Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - EU resolution passed against sugar abuses

EU resolution passed against sugar abuses

EU resolution passed against sugar abuses

The European Parliament has passed a resolution calling on the bloc’s executive body to urgently act on an EU preferential trade scheme found to have carried high risks of human rights violations in Cambodia through land evictions for industrial sugar development.

In a January 16 resolution, EU parliamentarians called on the European Commission “to act, as a matter of urgency, on the findings of the recent human rights impact assessment of the functioning of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) initiative in Cambodia”.

It also asks the commission to consider obligating exporters seeking to take advantage of EBA privileges “to testify that they have not evicted people from their land and homes without adequate compensation”.

The resolution is the latest missive from the EU parliament on the long-standing issue, following a similar resolution in October 2012 that called on the commission to investigate human rights abuses by EU-exporting sugar companies and withdraw trade preferences if abuses were found. In May last year, top EU officials said the situation was under “close review” but did not agree to an investigation or to withdraw preferences until certain legal conditions were met.

In response, Equitable Cambodia and Inclusive Development International (IDI), two NGOs that have long lobbied the EU on the issue, produced their own human rights impact assessment of the scheme, which found that the EBA carried “risks of devastating human rights impacts”.

David Pred, managing associate at IDI, said yesterday that the resolution was a “clear call to action” by the only democratically elected EU body.

“We are hopeful that it will not be dismissed once again by the bureaucrats in Brussels,” he said.

EU Ambassador Jean-François Cautain said yesterday that the parliamentary resolution was “yet another strong signal that the topic is high in EU institutions”, adding that the EU had taken note of the human rights impact assessment and was considering possible responses.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement

  • Aeon, Micromax partner again for third mall

    AEON Mall (Cambodia) Co Ltd and a locally-owned Micromax Co Ltd have entered into a partnership agreement to develop fibre optic infrastructure for $200 million Aeon Mall 3, which is expected to be opened in 2023. The agreement was signed on June 20 between Masayuki Tsuboya, managing director of

  • Walmart plans to diversify stock of Cambodia goods

    Walmart Inc, the world’s biggest retailer, on June 22 reiterated recent plans to scale up and greatly diversify its purchases of Cambodian products, according to the labour ministry. This came during a virtual working meeting between Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng and