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Cambodia: INGOs & MSIs urge international community to act on Cambodia's human & labour rights; the effect of EBA's decision is due on 12 August

Author: Phoung Vantha & Gerald Flynn, Cambodianess, Published on: 2 August 2020

"International Community Urged to Act over Human Rights Abuses in Cambodia", 23 July 2020

A collection of 33 civil society organizations … urged 13 governments of democratic countries to echo the European Union (EU) in its call for the respect of human rights and democratic freedoms in Cambodia.

“We urge your government to call on the Cambodian government to comply with its obligations under international human rights law and to support the EU in its efforts to bring respect for human rights, rule of law, and democracy to the Cambodian people,” they said.

…, the statement called for greater freedoms within Cambodia’s civil society, trade unions, media and political space…

The … statement was issued to the governments of Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States of America…

Robertson noted that many of the countries addressed in the statement were also signatories to the 1991 Paris Peace Agreements and that Human Rights Watch—along with the other 32 groups—were requesting the 13 countries to help ensure Cambodia lives up to its pledge to democracy…

However, Phay Siphan—a spokesman for the Cambodian government—dismissed the open letter of the 33 international organizations as mere political rhetoric and added that Cambodia would not negotiate with the EU.

He added that the government has already negotiated with the EU in the past and the decision will depend on the EU. However, he said that it would be unfair if the EU decides to withdraw 20 percent of EBA from Cambodia, but declined to comment on alleged human rights abuses…