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12 May 2020

Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)

Human rights impact assessment: Facebook in Cambodia

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Facebook commissioned BSR to undertake a human rights impact assessment (HRIA) of the company’s presence in Cambodia... The Cambodian legal, social, and political context is challenging for Facebook. As described in independent human rights reports, recent legislative reform has negatively impacted freedom of expression, the free press has been systematically dismantled and elections are not free or fair. Civic space and political freedoms are actively being constrained, and there is a trend towards the use of social media content as evidence in court cases... Facebook in Cambodia is generally recognized by in-country stakeholders to be an important space for freedom of information and expression, political participation, and government accountability... 

... [A]ctual and potential human rights impacts [include]: security,... privacy,... freedom of expression, assembly, and association,... non-discrimination,... child rights,... standard of living,... access to culture... Recommendations [include]: 

  • Develop and implement a Facebook policy setting out the circumstances in which it will voice an opinion on so-called “Facebook arrests”.

  • Take a public position on the legal and regulatory framework in Cambodia as it relates to social media platforms.

  • Make public statements about the government’s surveillance and law enforcement capabilities that demystify this issue for users.