(Translated from Khmer)
“Violence against women constitutes a violation of basic human rights and is an obstacle to the achievement of the objectives of equality, development and peace”, Fourth World
Conference on Women- Platform for Action
As elected representatives of the people, we recognize the vital participation and
contribution made by women in all sectors, in particular the garment industry, agriculture and micro-business.
As elected representatives of the people, we are gravely alarmed by and condemn the excessive use of force by the military police, local police and hired security guards to crack down on female factory workers who demand better working conditions and fair wages.1
As elected representatives of the people, we have intervened on behalf of women farmers and hundreds and thousands of families who are brutally forced out of their land and their homes.2 These evictions are often carried out violently by police, military police or private armed forces, despite prohibitions under the Land Law.3
These systematic acts of violence against women are widespread and committed by the state against its own people. Serious injuries including miscarriages have occurred without proper compensation, medical treatment, investigation or prosecution.4
As elected representatives of the people, we have the right and the duty to remind the Government of Cambodia of its obligations stipulated in the Constitution, the national laws and the UN instruments which Cambodia is signatory to.
Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Declaration on the UN Elimination of Violence against Women defines physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the State, wherever it occurs, as an act of violence against women.
We urgently appeal to all citizens, members of the civil society, trade unions and the international community to join us in calling on the Government of Cambodia to take the immediate following measures:
- Stop the excessive deployment of security forces, the use of electric batons and deadly weapons on demonstrators, most specifically where women and children have gathered;
- Stop the use of armed forces and hired security guards in forced evictions;
- Strictly implement the Penal code in cases of abuse and violation committed by the armed forces, military police, police and security guards against demonstrators and/or during evictions and land grabs;
- Drop all charges against women who have been wrongly accused in cases of land grabs, forced evictions and workers’ strikes;
- Release all women detained on false accusations related to land disputes.
Fair wages, safe working conditions, decent housing and land tenure are women’s rights. Women should not be exposed to violence, shame or mistreatment by the Government in their enjoyment of these rights.
Preventing violence against women is essential to provide women and their families the fundamental guarantees of a life free from fear and abuse.
Signed by Members of Parliament
Sam Rainsy Party
- Land and Housing Rights in Cambodia
Parallel Report 2009; Land and Housing Working Group, Cambodia
- Bitter sweet- A Briefing Paper on Indistrial Sugar Production, Trade and Human Rights in Cambodia- David Pred, September, 2010
- Losing Ground-Forced Evictions in Cambodia. The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee. (CHRAC) September 2009.
- Justice for the Poor? An Exploratory Study of Collective Grievances over Land and Local Governance in Cambodia. Center for Advanced Study-world Bank, Phnom Penh-October 2006
The brutality of armed police, hired security guards to crackdown on women, children and the elderly whose only crime is to defend their homes, must be strongly condemned. The 10,000 residents in this lake community are victims of the government policy that steal land from the poor to give as economic concessions to a senator from the ruling party, can not be tolerated.
Violations and brutality against women and children must be reported and I intend to assist the victims to file complaints. The aid community and the UN must no longer deal in silence with such violations and crimes against the most disadvantaged members of our society.
Please join me in sending letters to your Congress, Parliament and government. We must act together till there is protection and safety for our women, children and the elderly.