To President of National Assembly in Cambodia, Reject Proposed Law on Associations and Non-governmental Organizations and Trade Union Law

7 July 2015 – We, the undersigned organizations and individuals urge your Excellency to not pass the proposed Trade Union Law and the Law on Associations and Non-governmental Organizations (LANGO). This process must be immediately halted until and unless genuine and inclusive consultation with civil society and trade unions can be guaranteed by the government of Cambodia.

Based on the various consultations we have had with our civil society partners in Cambodia and upon analyzing the content of those proposed laws, we find that they pose a direct threat towards the fundamental freedoms that are enshrined in various international laws and treaties including those signed and ratified by Cambodia. And hence, in solidarity with the people’s of Cambodia, we urge the National Assembly of Cambodia to not pass both laws unless there is due process and genuine consultation with the peoples of Cambodia especially with civil society and trade unions.

We find many aspects in LANGO which put unjustifiable legal restrictions on freedom of association and this will surely hinder the work of many informal associations especially people’s movements from executing their human rights and social justice advocacy. Associations and NGOs must not be stifled with such laws which will directly affect their freedom of peaceful assembly, association, expression and opinion. From the content of the proposed law, it clearly a law that seems to be for the sole intention of restricting the human rights agenda of civil society in Cambodia.

With regards to the proposed Trade Union Law, we find many aspects of the law which further suppressed trade union rights and goes against norms as set by the ILO. Cambodia which already has a bad track record on labor rights, must not digress by passing such a law.This proposed law will surely make it harder for unionizing process and also hinder the struggle for fair and just wages and also better working conditions for Cambodian workers.

Therefore, we, the undersigned organizations reaffirm our strong opposing to this draft Trade Union Law and proposed Law on Associations and Non-governmental Organizations.

We the undersigned,

1. Altsean-Burma

2. Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA)

3. Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC)

4. Australia Asia Worker Links (AAWL)

5. Awami workers party Pakistan

6. Center for Independent Journalism(CIJ),Malaysia

7. Committee for Asia Women (CAW)

8. Electronic industry employees union southern region,Malaysia

9. Gender and Development for Cambodia (GADC)

10. Globalisation Monitor (GM),Hong Kong

11. International Campaign for Responsible Technology,USA

12. Jaringan rakyat tertindas ( JERIT),Malaysia

13. Jobs with Justice ,USA (JWJ)

14. KNIGHTS for PEACE, International

15. Konfederasi Pergerakan Rakyat Indonesia (Confederation of Indonesian People’s Movement)

16. National Free Trade Union, Sri Lanka

17. North South Institute (NSI),Malaysia

18. Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)/Socialist Party of Malaysia)

19. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS),Malaysia

20. Progress Union,Sri Lanka

21. Sedane Labour Resource Centre(LIPS),Indonesia

22. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM),Malaysia

23. Yayasan LINTAS NUSA Batam, Indonesia

24. School of Acting Justly, Loving Tenderly, Treading Humbly (SALT)

25. William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Defender and Freelance Journalist, UK

26. Saadia Haq, Human rights activist and social justice blogger, Pakistan.

CC to:

1. H.E. HUN Sen, Prime Minister Royal Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

2. H.E. ITH Sam Heng Minister of Labour and Vocational Training.

3. H.E. HENG Sour Chief of Cabinet and Director General of Labour and Vocational Training.

4. H.E. HOR Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International

Cooperation of Cambodia

5. H.E. Dr. AUN Porn Moniroth Minister of Economy and Finance.

6. H.E. SUN Chanthol Minister of Commerce.