Cambodia: Authorities block marches of women groups to celebrate International Women's Day; govt. representatives show up to receive petitions from women representatives

Author: Kunthear Mom, Khmer Times, Published on: 9 March 2019

"Women detained in stadium on Int’l Women’s Day", 8 March 2019

Around 400 persons, mostly women, gathered at the Olympic Stadium ... to celebrate International Women’s Day that is themed “Promotion of Gender Equity and Social Protection for Human Resource Development.” They planned to file petitions at various government bureaus, but were contained in the stadium by security personnel...

Ms Chak Sopheap, president of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, asked for their release, but a guard said they must stay inside, “I have orders from a higher level not to allow you to celebrate outside. Our higher level is the city governor.”

After an hour the gate was opened through the intervention of Mean Chanyada and Kert Chhae, both are city deputy governors and acted on behalf of the ministries.

The petitions requested the creation of preschool and child care centres at workplaces; safe havens for women facing domestic violence; an end to sexual harassment and abuse at the workplace; a stop to violence toward women’s rights defenders; reform of transportation means for garment-, textile-, and shoe-factory workers; better working conditions; stronger defences against the exploitation of domestic workers and migratory workers; and the termination of human trafficking and wage slavery.

Mr Chhae said that he will “send the petitions to the ministries ... and give the petitioners feedback...

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