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Built on Slavery: Debt Bondage and Child Labour in Cambodia’s Brick Factories

December 2, 2016audio available

On the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, LICADHO publishes its report “Built on Slavery: Debt Bondage and Child Labour in Cambodia’s Brick Factories” which presents evidence of the widespread use of contemporary forms of slavery in Cambodia’s brick manufacturing industry. It finds that despite the existence of comprehensive and long-standing legislation criminalizing the use of debt bondage and prohibiting child labour, competent authorities are making no efforts to eradicate them and are in fact enabling their survival.

Photo Album
Built on Slavery: Debt Bondage and Child Labour in Cambodia’s Brick Factories

December 2, 2016

To accompany publication of the report “Built on Slavery: Debt Bondage and Child Labour in Cambodia’s Brick Factories” LICADHO is releasing this photo album which shows the different elements of the brick-making process and the living and working conditions of the adults and children who make the bricks.

Flash News
Detained Human Rights Defenders Denied Bail by Supreme Court

November 30, 2016 This morning, ADHOC staffers Lim Mony, Ny Sokha, Nay Vanda and Yi Soksan, and election official Ny Chakrya, were denied bail following a Supreme Court hearing conducted by judge Kim Sothavy last week.

The five human rights defenders were imprisoned under spurious bribery charges on 2 May amid national and international outcry. If convicted, they could be sentenced to between five and ten years’ imprisonment.

Today's judgment follows an Appeal Court decision earlier this week to throw out an appeal lodged by the five against a decision by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to extend their pre-trial detention for a further six months beyond the six-month limit stipulated under Cambodian law. They have now been imprisoned for almost eight months.

Related Material:

Briefing
Getting Away With It – 2016 Update

November 28, 2016audio available

A year ago, to mark the 2015 16 Days Against Gender Based Violence campaign, LICADHO published a report Getting Away With It: The Treatment of Rape in Cambodia’s Justice System. The report was based on cases investigated by LICADHO in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and found that there were grave and systemic flaws in how rape cases are prosecuted in Cambodia and as a result, a disturbingly low number of convictions. There were several reasons for this: the extensive use of financial compensation to settle cases, widespread corruption amongst the police and the judiciary, poor understanding and application of the law by judges, and the prevalence of discriminatory attitudes towards women.

Statement Civil Society Deeply Concerned by Actions Taken to Disrupt, Prevent and Halt Voter Registration Campaigns During Water Festival

November 25, 2016audio available

We, the undersigned civil society organizations, are outraged by actions taken by authorities to disrupt, prevent and halt voter registration education and dissemination activities undertaken by youth volunteers in Phnom Penh and the provinces during Water Festival, an annual Cambodian celebration (13, 14, 15 November 2016). Over 60 youth volunteers, including from PEP-Center, YRDP, KYSD, NICFEC, CPWP and SEPY, faced numerous challenges during the three days’ activities.

Document
Joint Open Letter: Seeking Clarification Regarding Sand Exports

October 31, 2016

We, the undersigned civil society organizations, write to His Excellency Mr. Suy Sem, the Minister of Mines and Energy, to request clarification regarding sand exported overseas by Cambodia from 2007 to 2015. A Ministry spokesman has been quoted as saying that Cambodia’s global sand exports amounted to just over 17 million tons between 2007 and 2015. However, the only official export data issued to date by the Cambodian government in relation to sand exports, from the Ministry of Commerce, only discloses sand exports to Singapore for the same period, totaling about 2.8 million tons. The Cambodian government is yet to explain to which other countries it is exporting sand to, or at what price this sand is being sold for.

Photo Album
Dr. Kem Ley's 100 Day Funeral Procession

October 17, 2016

On Sunday, 16 October, thousands of people joined a 90-kilometre funeral procession, from Phnom Penh to Takeo, to mark 100 days since the assassination of political analyst Dr. Kem Ley. He was shot dead in a busy Caltex petrol station cafe in central Phnom Penh on 10 July 2016. Over the past three months since he was murdered, there has still been no independent and credible investigation into his murder.

The procession started from Wat Chas, a pagoda in Phnom Penh, where over the previous two days thousands of people had travelled to pay respect.

Statement
World Habitat Day Marred by Brutal Beatings of Human Rights Defenders

October 10, 2016audio available

We, the undersigned civil society groups, are outraged by this morning’s unjustified use of violence by district para-police officers during a march to peacefully celebrate World Habitat Day, and we strongly condemn this reprehensible attack.

Statement Civil Society Condemns Conviction of Human Rights Defender Ny Chakrya

September 22, 2016audio available

We, the undersigned civil society organisations, condemn in the strongest terms today’s unjustified conviction of former Head of the Human Rights and Monitoring Section of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association ADHOC) and deputy secretary-general of the National Election Committee (NEC), Mr. Ny Chakrya, by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. After a four and a half hour trial, Judge Khy Chhay deliberated for a mere 15 minutes before deciding to convict Mr. Ny Chakrya on charges of defamation, malicious denunciation, and publication of commentaries intended to unlawfully coerce judicial authorities, under Articles 305, 311 and 522 respectively of the Cambodian Criminal Code. Mr. Ny Chakrya was sentenced to six months in prison and given a fine of six million Riel (approximately $1,500).

Statement
Legal Proceedings Against Equitable Cambodia Staff Members

August 22, 2016audio available

Equitable Cambodia (EC), Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), and Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL) are extremely disheartened by today’s verdict against Eang Vuthy, Chheang Phea and Phen Kimsong. From the outset, it has been our position that there was no legal basis for this case. This was made clear during the trial hearing, when the prosecutor informed the trial judge during his closing remarks that there was no evidence to support the charge of defamation.

Statement
Civil Society Calls for Immediate Release of Boeung Kak Lake Activists

August 18, 2016audio available

We, the undersigned civil society groups, demand the immediate release of two Boeung Kak Lake activists – Ms. Tep Vanny and Ms. Bov Sophea – who were charged and sent to provisional detention in Prey Sar’s CC2 prison on 17 August 2016, in relation to their involvement in the “Black Monday” campaign. We also call on authorities to drop the spurious incitement charges against them, and allow for peaceful assemblies, such as those in support of the Black Monday campaign, as protected under Cambodian and international law.

Document Open Letter: Call on the Human Rights Council to Adopt a Resolution Addressing Cambodia's Gravely Deteriorating Human Rights Situation

August 18, 2016

We, the undersigned international, regional, and Cambodian non-governmental organizations, urge your delegation to support the adoption of a resolution addressing Cambodia's gravely deteriorating human rights situation at the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council.

This resolution should highlight and condemn the ongoing and systematic human rights violations in the country and impunity for their perpetrators; build on the concerns expressed by a number of States at the Council's 32nd session; and urge the Cambodian Government to urgently take corrective action to preserve the legacy of the Paris Peace Agreements, ahead of their 25th anniversary and of key municipal and general elections.

Livestream
Dr. Kem Ley's Funeral Procession

July 24, 2016

At 7 o’clock this morning, mourners will begin a procession carrying the body of Dr. Kem Ley from Wat Chas, Phnom Penh, to his home village of Ang Ta Kok, Takeo Province. It is expected that thousands of mourners will take to the streets to join the procession. On 10 July, Kem Ley was shot dead in a busy Caltex petrol station cafe in central Phnom Penh. One suspect, a former soldier, was arrested shortly after the shooting and remains in custody.

Statement
Cambodian Civil Society Condemns Outrageous Murder of Political Analyst Kem Ley

July 11, 2016audio available

We, the undersigned civil society groups, are outraged at the brutal murder of political analyst and grassroots organiser Kem Ley yesterday morning, and call for a prompt, thorough and independent inquiry into his death.

Article
Prey Speu Detention Center Should be Shut for Good

June 8, 2016audio available

Prey Speu “Social Affairs” center has made the headlines again recently following the decision by the Phnom Penh Municipality to keep the detention facility open despite Prime Minister Hun Sen’s support for its closure (Cambodia Daily, “Officials Keep Prey Speu Open After PM’s Rebuke”, June 3, 2016).

Statement
Civil Society Condemns Escalating Intimidation of Human Rights Defenders

May 10, 2016audio available

Yesterday’s detention of eight human rights workers and activists was an egregious violation of the right to freedom of expression in Cambodia, civil society groups said today. The detentions, which followed the pre-trial detention of four other rights workers and an election official last week, highlight an alarming surge in the Cambodian government’s latest campaign of intimidation against civil society.

Statement
Civil Society Condemns Charging of Human Rights Defenders

May 2, 2016audio available

We, the undersigned human rights and other civil society organisations, condemn in the strongest terms the politically-motivated charging of six human rights defenders from a Cambodian human rights group, the country’s National Election Committee (NEC) and the United Nation’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR). The targeting of these individuals, five of whom were sent to pre-trial detention today, is the latest escalation in a far-reaching government assault on civil society ahead of upcoming local and national elections, and is a clear reprisal for support provided by rights workers in a politically-sensitive case.

Statement
CSOs call upon authorities to immediately cease harassment of human rights defenders

April 29, 2016audio available

We, the undersigned civil society organisations, strongly condemn the summonsing and interrogation of civil society members for conducting vital and legitimate activities to protect human rights. This amounts to an outrageous misuse of the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) as a political tool to attack and intimidate civil society.

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