation, arbitrary arrest and detention.[2]

Mr. Special Rapporteur, we share your concern about three recently passed laws on the judiciary[3] which severely compromise the independence of courts and grant the executive a number of powers. The lack of consultation with civil society in drafting laws is worrisome as the government moves ahead with several draft laws that may place severe restrictions on the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association. A leaked draft of the Anti-Cyber Crime Law raises serious concerns about online censorship. The last publicly available draft of the law on NGOs and Associations contains significant restrictions, including lack of administrative appeal in cases of denial of registration and additional restrictions on foreign NGOs. Following a mass civil society campaign for increased minimum wage the government has renewed its interest in passing the draft Law on Unions of Enterprises (Trade Union Law).[4] We reiterate our previous call to shelve all draft laws that do not fully comply with international human rights standards.[5]

Finally, we regret that despite the technical assistance offered by this Council and the OHCHR, the Cambodian government has not presented a plan of action for implementing recommendations and reforms, many of which remain pending. In this context, we emphasise that there is an important need for continued and sustained attention of this Council on the human rights situation in Cambodia.Thank you, Mr. President and Mr. Special Rapporteur.

Click here to download the oral statement (PDF)

[1]  Cambodia: Joint Letter to the Prime Minister Hun Sen – Release all detainees and lift the ban on all public gatherings, 10 February 2014, http://www.forum-asia.org/?p=16603
[2]  Cambodia: Open letter by 47 Asian NGOs to Prime Minister Hun Sen: Stop violent crackdown of protests, release all detained protestors, 7 January 2014, http://www.forum-asia.org/?p=16561
[3] The three laws on the judiciary are: the Law on the Organization of the Courts, the Law on the Organization and Functioning of the Supreme Council of Magistracy, and the Statute of Judges and Prosecutors.
[4]  Legal Analysis of Cambodia’s Draft Law on Unions of Enterprises, Licadho & CLEC, September 2014, http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/199JointBriefAnalysisDraftTradeUnionLaw2014-English.pdf
[5]  Oral statement Item 6: Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Plenary on Cambodia, 19 June 2014 http://www.forum-asia.org/?p=17420