Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Female curfew a page out of Taliban’s book

Female curfew a page out of Taliban’s book

Female curfew a page out of Taliban’s book

Dear Editor,

Reading The Phnom Penh Post today, I just found an article on the proposed imposition of a female curfew, restricting the movement of Cambodian girls after 9pm, with the Phnom Penh Municipality aiming to promote good morals in Cambodian society.

Being a Cambodian citizen, I felt very sad to see such a thing happening in this century. I would like this message to reach out to the public and the people who have proposed such an incredible rule to restrict the movement of Cambodian girls, and to let them know that this rule cannot be applied for people who live in the 21st century. There are many ways of promoting good morals: through education; economic, social and cultural development; and through the media.

I completely understand the intention of the municipality in proposing such a law: to prevent the vulnerability of children to rape, sexual harassment and trafficking. However, Cambodia has its own criminal law to control the increase in crime rates in relation to rape, sexual abuse and human trafficking, and it is the obligation of the state to protect its own population.

If law enforcement was functioning properly, these kind of things would never happen, and the municipality would not actually need to adopt any new rule depriving the rights of movement of girls, which is totally against the spirit of the Constitution of Cambodia. Articles 31 and 32 of the document clearly state that every Khmer citizen has the right to life, personal freedom and security.

Instead of creating this new rule, the municipality should come up with measures to control criminals and to strengthen the existing laws as a way of ensuring the protection of the rights of Cambodian citizens. They should have an alternative programme for incorporating moral instruction into the education system, so that every citizen can decide what they want. I used to see this rule in Afghanistan when the Taliban took over the country, and I can’t believe this is happening in my own country.

There are many instances in other parts of the world where you can see that morality assumes a less important role, when people are fighting or struggling to get food on their plate. They can’t think about good morals if they are faced with the need to survive. In this sense, the government has to empower people through the education system and to provide an adequate social security system rather than enforcing a new rule against the fundamental rights of Cambodian citizens.

In short, I wanted to say that “good morals” can only take place when people are educated and have enough to eat.

Yothea Nou
Bangkok

Send letters to: [email protected] or PO Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length.
The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all