Tag

Law on Associations & NGOs

Below are statements and legal analyses on the draft Law on Associations and NGOs - considered by many to be the most significant current threat to Cambodian civil society and non-governmental groups.

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.

Photo Album
Thousands Demand Justice for Human Rights Day Celebrations

December 17, 2015

To celebrate International Human Rights Day (IHRD), about 10,000 people from rural and urban communities participated in 20 marches and events across the country from December 6 to December 10. These were organized by the informal network Friends of December 10th, which includes youth, land communities, associations, farmers, monks, and NGOs. On December 10, groups peacefully marched from various locations in Phnom Penh toward the Ministry of Justice to demand that the government resolve Cambodia’s land conflict epidemic; reform the judicial system and release human rights defenders and activists; raise the minimum wage and respect labour rights; end state-sponsored violence; and respect freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly. This year’s IHRD theme was ‘Justice’.

Flash News
LANGO passed by Constitutional Council

August 12, 2015 Today, a full session of the Constitutional Council declared the draft Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO) constitutional in both its content and the process of its drafting and approval.

The LANGO was passed by the National Assembly on July 13 and by the Senate on July 24 amid widespread national and international criticism. It is now due to go before the King for final approval.

Related Material:

Statement
ADHOC and LICADHO Urge Cambodian Constitutional Council to Reject Unconstitutional LANGO

July 30, 2015audio available

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.

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.

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.

Statement
Cambodia: Withdraw Proposed Association Law and Make Legislative Drafting Process Transparent

May 11, 2015audio available

The Cambodian government must withdraw the proposed Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO) and make the legislative drafting process in the country transparent, FIDH and its member organizations, the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), said today.

Photo Album
Peaceful 2015 International Labour Day Celebrations in Phnom Penh

May 5, 2015

On the morning of May 1, 2015, in celebration of International Labour Day, marches and rallies were held at three sites around Phnom Penh to request a living wage of $177, greater respect for workers’ rights and freedom of expression, and for the government to drop draft legislation on unions, associations and non governmental organizations (NGOs).

Statement Revise or Abandon Draft NGO Law: Donors Should Insist on Protections for Civil Society

December 22, 2011

Donors, who provide approximately half of Cambodia's national budget, should make clear to the Cambodian government that the fourth draft of the Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO) must be revised to protect civil society or be withdrawn, a group of concerned international human rights organizations said today. Any revisions should involve meaningful consultation with civil society organizations and aim to support their activities instead of creating a legal framework allowing for arbitrary closure of organizations or the denial of registration.

Briefing Paper
Draft Law On Associations & NGOs: Comments on the Fourth Draft

December 15, 2011

On Dec. 12, 2011, the Royal Cambodian Government released the fourth draft of its proposed Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO). The release comes almost exactly one year after the first draft was introduced in mid-December 2010.

The contents of the three earlier drafts provoked extensive criticism from local and international civil society organizations, donor governments, and legal analysts. Twice previously the government has acknowledged these criticisms and promised to come up with a better draft. Twice previously they have failed.

With the fourth draft, they have failed again.