The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) will unveil the first draft of its long-awaited whistleblower protection law next month, according to minutes of a May 30 meeting between the ACU and the National Council Against Corruption published on the unit’s website, but observers are not holding their breath.
Drafting of the law was initiated in 2014 following calls from civil society for greater protections to be afforded to whistleblowers.
Transparency International Cambodia executive director Preap Kol yesterday said he was not optimistic about the impact the law would have if passed, saying a good law requires good enforcement.
“I can’t be optimistic because being optimistic in Cambodia can be disappointing,” he said.
While the ACU’s announcement said civil society’s input on the law will be requested next month, there was little confidence yesterday that that input would be taken on board.
San Chey, of accountability group ANSA, described a large part of the consultation process that had already taken place as superficial.
“Mostly it’s consultation for consultation’s sake,” he said.
In February, Transparency International Cambodia published the results of a survey of 1,200 15- to 30-year-olds, 33 per cent of whom said they would not report corruption, with 30 per cent citing fears of retribution. “In some cases, people who filed corruption complaints had great injustices happen to them,” Chey said.
ACU representatives were unreachable for comment.