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en/eu-to-launch-withdrawal-process-of-trade-preferences-in-cambodia-over-rights-concerns-warns-myanmar-of-potential-similar-action#c178005

EU launches process for withdrawal of EBA preference for Cambodia & plans to send EU mission to Myanmar

Author: Cecilia Malmstrom, European Commission, Published on: 10 October 2018

"On Myanmar and Cambodia," 5 Oct 2018

... In Myanmar, we have seen a deeply worrying and worsening situation for the Rohingya minority. A recent report from a United Nations fact-finding mission calls for the prosecution of top military leaders for genocide and crimes against humanity... The country's leadership has repeatedly disregarded calls from the EU and the international community to put a stop to this... In Cambodia, meanwhile, we are seeing very troubling developments with a clear deterioration of human rights and labour rights, without convincing improvements in sight. Our recent EU mission to the country demonstrated serious and systemic violations of, for instance, freedom of expression, labour rights and freedom of association. This comes on top of longstanding issues as regards workers’ rights and land-grabbing.

... Both Cambodia and Myanmar benefit from the Everything But Arms arrangement, or EBA, which guarantees completely tariff-free access to the European market for all exports except for weapons and ammunition... [which] comes with a responsibility to uphold and respect the values enshrined in 15 fundamental conventions of the United Nations and the International Labour Organisation... [T]he European Commission and the European External Action Service will notify the Myanmar authorities of our intention to send an emergency, high-level EU mission to the country... to assess the situation... Today, High Representative Federica Mogherini and I have therefore notified Cambodia that we are launching the process for the withdrawal of their Everything But Arms preferences. Without clear and evident improvements on the ground, this will lead to the suspending of the trade preferences that they currently enjoy.

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