Friday, November 29, 2013

Civil Society Sets Its Sights on Respect & Full partnership

Media Advisory                                                                                                                                                     Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013
For Immediate Release
Civil Society Sets Its Sights on Respect
& Full partnership  
Civil society organizations (CSOs) bring Cambodia hundreds of millions of dollars in goods and services each year but a new report says the government seems determined not to treat it as “an important strategic partner.”
The report – an assessment of the legal and political environment for CSOs – is based on research and interviews with two dozen representatives of national and international NGOs and other membership organizations, academics, union leaders and an un-named government representative.
It cites a range of obstacles to the effective operation of CSOs, from ministry employees who seek bribes to register an NGO, to police harassment of organizers and participants in legal meetings and demonstrations.
The most persistent criticism is the charge that government turns its back on the concerns and recommendations that civil society brings forward from the grass roots of Cambodian society.
As one of the people interviewed for the report says, “it is rare that a national government is as uncommitted to partnership with civil society organizations as is the case in Cambodia.”

“Cambodia Country Report: Assessment of the Enabling Environment for Civil Society”
National Consultation: Himawari Hotel, 313 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh
Time: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, Thursday 28 Nov 2013 – News Conference at 10 am

The report was prepared for CCC by UK-based Cord Cambodia in line with an initiative by CIVICUS and the  International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL). Intended as a springboard for a campaign in support of the rights of civil society, it examines seven dimensions of the “public space” in which CSOs organize, operate and seek resources. In each case it lists a series of key challenges and obstacles.
The areas of concern include: rules governing the formation of CSOs and their operation; access to resources, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly; government-CSO relations; and cooperation and coalitions among CSOs themselves.
Delegates at the consultation will be asked to review the report, target priorities and lay the groundwork for an advocacy campaign.
For any additional information, please contact:
Kim Thida Kallianey (Ms), Communications and PR Manager
M: +855 (0)12 492 798     T: +855 (0)23 214 152

“This press release is prepared by CCC through the Civic Space Initiative, implemented in partnership with the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, ARTICLE 19, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, and the World Movement for Democracy.”

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