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Participants in a mock youth National Assembly hold a press conference yesterday regarding the National Assembly's draft alcohol control law.
Participants in a mock youth National Assembly hold a press conference yesterday regarding the National Assembly's draft alcohol control law. Pech Sotheary

Youths call for faster passage of alcohol law

A Cambodian youth group has urged the government to end its foot dragging over a law to impose an age limit on consuming and buying alcohol and other restrictions aimed at reducing drinking.

The failure of lawmakers to adopt the alcohol control bill, first drafted in 2008, was having a serious impact on the health of young people, and the law should be passed no later than March next year, according to the group, a mock youth National Assembly.

“Alcohol is causing many problems for young people,” assembly member Heng Kemhong said. “The risks include traffic accidents, domestic violence and more than 200 diseases.”

He added that the snail’s pace of the law’s progress may be a result of pressure from breweries.

“If the government and National Assembly don’t adopt the drafted bills, we will file a petition to the National Assembly,” Kemhong said.

Currently there are no age, advertising or other restrictions on the sale of alcohol.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said the bill had reached the council on one occasion, but had been sent back to the Ministry of Health because it contained too many errors.

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