Monthly Archives: October 2011

ACID LAW – Draft Going to Parliament

Let the Victims Speak – Let there be Justice – Prosecution is a Strong Deterrent . Not Adoption of a Strong Law

Tat Marina – one of the more than 200 cases of acid attack victims

Finding Face, an award-winning documentary tells her and her familys attempts to seek justice. A collaborative graphic novel about her experience is also available.

Khoun Sophal, the perpetrator who doused acid on Tat Marina while her nephew and body guards held the victim down is still free – with full protection of those in power. Her husband, Svay Setha remains a member of cabinet.

Theory and Practice of Pluralism in Asia – A Liberal View

Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats

Conference on 4-7 November 2011 in Bali, Indonesia

The conference will bring together government officials, parliamentarians, party leaders, academics and civil society activists to discuss the relationship between pluralism and development in Asia

The event aims to: 1) tackle the issues and problems related to the

theory and practice of pluralism in Asia, and consequently, to facilitate a broader understanding and greater appreciation of pluralism among the participants; 2) to identify and discuss the links between pluralism and development, and the extent to which pluralism can serve as a tool for both political and human development; 3) to analyze the cases of Asian countries where Islamic pluralism serves as a means to achieve and sustain democracy and development; and 4) to provide the means of cooperation, exchange of ideas, interchange of information and network-building among and between

liberal parties and organizations with pluralist and developmental orientation and vision.

Panel 6:

MP, Mu Sochua -Chair of CALD Women’s Caucus will present a paper on

Pluralism and Human Development: Pluralist Underpinnings of Economic Growth, Social Cohesion, and Environmental Sustainability .

ACID LAW – Coming to Parliament

Draft of ACID LAW will be debated on 3November, in parliament. Tat Marina, one of the
high profile victim has provided 8 points to improve the draft.
It is a good draft but like other legislation, political will is needed to end the current
culture of impunity in Cambodia. Stay tuned.
Main points recommended by Tat Marina: perpetrator(S) mu st serve the center
of acid victims after sentence is served; cases occurred prior to the
adoption of the law should be covered. param=value&storyId=KHM-


Cambodia – Domestic Violence Handbook for Village Facilitators

Domestic violence remains a private affair despite the nation-wide awareness campaign and the adoption of the Domestic Violence Law in 2006.

Provisions exist in the law for immediate intervention of local authorities to enter the home where violence is taking place and the court order against perpetrator.

Women are often reluctant to file a complaint for fear of retaliation and because of shame.

< /div>The legal process that is tedious and tainted with corruption is also the factor that leaves domestic violence inside the home.



Direct Link to Full 144-Page Document:

This handbook contains guidelines for village facilitators on how to undertake community conversations on 10 different aspects of domestic violence in Cambodia.

“Domestic violence against women remains widespread in Cambodia….The subject of domestic violence is not openly discussed in public, and abuses are rarely reported in Cambodia. The reasons behind this are complicated and often intermingled. Lack of education and awareness of legal rights are a major cause….More than 25% of women who have been subjected to sexual and physical domestic violence, do not think they have been abused….Fear of retaliation and financial costs – which most Cambodian women can’t afford – to bring a case to court or even obtain a medical certificate from a doctor to prove the abuse, also discourages many Cambodian women from taking legal action….Above all, cultural elements as well as widely accepted norms of conduct for women seem to be the biggest and the most disturbing factors in the persistence of domestic violence….”

H&M Using Public Relations to Resolve Mass Fainting

H&M should send real experts to clear its name from mass fainting in garment


Forced overtime is against the Labor Law of Cambodia;

monthly minimum wage of US$61 not sufficient for workers to support their
families and
pay for healthy meals. Ministry of Labor continues to fail to
inspect factories for working conditions and protect the rights of workers.
< /h6>

Another timeout for Anful | National news | The Phnom Penh Post –

Cambodia’s Newspaper of Record

About 170 garment workers fainted at a factory in Kampong Speu yesterday. . . Photo by:

Photo Suppli ed Garment workers employed by the Anful

factory recover yesterday after a mass fainting episode.


Police and High Ranking Officials Associated with Human Trafficking in Cambodia – Not a New Story

The Challenge to the Order of the Prime Minister:

The connections of high ranking officials to the
recruitment business is well known. The concept of conflict
of interest
can not be implemented if the prime minister continues to
sign off land to senators and companies from his party.
Wives and some
of these high ranking officials are very active
Closing of these agencies involved in crimes is not enough.
Prosecution of owners and not of low-level staff is the
right thing to do.

Maid firm roots run deep | National news | The Phnom Penh Post –

Cambodia’s Newspaper of Record

As fresh revelations of questionable associations between labour recruitment


and the industrys key regulatory bodies emerged yesterday… As fresh revelations

of questionable associations bet


The draft of ACID LAW will be in parliament for debate next week.

Many of the perpetrators of this most inhumane crime have yet to be prosecuted while their victims are maimed for life.

Among the most famous cases is the case of Tat Marina, a teen-age singer who was forced to have a relationship with a high ranking member of the government. Over a decade has gone by but the wife of the high ranking official who ordered and was at the scene of the crime is still free although the court has convicted her.

Human rights defenders, victims of land conflicts and critics of the government are pursued by the Courts for defamation, threat and insult- offenses covered in the Penal Code.

The Paris Peace Accords is weakened partly because the 18 signatories have been soft and have neglected their responsibility.

The spirit of the Paris Accords is to secure a way for Cambodia to set a strong foundation for democracy, pluralism and peace.

With the lack of protection of human rights tied to assistance, peace stands a very small chance.

As Cambodians, we have taken up the challenge in building democracy. The courage of the people and the activists at the grassroots and the risks taken by the opposition merit recognition and support.

Accepting status quo is contrary to the spirit of the Paris Peace Accords.

Two critical elections are coming up. The internat ional community has very little clues as to how they will have a role in the electoral process. The government has postponed indefinitely the meetings of donors, yet there is no signal as to how donors will challenge this decision by the government.

Tax payers need to know how their money invested in Cambodia makes a difference to the 99% of the population.

New York, Oct 23 2011 10:05AM

Despite progress in the 20 years since the Paris peace agreements ended decades of fighting in Cambodia, much still needs to be done to fulfil the promise of the accords, including instituting an independent judiciary and a fully pluralist democracy, a United Nations expert warned on Sunday.

“Cambodia has undeniably progressed over the past 20 years, with peace and stability bringing enormous dividends in terms of wealth and development,” Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia Surya P. Subedi

“Institutions have been established and laws written. However the challenge remains in the implementation of many of these laws and proper functioning of these institutions,” he said, calling for the vision of the peace agreements to be turned into reality for all Cambodians.

“The independence of the judiciary needs to be anchored in fundamen tal laws on the judiciary, which have been awaiting adoption since 1993 and the pluralist democracy in the country needs to be deepened and strengthened, particularly as Cambodia enters two election years,” he stressed.

Last week Judge Siegfried Blunk, international co-investigating judge on the UN-backed tribunal set up to try those accused of the worst crimes under the Khmer Rouge regime, resigned, citing repeated statements by senior Government officials opposing progress on two cases concerning senior Khmer Rouge members suspected of responsibility in the deaths of thousands of people.

Yesterday UN Legal Counsel Patricia O’Brien met with Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Mini ster Sok An in Phnom
Penh, the South-east Asian country’s capital, and urged the Government to refrain from interfering in any way with the tribunal, officially known as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

“Impunity needs to be addressed for the crimes of the Khmer Rouge period as well as for crimes committed since then, and the right to freedom of association, expressly mentioned in the agreements, needs to be carefully protected and nurtured if Cambodia is to remain on the right road,” Mr. Subedi said in his message.

“As we mark the 20th anniversary of the agreements, all parties should reaffirm their commitment to the full implementation of the agreements so that their vision and legacy may become reality. ”

For more details go to UN News Centre at