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Kirby's view

T he UN's human rights envoy to Cambodia, Justice Michael Kirby said this on conscription abuses in an interview with Anugraha Palan.

"I have had a number of complaints about forced conscription and about alleged corrupt procedures. I gather that the basic problem is the absence of a clear conscription law. A country at war may have a legitimate basis to have conscription. Many countries, including my country, Australia, have been at war, and it is not unusual to have a fair, open and legally regulated system.

Part of the problem seems to be the imposition of obligations on village chiefs to supply a certain number of conscripts and that procedure is not appropriate and can be subject to abuse. So I will be making the point with the government in the coming days that there should be a clear conscription law and clear procedures which are independent."

 

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