Latest Flash News & Articles

Flash News: International NGOs urging foreign ministers worldwide to act on repressive Association & NGO Law
Published on August 27, 2011

Little time remains before the Law on Association and NGO is sent to the National Assembly leading to its final adoption. This week, 10 International NGOs wrote to 35 foreign ministers worldwide and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Baroness Ashton urging them to press the Royal Government of Cambodia to end efforts to promulgate this law. The letter also calls for a reassessment of bilateral assistance should the law be adopted in its current form.

A copy of the letter sent to US Secretary of State Clinton can be viewed in English or in Khmer.

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Flash News: Remaining Three Chi Kreng Detainees Released from Siem Reap Prison
Published on July 26, 2011

On the morning of July 26, 2011, the remaining three Chi Kreng detainees - including a 61-year-old Buddhist priest - were released from prison with the help of their lawyer. The trio were part of a group of 12 villagers who were all detained on spurious charges in Cambodia's Siem Reap prison after a violent intervention by police and military police in March 2009.

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Article: Cambodia: Withdraw Flawed Draft NGO and Association Law; Revised Draft Does Not Address Rights Concerns
Published on April 7, 2011

Bangkok - Cambodia's draft law regulating associations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) should be abandoned because it will undermine rather than promote civil society in the country, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Forum-Asia, Global Witness, Southeast Asia Press Alliance, Frontline Defenders, and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders said today. On April 6, a total of 62 international organizations working in Cambodia called upon the country's international donors to make strong public and private statements opposing passage of a law that poses the most significant threat to the country's civil society in many years.

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Article: Supporters Gather Outside Cambodia's National Prison to Seek Release of Imprisoned Union Leader
Published on January 21, 2011

On the morning of January 16, 2011, over a hundred garment workers and civil society members gathered outside Cambodia's Prey Sar prison to seek the release of their union leader, Sous Chantha. Joined by Chantha's wife and toddler, the group held a religious ceremony and proceeded to launch balloons in the air for Chantha to see from within the prison's walls.

The gathering highlighted the fact that Sous Chantha has spent nearly two months in pretrial detention on drug trafficking charges. His arrest on November 18, 2010, followed his 1,000-member union's migration to the pro-workers Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers Democratic Union (CCAWDU).

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Article: International Human Rights Day 2010
Published on December 10, 2010

More than 20,000 Cambodians celebrated the 62nd International Human Rights day on Dec 10th, 2010.

In 65 events across the country, civil society groups including trade unionists, students, farmers, fishermen, musicians, youths, entertainment workers, tuk tuk drivers, motorcycle drivers and NGO workers celebrated IHRD within their communities.

Throughout Cambodia, the celebrations were held under the common theme of 'We all want justice and sustainable livelihoods!' and a common symbol representing the role of human rights defenders in Cambodia, the blue Kramar.

IHRD is celebrated every year on December 10, marking the day that the UNDHR was signed in 1948. Since then, the Declaration has been and continues to be a source of inspiration for national and international efforts to promote and protect human rights.

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Article: LICADHO Awarded at WITNESS Focus for Change dinner
Published on December 2, 2010

LICADHO President and Founder Dr Pung Chhiv Kek and Venerable Luon Sovath accepted an award on behalf of LICADHO as guests of honor at the 2010 Annual Focus for Change benefit dinner held in New York by LICADHO partner WITNESS, an international human rights organization which uses video to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations.

The 2010 benefit dinner saw WITNESS honoring LICADHO with an award for its use of video to document evidence in the ongoing struggle to end forced evictions in Cambodia. The partnership begun in 2007, when WITNESS provided LICADHO with 50 small handheld FLIP cameras for use by community activists in 18 Cambodia provinces to film and document cases of human rights abuse. Since then, LICADHO and WITNESS have worked closely together to produce advocacy videos on the plight of land-grabbing victims, creating international support to halt specific evictions.

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Article: Cambodia Monthly News Summary - October 2010
Published on November 1, 2010

* Cambodia Still Ranking Low on Corruption Index * UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Visits Cambodia

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Article: Cambodia Monthly News Summary - September 2010
Published on October 1, 2010

* Cambodian Opposition Leader, Sam Rainsy Convicted of Disinformation * Garment Factory Workers Strike

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Article: Underage Cambodian Domestic Workers Rescued From Malaysia
Published on September 30, 2010

"I was told by the company that I could earn $ US 180 per month as a domestic helper in Malaysia. During the first six months my salary would be deducted to cover the expenses of the company. I thumb-printed the documents without knowing their content, and the company did not give me any copies or explain anything in detail to me. But I know that the company changed everything. In fact, the company changed my name and age in the documents, and I was told to use the name of my older sister."

This is an account of an underage girl who was sent to work as a domestic worker in Malaysia where she was mistreated with other Cambodian maids. Channa (not her real name) was brought up in Koh Kong province in a poor family. She met with a representative of a licensed recruitment agency who promised to give her a highly paid job in Malaysia. She was underage, but the company facilitated falsified documents including a passport, visa and other necessary documents so that she could be sent to work abroad.

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Article: Cambodia Monthly News Summary - August 2010
Published on September 1, 2010

* Cambodia-Thai Diplomatic Relations Improved * LICADHO Staff Member Convicted of Disinformation and Sentenced to 2 years Imprisonment * President of Human Rights Party's Parliamentary Immunity to be Removed

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Article: Cambodia Monthly News Summary - July 2010
Published on August 1, 2010

* Report on Sex Workers in Cambodia by HRW * Verdict of Duch Announced: Majority of Cambodians and International Community Disappointed * Chi Kreng Trial Adjourned

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Article: Union Workers Gather to Demand Better Minimum Wage
Published on July 25, 2010

"The wage must be at least equal to the guaranteed minimum wage; that is, it must ensure every worker of a decent standard of living compatible with human dignity" Article 104 of Cambodian Labor law.

On 8 July 2010, the government proposed to increase the current minimum wage from $50 to $55, with an additional $6 as a family allowance, the total of $61, to be implemented in October 2010 and renegotiated only in 2014. Unions and civil society have responded that this is not enough.

The current living standard of garment workers is very low. A recent 2009 study by the Community Legal Education Centre concluded that workers would require at the very least $72 per month to meet minimum requirements for food, lodging and medication. A suitable salary that would allow the most basic needs to be met, and is demanded by the unions, is estimated at $93 per month.

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Article: Cambodia Monthly News Summary - June 2010
Published on July 1, 2010

* Supreme Court Trial Upholds Defamation Verdict Against Opposition MP Mu Sochua * Donors Pledge $1.1 Billion in Aid at 2010 Cambodia Development Cooperation Forum * Government Appoints National Anti-Corruption Council * UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Makes Third Visit to Cambodia

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Article: Community Leaders Rally for Land Rights in Phnom Penh
Published on June 21, 2010

On June 15th, 2010, 350 community representatives from 24 provinces and municipalities including ethnic minority communities gathered near Wat Botum pagoda to rally for land rights.

Most of the representatives were engaged in land disputes with companies who had received economic land concessions from the government. Some face eviction, while others are being prevented from entering waters where they normally make their living as fishermen. The rally aimed to draw attention to their plight, and to gather petitions to be delivered to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The representatives gathered three boxes full of petitions.

About 80 of the representatives from Memot Disrict, Kampong Cham, initially gathered in front of Wat Botum on June 14. They were dispersed by about 20 police and authorities and forced to leave Wat Botum. LICADHO and other NGOs provided food, accommodation, and mediated with authorities on their behalf. The authorities ordered them to return home.

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Article: LICADHO Promotes Children's Rights in Cambodia With Two Events
Published on June 18, 2010

In June 2010, LICADHO helped organized two events to promote the rights of children in Cambodia. International Children's Day was celebrated on June 1st, with the slogan "Community Without Trafficking." The World Day Against Child Labour occurred on June 12th under the theme "I protect the children, do you?"

The two events are celebrated every year to highlight children's rights and promote prevention and elimination of the worst forms of child labor. The aim is also to draw public attention and increase awareness of children's rights violations.

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Prison Population Watch
12,784 Occupancy Rate: →153%

Click here for the latest report on prison overcrowding
Monthly population figures as of May 31, 2014, from the 18 prisons monitored by LICADHO

The Great Cambodian Giveaway

Visualizing Land Concessions over Time