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Smith: Government could improve rights to lessen EBA issue

Author: Ben Sokhean, The Phnom Penh Post, Published on: 6 November 2018

6 November 2018

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia Rhona Smith said the government could if it chose improve human rights in Cambodia, “and then there will be not so much issue if EBA [the EU’s preferential Everything But Arms agreement] or indeed any other agreement is at stake”.

Smith was speaking to journalists after a closed-door meeting with the president of the government’s Cambodian Human Rights Committee, Keo Remy…

When asked about the situation regarding EBA, Smith said: “I think for any development partners in Cambodia that have concerns about human rights, … the government can take small steps that will dramatically improve the human rights situation in the country…

“There is a need to ensure freedom of expression, assembly, association, strong civil society and also to ensure that there is no persecution of people lawfully exercising freedom of expression,” Smith said.

… Smith will conclude her trip with a press conference on Thursday outlining her “preliminary findings”. She is to present a report to the UNHCR in September next year.

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