Latest Documents

ReportGoing Offline? The Threat to Cambodia’s Newfound Internet Freedoms

Cambodia is now experiencing a boom in web connectivity driven by the increasing availability of cheap web-enabled smartphones and extensive mobile networks. As a result, citizens have been empowered by the ability of bloggers, monks, community activists, and opposition politicians to circumvent government media controls and disseminate information about important issues such as land-grabs, police violence, impunity, corruption, and deforestation, to name but a few.

On World Information Society Day, LICADHO releases its report “Going Offline? The Threat to Cambodia’s Newfound Internet Freedoms,” describing 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.

Released in May 2015

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ReportShadow Report for the UN Human Rights Committee’s Consideration of the Second Report of Cambodia

As Cambodia prepares for the Human Rights Committee to consider the country’s second State Party Report, we must first note the political environment that currently exists. Corruption remains rampant and violence against government critics is systematic. The nation’s politically influenced justice system continues to prosecute more government opponents, while State actors and well-connected individuals continue to enjoy impunity. Activists and journalists have been murdered and the authorities have consistently failed to properly investigate these crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The government’s use of the criminal justice system to carry out its political agenda has become increasingly brazen and the system of justice applied to land rights, land concessions, and land confiscation is blatantly skewed. In addition, human rights defenders are targeted for harassment, threats, unjustified criminal charges and violence.

Released in March 2015

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ReportChildhood Behind Bars: Growing up in a Cambodian Prison – Dara’s Story

As of November 2014 there were 40 children between the ages of one month and almost four years living with their mothers in the Cambodian prisons monitored by LICADHO. Approximately half of them were born in prison and have never experienced life beyond the prison walls. Whilst there have been few detailed studies assessing the long-term impact of prison life on a child’s development, it is clear that for some children early life behind bars can have devastating physical and psychological consequences and life in Cambodian prisons is no exception.

This report is the second in a series of case studies issued by LICADHO which endeavor to bridge the gap in knowledge about young children in Cambodian prisons. The first report detailed the experiences of one boy, Sokun, who lived with his incarcerated mother in Phnom Penh’s Correctional Center 2 (CC2) prison until he was six years and ten months old. The report concluded that for Sokun, the positive opportunity to bond with his mother may have outweighed some of the negative experiences of prison life, but that Cambodian authorities should have done much more to ensure special measures were in place to protect him from other harmful impacts.

Released in February 2015

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ReportRights at a Price: Life Inside Cambodia's Prisons

Ahead of the appeal hearing this week for 10 land activists and one monk, all wrongfully convicted and imprisoned following unfair trials, LICADHO is publishing a new report about the current state of Cambodian prisons and the human rights implications for those held in them.

The report “Rights at a Price: Life inside Cambodia’s Prisons” details the ongoing, systematic abuse, discrimination, exploitation and corruption within Cambodia’s prison system and notes that despite steps towards reform, many challenges remain, including prison overcrowding, poor infrastructure, lack of appeal transportation, weak implementation of the law and lack of knowledge amongst prison officials.

Released in January 2015

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Briefing PaperFreedom Park Violence, CNRP Arrests, and Political Deal: Timeline of Events July – November 2014

The violence that erupted at Freedom Park on July 15, 2014, led to a series of politically orchestrated events at the hand of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP). The arrests of various officials from the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), including elected Members of Parliament (MPs), alongside ongoing political negotiations offers clear evidence that the judiciary is firmly within the hands of the CPP, once again raising serious concerns about the legitimacy and independence of Cambodia’s legal system.

Released in December 2014

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Report“Good Wives”: Women Land Campaigners and the Impact of Human Rights Activism

During the last decade tens of thousands of Cambodians have been forcibly removed from their homes or their farmland and many more threatened with displacement. In the majority of cases, the Cambodian authorities are involved in the disputes, through the granting of land concessions or the use of state forces to intimidate people, remove them from their land and destroy homes.

In response, many affected communities have organized themselves to resist eviction or to seek proper redress for what they have lost. Cambodian women have been at the forefront of these campaigns with many becoming effective community leaders and human rights advocates.

Released in November 2014

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Briefing PaperLegal Analysis of Cambodia's Draft Law on Unions of Enterprises

The government has once again decided to push forward with a flawed Law on Unions of Enterprises (Trade Union Law) draft that could severely undermine freedom of association in Cambodia. The law has been years in the making and saw several improvements after consultations in the past. However, the overall quality of the current draft obtained in May 2014 has taken a dramatic turn for the worse and the government has still not been able to articulate a persuasive reason for its passage.

Released in September 2014

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ReportSubmission to the Human Rights Committee’s Task Force for the Adoption of the List of Issues on Cambodia

This week, as 8 opposition party members have been provisionally released from prison but remain accused of spurious charges for leading an insurrection and inciting violence, the Human Rights Committee’s Task Force meets to adopt the issues that will be considered by the Human Rights Committee in March 2015 when it assesses Cambodia’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) for the first time since 1998.

In order to help inform the Task Force’s decision, LICADHO and partner FIDH submitted a joint report in April 2014 detailing serious and persistent violations of rights guaranteed under the ICCPR, including: the right to life; the freedoms of expression and assembly; the right to fair trial; and the prohibitions against torture and arbitrary detention.

Released in July 2014

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ReportTorture and Ill-Treatment: Testimony from Inside Cambodia's Police Stations and Prisons

On June 26, International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, LICADHO releases new testimony and analysis of torture and ill-treatment in Cambodia’s police stations and prisons, including the abuse of females and juveniles and those experiencing mental health problems.

LICADHO’s findings reveal that there has been no palpable change in the type, frequency and severity of abuse reported in recent years. Inmates continue to describe being beaten, kicked, slapped or punched, often until they were bleeding and unconscious. Objects used during beatings included guns, sticks, iron rods, stun batons and electric cables. One of the primary purposes of abuse continued to be the forced extraction of confessions or money.

Released in June 2014

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ReportHuman Rights 2013: The Year in Review

2013 was dominated by one event: the National Assembly elections. Throughout the year, Phnom Penh saw some of its largest demonstrations in decades as Cambodian people took to the streets to demand their rights.

However, as documented by LICADHO in the report ‘Human Rights 2013: The Year in Review’, the elections witnessed an unprecedented level of fraud and left the country in a state of political turmoil; conflict over land and natural resources continued to be a major source of human rights violations throughout the year; strikes and labor issues gave rise to discord, often attracting violent action from the authorities; and human rights defenders remained a target of harassment, threats, unjustified criminal charges and violence.

Released in March 2014

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