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Statement ADHOC and LICADHO urge Cambodian Constitutional Council to reject unconstitutional LANGO

July 30, 2015

As the Constitutional Council of Cambodia prepares to review the legality of the Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO), ADHOC and LICADHO call on the Council to reject the law on the basis of numerous provisions that violate Cambodian citizens’ constitutional rights and freedoms.

Flash News
Six more arrested outside for protesting LANGO in Phnom Penh

July 26, 2015 Five men and one woman from youth groups based in Preah Vihear and Phnom Penh were arrested this morning after gathering in front of the National Assembly to protest the Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO), which was approved by the Senate on Friday.

The six youths - Chum Hour and Chum Hout from Khmer Youth Empire group, Veoun Ratana, Moung Sony and Soun Veana from Khmer Student Intelligent League Association, and Meas Leakhena from the CNRP Chroy Chanvar women’s movement - were among about 45 people from three youth groups affiliated to NGOs Moha Norkor and Mother Nature protesting LANGO outside the National Assembly this morning, some wearing prisoners’ outfits in protest of the repressive law. They are currently detained in Chamkor Mon district police office in Phnom Penh, where land communities and monks’ networks have joined their youth groups protesting outside for their release. About 120 mixed riot police, traffic police and security guards are also present.

Related Material:

Statement LICADHO condemns the conviction and sentencing of 11 CNRP officials and supporters

July 21, 2015audio available

This afternoon, 11 officials and supporters of the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) were convicted of charges relating to insurrection and sentenced to between seven and 20 years imprisonment. They were taken to CC1 prison immediately following the sentencing.

Statement Civil Society Calls On Senate to Reject LANGO

July 14, 2015audio available

We, the undersigned civil society groups, condemn the Cambodian People’s Party’s unanimous approval yesterday of the repressive and unnecessary Law on Associations and Non-Government Organizations (LANGO) and call on the Senate to reject the law. The vote at yesterday’s extraordinary session of the National Assembly is a catastrophic development for civil society in Cambodia and is a major step in the government’s wider campaign to undermine democracy and restrict citizens’ rights and freedoms.

Livestream #LANGO: The Last 72 Hours

July 7, 2015

Amid mounting national and international criticism of the proposed Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO), the ruling party has expedited the schedule to pass LANGO into law by calling an extraordinary session of the National Assembly on Friday July 10th. Join LICADHO for live coverage of the main events in the last 72 hours before the vote.

Video Say No! We Don’t Need These Laws

July 4, 2015audio available

The CPP, Cambodia’s ruling party, has announced its intention to hold an extraordinary session of the National Assembly on July 10th, during which members of parliament will vote on whether to pass the Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO). For the past three months Cambodian civil society has been voicing its opposition to the law and between June 28 and 30, numerous grassroots groups, networks and NGOs conducted a spirited 3-day campaign to protest against the LANGO and also the draft Trade Union Law. Both laws have been widely criticised in Cambodia and abroad for the threat they represent to Cambodian civil society. This music video shows some of the campaign events at which activists and civil society members sang and danced to a classic Cambodian pop song “I Don’t Accept It”. The lyrics were specially rewritten by Cambodian youths and Boeung Kak activists to express their rejection of the laws and to assert their right to gather and express themselves freely.

Photo Album Cambodian Civil Society Intensifies Public Campaign Against Repressive Laws

July 2, 2015

From June 28-30, various sectors of Cambodian civil society conducted a spirited 3-day campaign to protest against two draft laws, the Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO) and the Trade Union Law (TUL). On the third day, authorities used force to prevent hundreds of members of civil society from peacefully marching toward the National Assembly from four locations.

Livestream March Against Repressive Laws

June 29, 2015

At 8 o’clock tomorrow morning, in protest against two draft laws, the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations (LANGO) and the Trade Union Law (TUL), hundreds of marchers will make their way towards the National Assembly from four locations in Phnom Penh. Both laws have been widely criticised in Cambodia and abroad for the threat they represent to Cambodian civil society. LICADHO will be livestreaming events from each of the marches throughout the morning.

Opinion Let's See 'NGO Law' for What It Is: a Muzzle on Dissenting Voices

June 25, 2015

After much public discussion, and following your article, “CPP Lawmakers Press Ahead with NGO Law” (Cambodia Daily dated 24 June, 2015), LICADHO wishes to address a general misunderstanding of the draft Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO).

LANGO is not a simply an “NGO law” impacting a few hundred NGOs. The law’s mandatory registration provisions apply to any group of people who join together to pursue any common cause, no matter their purpose or level of organization. Given the political context in Cambodia, we view this as a concerted effort to stop grassroots and community based organizations in their tracks. No registration, no community based organizations, no voices.

Statement LICADHO Calls for Restoration of Open Access to Companies Register

June 25, 2015audio available

The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) deplores the apparent decision by the Ministry of Commerce to substantially reduce the amount of information about companies that it publicly discloses through its website. After a recent website upgrade by the ministry the only information now available on companies is the company name, the chairman’s name, and a phone number. Coming so soon after LICADHO’s request for greater transparency in relation to economic land concessions, this development is particularly disappointing.

Video On Stony Ground: The Struggle to Survive in a Cambodian Social Land Concession

June 24, 2015audio available

In March 2003, the Cambodian government unveiled a potentially progressive land policy with the aim of transferring land to landless and poor Cambodians – Social Land Concessions (SLCs). LICADHO recently investigated a $13 million SLC project, called LASED, that was implemented by the Cambodian government with support from the World Bank and the German development agency GIZ. In direct contrast with the rosy conclusions reported by both agencies, LICADHO found that the project largely failed to benefit rural poor Cambodians.

Report On Stony Ground: A Look into Social Land Concessions

June 24, 2015

In March 2003, the Cambodian government unveiled a potentially progressive policy with the aim of transferring land to landless and poor Cambodians – Social Land Concessions (SLCs). However, some of the first SLCs were implemented with a total disregard for the legal framework and failed miserably.

LICADHO recently investigated the Land Allocation for Social and Economic Development (LASED) project which was meant to prove that SLCs could contribute to reducing rural poverty by transferring land to landless Cambodians for residential and farming purposes.

Memo New Draft Law on Associations and NGOs Reaffirms Culture of Control

June 17, 2015

The draft Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO) obtained in June 2015 will establish mandatory registration for all domestic and international associations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), criminalizing all activities by unregistered membership organizations. The requirement to register appears all encompassing and could be interpreted to apply to all organizations from grassroots groups and community based organisations up to major international organizations. Mandatory registration could have a particularly severe impact on the freedom of association of grassroots groups and community based organizations.

This memo is a specific breakdown of the key provisions within the approved draft law that have worsened since the December 2011 draft, and the potential impacts on groups operating in Cambodia.

Article World Day Against Child Labour: The Plight of Child Labourers in Cambodian Brick Factories

June 12, 2015audio available

To commemorate June 12 World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) 2015, LICADHO is publishing personal testimonies of five children and one adult who work in Cambodian brick factories.

These testimonies provide a glimpse into brick factory child labour, which is considered to be one of the worst forms of child labour, and demonstrate the negative effects of brick factory child labour on children.

Audio Book Going Offline? The Threat to Cambodia’s Newfound Internet Freedoms

June 11, 2015audio available

This audio book titled “Going Offline? The Threat to Cambodia’s Newfound Internet Freedoms” describes the vital importance of the Internet for freedom of expression in Cambodia and the imminent threat that this last bastion for independent voices now faces.

Video The Bird of First June

June 1, 2015audio available

In the lead-up to June 1st, International Children’s Day, LICADHO is releasing a music video, “The Bird of First June,” advocating respect for the four baskets of children’s rights, as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC): the right to survival, the right to protection, the right to development, and the right to participation. The video was conceptualized by youth Child Protection Group members in Phnom Penh, and the song was sung over a popular local soundtrack. The youth were inspired to make the video to raise awareness amongst children of their basic rights, and to encourage adults to take care of children.

Statement LICADHO Urges Government to Support Child Rights and to Protect Youth in Prisons

May 31, 2015audio available

LICADHO’s Children’s Rights Office (CRO), in partnership with the Child Protection Group (CPG) network, will celebrate International Children’s Day 2015 in several locations. On 28 May, early celebrations took place in Dangkor Middle School, Phnom Penh. On 1 June, the official date of International Children’s Day, celebrations will take place in the morning (8:30am-11:00am) at Sangkat Norkor Thom, Siem Reap, Sal Mohorsrop Theater, Koh Kong, and at Build Bright University in Sihanoukville, Preah Sihanouk. At these locations, the CRO and CPGs will organize public forums and interactive theatre performances concerning child rights, and help distribute social assistance packages to the families of vulnerable children and youth. Approximately 2,350 people are expected to attend the celebrations.

Report Mothers Behind Bars: The Impact of Detention on Women and their Children

May 26, 2015

Today, LICADHO releases its report “Mothers Behind Bars: The Impact of Detention on Women and their Children” which seeks to raise awareness of the harmful, and sometimes devastating, impact a mother’s imprisonment can have on her children.

The report finds that authorities, in particular judges and prosecutors, can dramatically improve the lives of many children by properly complying with existing legal procedures to reduce the number of mothers who are detained unnecessarily.

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