Thursday, April 21, 2011

សេចក្តីប្រកាសព៌ត័មាន អំពី ការប្រើអំពើហិង្សារបស់កងកំលាំងប្រដាប់អាវុធមកលើអ្នកភូមិបឹងកក់



សេចក្តីប្រកាសព៌ត័មាន
អំពី
ការប្រើអំពើហិង្សារបស់កងកំលាំងប្រដាប់អាវុធមកលើអ្នកភូមិបឹងកក់
សមាគមអាដហុកការពារសិទ្ធិមនុស្ស និងអភិវឌ្ឍន៏នៅកម្ពុជាថ្កោលទោសចំពោះការប្រើអំពើ​ហិង្សា​​របស់សមត្ថកិច្ចចម្រុះ​ ដែលបានវាយបង្រ្កាបទៅលើអ្នកភូមិរងគ្រោះបឹងកក់ ដោយគ្រាន់តែធ្វើការ​ទាមទារ តវ៉ាដោយអហឹង្សា នៅមុខសាលា​រាជ​ធានីភ្នំពេញ កាលព្រឹកថ្ងៃទី២១ ខែមេសា ឆ្នាំ២០១១​នេះ។
អ្នកភូមិបឹងកក់បានទាមទារ អស់រយៈពេលជាង៥ឆ្នាំកន្លងមកហើយ បន្ទាប់ពីរដ្ឋាភិបាលបាន​យកដីអ្នកភូមិ​ប្រគល់​ឲ្យក្រុមហ៊ុនស៊ូកាគុអ៊ីនកាលពីឆ្នាំ២០០៧កន្លងមក។​ ទំនាស់ដីបឹងកក់ មិនទទួល បានការដោះស្រាយដ៏ត្រឹមត្រូវនៅឡើយ។ រហូតមកដល់សព្វថ្ងៃនេះ ពួកគាត់បាននាំគ្នាបន្តការទាម ទារ ទទូចចង់ឲ្យសាលា​រាជធានីភ្នំពេញ​ជួយដោះស្រាយ ដីអភិវឌ្ឍន៏នៅ​នឹង​កន្លែង ស្របតាមគោល​នយោបាយដោះស្រាយរបស់រដ្ឋាភិបាល និងដោះស្រាយផ្ទះរបស់ពួកគាត់ដែលត្រូវបាន​លិចលង់​ដោយសារ​ក្រុមហ៊ុនបូម​ខ្សាច់ពន្លិចជាបន្តបន្ទាប់មក។ នៅព្រឹកនេះបន្ទាប់ពីមានការជួប​ពិភាក្សា ជាមួយ​តំណាង​សាលារាជ​ធានីភ្នំពេញរួចមក ក្រុម​សហគមន៏​នៅតែបន្តការទាមទារតវ៉ា ពីព្រោះមិនមាន​លទ្ធផលជាវិជ្ជមាន។​ កងកំលាំងប្រដាប់អាវុធ​រាប់រយនាក់ ក៏បានចូលវាយបំបែកអ្នកភូមិ ដោយ​ធ្វើការ​វាយ​ដំ ឆក់នឹងដំបងឆក់​ ទាត់​ ធាក់ ទៅលើអ្នក ភូមិយ៉ាងសាហាវឃោឃៅ នៅចំពោះមុខមន្ត្រីសាលា​រាជ​​ធានី ដែលកំពុង​តែ​ឈរឳបដៃមើលការ​ប្រើ​អំពើ​ហិង្សានេះ។
សមាគមអាដហុកឃ្លាំមើលយ៉ាងហ្មត់ចត់ បានឃើញហេតុការណ៏ដោយ​ផ្ទាល់ភ្នែកនៅក្នុង​អំពើវាយ​បង្រ្កាបនេះ យ៉ាងហោចណាស់មានអ្នកភូមិ៤នាក់ទទួលរងរបួសសន្លប់បែកក្បាលហូរឈាម នៅនឹង​កន្លែង ដោយសារកងកំលាំងវាយដំ ឆក់នឹងដំបងឆក់ អ្នកភូមិ១១នាក់ផ្សេងទៀត ត្រូវបាន​ចាប់ខ្លួនដាក់​ក្នុង​ឡាន​ទ្រុង​ពីកន្លែងកើត​ហេតុ ។ សកម្មភាពវាយបង្រ្កាបនេះ កំលាំងប្រដាប់អាវុធបាន ប្រើដំបងវាយដំ ឆក់នឹងដំបងឆក់ ទាត់​ ធាក់ និងតាមរកចាប់ខ្លួនទៅលើក្រុមបាតុករជាបន្តបន្ទាប់ មើល​ទៅគួរឲ្យរន្ធត់។   
សមាគមអាដហុកចាត់ទុកអំពើហិង្សានេះថា គឺជាការរំលោភសិទ្ធិមនុស្សធ្ងន់ធ្ងរ​ដែលធានា​ដោយ​រដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញ និងសេចក្តីថ្លែងការណ៏ជាសកលស្តីពីសិទិ្ធមនុស្ស ។ ការប្រើអំពើហិង្សារបៀបនេះ​មិនមែន​ជាដំណោះស្រាយ​ដែលចាំបាច់ត្រូវយកមកប្រើប្រាស់ជាមួយនឹងប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ​ ដែលទទួលរង​នូវផល​ប៉ះពាល់ក្នុងទំនាស់ដីធ្លីនោះទេ ។ ​ អំពើហិង្សានេះផ្តើមចេញពីកំលាំងប្រដាប់អាវុធចម្រុះ នៅ​ចំពោះមុខមន្ត្រីសាលារាជធានី ដែលបើកដៃឲ្យ​មាន​ការ​វាយបង្ក្រាបទៅលើអ្នកភូមិយ៉ាងសាហាវ​បែបនេះ ។​ ជុំវិញករណីទំនាស់ដីធ្លីនៅបឹងកក់​នេះ សាលារាជធានីមិនត្រឹមតែ​មិនបាន​រក​ដំណោះ​ស្រាយជូនអ្នកភូមិរងគ្រោះប៉ុណ្ណោះទេ គេថែមទាំងប្រើអំណាច និងកំលាំងប្រដាប់អាវុធ ឲ្យទៅវាយ​ដំ​លើអ្នកភូមិរងគ្រោះ ហើយទាត់ចោលនូវសិទិ្ធក្នុងការទាមទារតវ៉ា របស់​អ្នក​ភូមិដែលធ្វើដោយអហិង្សា។
សមាគមអាដហុក សូមអំពាវនាវដល់ភ្នាក់ងាររដ្ឋាភិបាល ពិសេសសាលារាជធានីភ្នំពេញ សូមបញ្ឈប់ជាបន្ទាន់ចំពោះការប្រើអំពើហិង្សា​ទៅលើប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ​ដែលធ្វើការតវ៉ាដោយអហិង្សា និង​សូមអំពាវនាវ​ដល់​ស្ថាប័ន​​ជាតិ និងអន្តរជាតិទាំងអស់ សូមជួយឲ្យមានការស៊ើបអង្កេត ​ចាត់​វិធានការ​តាម​ផ្លូវ​ច្បាប់​ចំពោះ​ការ​​ប្រើអំពើហិង្សាដ៏ព្រៃផ្សៃនេះ សូមឲ្យដោះលែង ព្រមទាំងបញ្ឈប់​ការតាមចាប់​ខ្លួន​អ្នកភូមិ​តទៅ​ទៀត និងបន្តការដោះស្រាយទំនាស់ដីធ្លីនេះ ដោយសន្តិវិធី ។​ ​ 

ភ្នំពេញ  ថ្ងៃទី២១ ខែមេសា ឆ្នាំ២០១១
ព័ត៌មានបន្ថែមសូមទំនាក់ទំនងតាមទូរស័ព្ទ
-លោក ចាន់ សុវ៉េត ប្រធានផ្នែកសិទ្ធិមនុស្សនៃសមាគមអាដហុក  ០១៦ ៩៣៧  ៥៩១
-លោក នី ចរិយា ប្រធានផ្នែកសិទ្ធិដីធ្លីនៃសមាគមអាដហុក            ០១១ ២៧៤ ៩៥៩     


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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Aid to Cambodia rarely reaches the people it’s meant to help

Representatives of more than 3,000 governments and donor organizations are meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Wednesday. If past experience is indicative, they will pledge to provide hundreds of millions in aid.
Most of these donors should simply stay home.

Year after year, smiling Cambodian government leaders attend these pledge conferences, holding out their hands. But first they have to listen as ambassadors and aid officers stand at the podium, look them in the eye, and lambast them for corruption and jaw-dropping human rights abuses.
Each year Prime Minister Hun Sen promises to reform. The donors nod and make their pledges — $1.1 billion last year. Then everyone goes home and nothing changes. In the following months, officials dip into the foreign aid accounts and build themselves mansions the size of small hotels, while 40 percent of Cambodia’s children grow up stunted for lack of nutrition during infancy.

This year should be different. Over the past two decades, the Cambodian government has grown ever more repressive. Now it is actually planning to bite the hand that feeds it: The legislature is enacting a law that would require nongovernmental organizations to register with the government, giving venal bureaucrats the ability to shut them down unless they become toadies of the state.

Eight major international human rights organizations are calling on Cambodia to back down, saying the bill is “the most significant threat to the country’s civil society in many years.” Donors, they say, should hold back their pledges. But they say that every year, and each year the donors ignore them. Meanwhile, the status of the Cambodian people the aid is supposed to help improves little if at all. Nearly 80 percent of Cambodians live in the countryside with no electricity, clean water, toilets, telephone service or other evidence of the modern world.

All of this might surprise most Americans. It has been decades since many people here have given Cambodia even a thought. Forty years ago, Cambodia was on the front pages almost every day as the United States bombed and briefly invaded the state during the Vietnam War. Then came the genocidal Khmer Rouge era, when 2 million people died.

How many know what has happened there since? Last month, the Nexis news-research service carried 6,335 stories with Thailand in the headline. Vietnam had 5,196. For Cambodia, 578.

Most people don’t know that Cambodians are ruled by a government that sells off the nation’s rice harvest each year and pockets the money, leaving its people without enough to eat. That it evicts thousands of people from their homes, burns down the houses, then dumps the victims into empty fields and sells their property to developers.

That it amasses vast personal fortunes while the nation’s average annual per capita income stands at $650. Or that it allows school teachers to demand daily bribes from 6-year-olds and doctors to extort money from dirt-poor patients, letting them die if they do not pay.

This is a government that stands by and watches as 75 percent of its citizens contract dysentery each year, and 10,000 die — largely because only 16 percent of Cambodians have access to a toilet. As Beat Richner, who runs children’s hospitals there, puts it, “the passive genocide continues.”

You wouldn’t know any of that from the donors’ behavior. You see, for foreigners Phnom Penh is a relatively pleasant place to live. Rents are cheap and household help is even cheaper. Espresso bars and stylish restaurants dot the river front — primarily for diplomats and aid workers.

Donors have largely been able to pursue whatever project they wanted without interference. They knew that the government would steal some of their money. But so what? “Some money goes this way or that way,” said In Samrithy, an officer with a donor umbrella group. “But it’s useful if some of it reaches the poor. Not all of it does but some does. That’s better than nothing.”

Even with that, many donors feel the way Teruo Jinnai does. He’s the longtime head of the UNESCO office in Phnom Penh. “Here I have found my own passion,” he told me. “Here, I can set my own target. So that gives you more power, more energy, more passion.”

Well, Mr. Jinnai, the noose is tightening. If, as expected, the NGO bill becomes law, government repression will reach out for you, too. Isn’t it time, then, for all those donors to make a statement? On Wednesday stand up and tell the government: I am withholding my aid.

Joel Brinkley, a professor of journalism at Stanford University, is the author of “Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land.”


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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Press Release: Withdraw Flawed Draft NGO and Association Law

For Immediate Release
Cambodia: Withdraw Flawed Draft NGO and Association Law
Revised Draft Does Not Address Rights Concerns

(Bangkok, April 7, 2011) – Cambodia’s draft law regulating associations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) should be abandoned because it will undermine rather than promote civil society in the country, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Forum-Asia, Global Witness, Southeast Asia Press Alliance, Frontline Defenders, and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders said today. On April 6, a total of 62 international organizations working in Cambodia called upon the country’s international donors to make strong public and private statements opposing passage of a law that poses the most significant threat to the country’s civil society in many years.

“Cambodia’s proposed law could too easily be used to refuse registration or close down organizations that serve the public interest,” said Brad Adams, Asia Director at Human Rights Watch. “Over the past 20 years the development of civil society has been one of Cambodia’s few enduring achievements. This law threatens to reverse that progress.”

“When the draft law was first circulated, in December 2010, civil society raised urgent concerns that it would prove vulnerable to abuse by officials at the national, provincial, and commune level seeking to silence civil society criticism,” said Yap Swee-Seng, Executive Director of Forum-Asia. “Far from addressing these fears, the revisions introduced by the government make a bad situation worse. New provisions that facilitate denial or delays of registration to those deemed critical of the government will allow an increasingly oppressive government to further restrict civil society activities.”

The main problems with the draft law are:

- Registration remains compulsory despite repeated calls to follow international standards that registration be voluntary. Unregistered associations and NGOs are prohibited from operating. Mandatory registration undermines the right to freedom of association guaranteed by the Cambodian constitution, and Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Cambodia is a party.

- Excessive registration and reporting procedures, which risk penalizing and criminalizing small organizations, associations, and community level networks, remain largely in place. A newly added clause allows the government to remove applicants that fail to submit a bank statement within 30 working days of notification of registration from the registration list. Such a decision, for which there is no appeal, will disproportionately affect groups operating at community- and commune- level, which often lack the resources to comply with these bureaucratic hurdles. They will also be vulnerable to prosecution for carrying out legitimate activities without the proper legal status.

- Concerns about a lack of legal safeguards, meaningful judicial review mechanisms, or right to appeal have not been addressed, and concerns regarding the vagueness of definitions in the original draft have not been dealt with.  The only mention of an “appeal” in the original draft was a limited right of response by which applicants could correct “defect(s)” in their application if it was rejected. This has been completely removed in the second draft.

“The persistent pattern of repression that has been witnessed and documented in Cambodia over the last decade gives us reason to believe that this draft law is intended only to further tighten the government’s grip on independent civil society,” said Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President.

The Cambodian government has failed to provide an adequate answer as to why this new law is needed alongside other existing laws and regulations that govern civil society, the organizations said. In particular, our organizations believe that the enactment of the 2007 Civil Code serves as an adequate legal framework to regulate both for-profit and non-profit entities based on voluntary registration, making the introduction of this new law unnecessary.

“Cambodia’s international donors have spent billions of dollars of development aid funding programs to strengthen and build the capacity of Cambodia’s civil society. These initiatives risk being rendered ineffective by this proposed law,” said Simon Taylor, Director of Global Witness. “If the donors stand by while the government adopts this law, they cannot in good conscience claim to be working in the interests of Cambodia’s development objectives.”

“We strongly urge the Cambodian government to abandon this draft law and ensure that all laws, policies and regulations concerning oversight of civil society in Cambodia are written and implemented in a manner that respects human rights and is in conformity with international standards,” said Eric Sottas, OMCT Secretary General.

For more information, please contact:

From Amnesty International: Donna Guest (London), + 44 207 413 5654 (office), + 44 7961 421541 (mobile), dguest@amnesty.org

From FIDH: Karine Appy (Paris), + 33-14-355-1412, + 33-14-355-9019, kappy@fidh.org; and Shiwei Ye (Bangkok): +66 2 275 4233, sye@fidh.org

From Forum Asia: Yap Swee-Seng (Bangkok), +66 81 8689178, yap@forum-asia.org

From Front Line Defenders: Jim Loughran (Dublin), +353 1 212 3750, jimloughran@frontlinedefenders.org

From Global Witness: George Boden (London), +44-207 492 5899, + 44-7808 767 134, gboden@globalwitness.org; and Oliver Courtney (London), +44-207 492 5848, + 44-7739 324 962, ocourtney@globalwitness.org

From Human Rights Watch: Brad Adams (London), +44-79-0872-8333, adamsb@hrw.org; Phil Robertson (Bangkok), +66-85-060-8406, robertp@hrw.org; and Sophie Richardson (Washington, DC), +1-917-721-7473, +1-202-612-4341, richars@hrw.org

From OMCT: Seynabou Benga (Geneva), + 41-22 809 49 39, sb@omct.org, Delphine Reculeau (Geneva), + 41-22 809 49 39, dr@omct.org

From SEAPA: Gayathry Venkiteswaran (Bangkok), +66-88-017-4810, gayathry@seapa.org
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INGO concerns regarding Draft Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations

Dear Excellencies

Re: INGO concerns regarding Draft Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations

Recognizing the importance that the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has placed on strengthening institutions of governance and implementing reforms aimed at ensuring sustainable development and long-term poverty reduction, and the commitment to strong cooperation among all ministries and agencies, development partners, the private sector, civil society organizations, and other relevant stakeholders embodied in key policy documents such as the “National Strategic Development Plan” and the “Rectangular Strategy,” the international NGO (INGO) community has been a dedicated partner in Cambodia’s development efforts for decades. As the 2009 National Strategic Development Plan Update notes, “Civil society is an important partner and many NGOs, both national and international, play an active and vigilant role in social and economic development efforts as well as in promotion of democracy and human rights.”

It is in the spirit of this shared interest in Cambodia’s long-term development that we, the undersigned INGOs, are honored to submit the comments below to express concern with the likely impact of Cambodia’s draft Law on Associations and NGOs, and to offer our support to a new drafting process that promotes civil society. Our concern for Cambodia’s domestic associations and NGOs is based not only on their obvious importance to the development of Cambodian society, but our relationship with them as partners in the provision of humanitarian assistance and delivery of vital services. They are essential actors in the development of civil society, in building partnerships with local and national government, and in the delivery of aid. If these organizations are weakened, our programs – and the people of Cambodia – will suffer with them.

As it stands, the draft law inherently undermines its primary purpose, “to promote the practice of rights and freedoms of Khmer citizens in forming associations and domestic non-governmental organizations in order to jointly and lawfully protect personal and public interest.” (Article 2). Restrictive, ambiguous, and allowing for unfettered discretion; the draft does more harm than good to associations, NGOs and the Cambodian public. In addition, the draft conflicts with international human rights standards that Cambodia has accepted as its own law.

Article 6 states that associations, domestic NGOs and alliances that are not registered are illegal and not allowed to engage in any activity. In addition, though only NGOs that act in the “public interest” (Article 4) would be recognized under this law, nowhere is “public interest” defined. These provisions and the ambiguities they contain make it unclear whether government officials will recognize advocacy activities, which may sometimes involve the expression of positions divergent from government policy, as in the public interest. Currently, NGOs stand as advocates for the protection of land rights, other human rights, natural resource management and environmental preservation, and on other issues important to the wellbeing of the people of Cambodia. Cambodia is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Article 22 of which guarantees the freedom of association, and limits the conditions that parties may place on their citizens’ exercise of this right – including registration requirements. The International Center for Not-for- Profit Law (ICNL) conducted a review of the draft NGO law when it was released in December 2010 ICNL’s analysis was informed by a decision of the ICCPR Human Rights Commission affirming that “states employing a registration system must ensure that it is truly accessible, with clear, speedy, apolitical, and inexpensive procedures in place. The registration body should be guided by objective standards and restricted from arbitrary decision-making.” Applying this standard, ICNL concluded that the draft NGO law’s “lack of a clear and limited list of grounds for denial of registration” weakens the transparency of the process.
 
The December draft law that ICNL reviewed required that the government advise registration applicants of any defect in their submission and provide them an opportunity to correct it. It also provided for an appeal from an adverse decision. Those mechanisms, which provided some protection from arbitrary decisions, have now been removed. Under the current draft, the government’s response to registration applications is only to “agree or disagree to register.”(Article 17)

The ICNL also noted that the “draft law’s mandatory registration requirements constitute restrictions on the freedom of association under Article 22 of the ICCPR.” To the undersigned INGOs, the framework for registration appears to conflict not only with an international legal standard that Cambodia has accepted as its own, but with the objective of promoting “the practice of rights and freedoms of Khmer citizens in forming associations and domestic non-governmental organizations”, the stated primary aim of the draft law.

Other provisions present concerns. Article 54 permits the government to punish associations and NGOs for serious violations of their own charter or memorandum. The provision does not explain the criteria for determining which violations are “serious”, who determines this, who determines the punishment, or  whether the subject organization has an opportunity to appeal or even be heard.
International and domestic NGOs engaged with the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), whom we continue to respect as valued partners, in an effort to improve the draft law. Our objective was the promotion of civil society, and we suggested such elements as voluntary registration, which could have supported the positive objectives of Article 2. These proposals were not accepted. Moreover, while some of the adopted changes would make the law less burdensome in its administration; these are superficial in comparison to the deeper flaws in the draft, which in some instances have worsened.

Our engagement has failed. Regardless of the good intentions expressed in Article 2, the draft contains numerous provisions that could constrain and control associations and NGOs, rather than promote and protect them. Moreover, the current draft leaves many crucial issues and procedures undefined, creating ambiguity that allows for administrative confusion and corruption, and substantial adverse impact on the programs that we undertake in partnership with domestic associations and NGOs on behalf of donors and development partners and the Royal Government of Cambodia. Damage to these associations and NGOs will hurt donor aid programs, and more fundamentally, the development of Cambodian democracy.

Both Japan and the United States have publicly expressed concerns about the draft’s possible impact on the legitimate activities of civil society organizations. We anticipate that other donors and development partners may join them in speaking publicly to these issues.

We invite our colleagues in the MoI and MoFAIC, and other officials who may now be considering the merit of this draft, to stop its movement toward adoption until it is substantially re-written to address the concerns identified above. We offer our full support to a revision consistent with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and with Article 2’s intention to “to promote the practice of rights and freedoms of Khmer citizens in forming associations and domestic non-governmental organizations”; a law that provides for voluntary registration and which supports the full and essential role of Civil Society in Cambodia’s development.

Please accept the renewed assurances of our highest consideration.

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Comments on the Second Draft Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations of the Kingdom of Cambodia

As you may know ready, the second draft law of NGO was released by the government. The draft has still problem in which restrict the freedom of association, stated in International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights  (ICCPR). Cambodia is a member of ICCPR as well. 

In the link file you will see the second comment of International Center for Not for Profit Law (ICNL). Please click here.



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Monday, April 4, 2011

NGO law Strategic Workshop


A second draft of the NGO/Associations was shared by the RGC on 24th March and NGO representatives had a meeting with MOI and MOFA on 29th March to renew key asks: voluntary registration, right of appeal, clarify on terms and definitions within the draft. Although intensely discussed, there is no clear ground to believe that these requests will be met.

The Government looks set to move this draft (as it is) to the Council of Ministers (COM)for further processing.  It is therefore important that NGO/CSO to meet and consult so that a shared position is reached for further advocacy work and collective action points while the law is moving from the COM to the National Assembly for promulgation. 


Objectives:

The main objectives of this meeting are:
1.     Provide latest update to NGO community at national and sub national level
2.     Inform and seek support for latest positioning
3.     Discuss future advocacy strategies

Expected outputs:

·         National and sub national NGO community updated on latest development of NGO law 
·         Positioning of National and sub national NGO community is defined
·         Future strategies and action plans defined     

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