News from Cambodia

News From Cambodia


Indigenous cuisine was nowhere to be found in a city where diners can easily find food from around the world. An inconspicuous restaurant in Tuol Tompoung, which is now the only indigenous restaurant in Phnom Penh – and even throughout the Kingdom, is a place where a repressed culture is revived.


Human dignity must be restored. People need to be empowered to stand for their rights. Human rights belong to everyone. These are some of the powerful messages heard at Meta House on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day 2016.

Clinton versus Trump: The Perceptions of Ordinary Cambodians on the US Presidential Elections

The daily life in Phnom Penh seems to be far away from the politics of the United States – yet the presidential elections are coming closer and information on the campaign drama is available in Cambodia, too. 

Participants of the Myanmar-Workshop in 2015

The taz-Panter-foundation and the Federal Foreign Office invites a group of 10 journalists from Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia to participate in a one-week-workshop in Berlin from September 3rd to September 11th 2016.

Cambodia: Government is intimidating civil society

Unofficial translation! Official German version follows.

Press release 25th June 2015

With regard to the draft Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO), Mr. Uwe Kekeritz, Member of the German Parliament and Spokesperson for Development Cooperation expressed his concerns as follows:

The draft LANGO presented by the government fails to meet the minimum international human rights standards. According to the content of the draft, the government aims to silence local and international civil society organizations that have been actively supporting Cambodian people in their struggle against land grabbing and human rights violations.

Withdraw Draft Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations

We, the undersigned international NGOs and membership organizations, call on the National Assembly of Cambodia to immediately withdraw the draft Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO).

EU Support to Sub-National Democratic Development (SNDD) 
Sub-component 2.1 - EU support to civil society 

Reference: EuropeAid/136666/DD/ACT/KH

The Delegation of the European Union to the Kingdom of Cambodia is seeking proposals for grants in Cambodia with financial assistance from the EU Support to Sub-National Democratic Development (SNDD).

Civil Society Organisations/Local Authorities (CSOs/LAs) in
Development and European Instrument for Democracy and
Human Rights-Country Based Support Scheme (EIDHR- CBSS)

Reference: EuropeAid/136724/DD/ACT/KH

Delegation of the European Union to the Kingdom of Cambodia is seeking proposals for human rights and good governance in Cambodia with a possible financial assistance of 7.8 Million Euro from the Civil Society Organisations-Local Authorities in Development and European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights programmes.

Dear Donors and NGOs Partners 
On behalf of organizing committee, I would like to invite you all to attend the Public forum on the concern of farmers, youth, and workers of the Three draft law such Agricultural land law, Cybercrime law, and Trade Union Law that will be hell at Freedom Park on 21 December, 2014 at 8:00am-5:00pm. Please kindly find the files attached of tentative agenda. 
This event co-organized by Solidarity House such CCFC, CYN, CFSWF, IDEA, CICA, and UCL. The objective of the forum aim to 1). To share the analyses result and common concern related to the draft laws to youth, 2). To enable understanding of youth, worker, community and farmers to draft Cybercrime law, Agricultural law, and trade union law, 3). Urge the government to  have wide consultation with civil society, youth and grassroots people. 

 There are 1000 participants will attend in the forum who monks, youth, farmers, worker, tuk tuk driver, social media activist, and other stakeholders.

Your participation is truly necessary and valuable for us. Please Joint the Solidarity Action Together! 

I am a Land Rights activist involved working in a local organization called Housing Rights Task Force for the last 3 years. My NGO had been following the Boeung Kak Land Rights activists since they lost their homes when the Government granted their land to the senator Lao Meng Khin for a private development project. Their land case is not an isolated one: more than 750.000 Cambodians have been affected by forced evictions since 2001.

December 7, 2014
The Clean Sugar Campaign welcomes the commencement of a joint EU-Cambodia process to assess displacement claims pertaining to sugarcane plantations in Cambodia. This development represents a pivotal step towards justice for thousands of Cambodian people who have suffered enormously at the hands of the sugar industry.

New York, 8 December 2014. The International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net) sent a letter on 5 December 2014, to the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia to express serious concern over the recent detention, conviction and sentencing of seven female land rights activists who attempted to defend the human rights of families living around Boeung Kak Lake, formerly one of the largest in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia.

Event was co-sponsored by hbs and it took place at Wat Botum Park, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, On Saturday, December 6th, 2014


Solidarity action of CSO forum during Beijing +20 review, in order to appeal for release 10 Cambodian women that were convicted by Cambodia court of obstructing against public traffic and aggravating circumstances.

Cambodia's aggressive anti-trafficking campaign is designed to rescue and rehabilitate sex workers. But many women say authorities in Cambodia are actually forcing them into a trade where conditions and pay are even worse: making clothing for Western brands.

The Rivers Coalition Cambodia (RCC), together with international conservation groups Conservation International (CI), Oxfam, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and other 15 local NGOs and International NGOs (INGOs) hereby raise our strong concerns over the Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA) process for the Don Sahong Hydropower Project (DSHPP).

Tep Vanny blocked by riot police during protest. Vanny is one of 7 sentenced (VOA)

On 11 November 2014, seven women land rights defenders Ms Tep Vanny, Ms Nget Khun, Ms Song Sreyleap, Ms Kong Chantha, Ms Pan Chunreth, MsBop Chorvy and Ms Nong Srengand were sentenced by Phnom Penh First Instance Court to one-year imprisonment and a fine on charges of obstructing public traffic after protesting in front of Phnom Penh’s City Hall.

Migrant farm workers in South Korea face widespread exploitation

The South Korean government must end the exploitation and widespread use of forced labour of migrant agricultural workers, Amnesty International said, as it published a new report that reveals how the country’s farming industry is rife with abuse. 

We, the undersigned civil society groups, condemn the actions of the Oddar Meanchey authorities who have, since September 2014, been engaged in the obstruction, harassment, intimidation, and assault of rights workers (see Annex 1: Timeline of Events). 

The present report is submitted by the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples to the Human Rights Council pursuant to its resolutions 15/14 and 24/9. It is the first report submitted by Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, who assumed her mandate on 2 June 2014. In the report, the Special Rapporteur presents some preliminary reflections on the status of operationalization of international standards relating to indigenous peoples and her vision for her work as Special Rapporteur in that context. There are a number of addenda to the present report, all reports by the previous Special Rapporteur.

Phnom Penh, August 14, 2014
The civil society organization are calling for the release of 5 Lor Peang villagers who were arrested and detained by Kampong Chhnang provincial authority, due to the land dispute between KDC Company of Ms. Chea Kheng who is a wife of H.E. Suy Sem, the Minister for Industry, Mines and Energy. We also call the resolution on the land dispute for them as soon as possible.

People gather in front of polling station 1204. They are protesting against alleged voter fraud.

Our Cambodia office director Manfred Hornung has registered with Cambodia's National Election Committee (NEC) as an independent observer for the parliamentary elections. In his articles he reports about worried citizens and protests on the election day.


In the recent elections Premier Hun Sen of Cambodia has learned that a large part of the Cambodians want a new political leadership. But even though his party has lost many votes, a change in the repressive political system is currently very unlikely.


Cambodia’s elections did not produce a clear winner – this alone is notable news for a country that has been governed by the same person for almost 29 years. However Prime Minister Hun Sen continues to sit tight at the reigns. What does this mean for the German development cooperation with Cambodia?

The “Everything but Arms” trade initiative should bring benefit to the poeple of Cambodia, but the opposite is the case. Illegal methods were established to make profits out of the duty-free export of sugar. Even though there is a EU resolution emphasizing the critical escalation of human rights abuses and land grabbing due to the export of agricultural products, the resulting efforts of the EU are poor.

This documentary takes a look at the recent campaign to free the 15 imprisoned Boeung Kak lake activists. The fifteen were arrested in late May 2012 during and after a peaceful protest highlighting a long-standing land dispute with Shukaku Inc. company, owned by a Cambodian ruling party senator. 

Nobody expects free and fair elections in Cambodia. Dr. C. Kek Pung from the NGO LICADHO explains the irregularities of the electoral process and risks people take when observing the elections.
In this interview Dr. C. Kek Pung, founder and president of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights talks about the main problems in Cambodia: land grabbing, poverty, trafficking and corruption. Even the EU has not taken any action to prevent injustices of the system and is still importing Cambodian "blood sugar".
Thilo Hoppe, member of the German Bundestag for the Green party and vice chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Economic Cooperation and Development, comments on the expectations of the elections, on Hun Sen and the intended government negotiations between Germany and Cambodia this fall.

Given the candidacy of so many sons of leading CPP politicians – having a son and a son-in-law of Hun Sen in parliament is among their aspirations – the ruling party can therefore fully concentrate on establishing a new Cambodian dynasty. It has little to do with a liberal democracy.

The EU Parliament requested the EU Commission in its resolution to monitor the implementation of the United Nations recommendations on the reform of the electoral system by the Cambodian government exactly. The elections are still used to strengthen the rule of the Prime Minister and the party to secure their privileges.
NEW ECONOMY OF NATUREPhoto: Ines Meier. Creative Commons License LogoThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.
DOSSIER: SQUEEZED – SPACE FOR CIVIL SOCIETYPhoto: Niklas Hughes. Creative Commons License LogoThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.
Delhi Monsoon. Photo: Axel Harneit-Sievers. Creative Commons License LogoThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.
Perspectives Asia: Politics of FoodPhoto: Ampol Chansirisri. All rights reserved.

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News from Cambodia

Khmer NewspapersPhoto: Michael Coughlan. Creative Commons License LogoThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.

Welcome to the hbs Cambodia Website

The Heinrich Böll Foundation – Cambodia Country Office
The Heinrich Böll Foundation (also known as Heinrich Böll Stiftung) is part of the Green political movement that has developed worldwide as a response to the traditional politics of socialism, liberalism, and conservatism. Our namesake, the writer and Nobel Prize laureate Heinrich Böll, personified the values we stand for: freedom, civic courage, tolerance, open debate and the appreciation of art and culture as independent spheres of thought and action.

The headquarter of the Heinrich Böll Foundation is located in Berlin, Germany. Our international program is implemented through 32 offices worldwide, seven of them in Asia. 

Working closely with civil society groups since 1993, the Heinrich Böll Foundation was the first German political foundation to establish cooperation with partners in Cambodia. Building on past achievements, our current program focuses on two key areas for sustainable development of Cambodia: Resource Governance and Gender Democracy.

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