Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ICNL issued its quartely newsletter related to NGOs Law in Cambodia

As discussed above, the Royal Government of Cambodia should respect and be consistent with the norms contained in international covenants and declarations upholding the freedom of association and individual rights to which Cambodia is a signatory and a member. Cambodia has existing laws which cover many NGOs activities; discussed in chapter 1 point 2, above. If the government genuinely intends to build a development partnership with the sector, any new legislation should be designed to strengthen and empower the sector, protect NGOs’ interests, and provide support to sustain the sector.
A few simple suggestions for improving the present regulatory regime:
  • The registration application should be directly filed with the Ministry of Interior, without going through the hierarchy of local authorities. Only a single registration should be required.
  • Dissolution: Unauthorized illegal actions on the part of NGO staff should be adjudicated by the courts as ultra vires, not undertaken by the organizations itself, and, barring a finding of impropriety, wrongdoing, or lack of proper supervision on the part of the organization, should not serve as grounds for dissolution.
  • The government could not limit the area or region for NGOs to work. Such restrictions constitute a breach of freedom of association provided in both the constitution and also the international treaties that Cambodia has ratified. It is expressly in the public interest for NGOs to freely carry out lawful activities within the territory of Cambodia.
Finally, any law affecting civil society drafted for Parliament’s consideration should be released for public scrutiny and consultation on its content.

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