10 October 2014: Set against a background of endemic corruption, unsustainably low wages and impoverishing confiscations of land, Cambodia is considering a series of laws that will severely restrict human rights and the activities of civil society organisations working on these issues, according to a team of international experts visiting the country.
Five new laws - on agricultural land, associations and non-governmental organisations, cybercrime, telecommunications and trade unions - are being drafted by government ministries and are expected to be brought before the National Assembly in the coming term. An additional three laws that compromise the judiciary were just adopted.
"This is not a patchwork of legislation," says Professor Kwak Nohyun of Forum Asia, a network of human rights NGOs. "If implemented in their current form, these eight laws will restrict the space for dissenting voices and criminalise demands for justice."
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