12 international, regional, and Cambodian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), urge the Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the United Nations Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution addressing Cambodia's gravely deteriorating human rights situation.
Summary of restrictions on human rights and fundamental freedoms
The Cambodian Government has taken steps to further restrict the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, limit the political opposition's ability to meaningfully engage in policy-making and campaigning, and prevent civil society organizations from operating freely and independently. There is oppresive legislation that unduly restricts human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the Law on Association and NGOs (LANGO), which the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has described as falling “significantly short of international human rights laws and norms” and as “threatening the existence of a free and independent civil society in Cambodia,” with increasing concerns that the government is prepared to use it to arbitrarily de-register civil society organizations it labels as violating the concept of “political neutrality.” In addition, a Trade Union Law, which imposes new restrictions on the right to freedom of association has also come into force, marking a further downward slide for labor rights in the country. To make matters worse, security forces continue to suppress peaceful protests, and in recent months, instances of judicial harassment and unwarranted legal attacks against human rights defenders, community activists, trade unionists and political opposition members and their supporters have multiplied, with no end in sight.
For a full overview of the situation and recommendations for a resolution, read the joint letter from 12 civil society organisations.