Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - LICADHO Reaches Out

LICADHO Reaches Out

LICADHO Reaches Out

One of the four Cambodian human rights organizations that has begun operations since

the signing of the Paris accords is making a special effort to assist the development

of other Khmer non-governmental associations in an effort to foster the pluralistic

development of Cambodian society.

The Cambodian League for Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (known as LICADHO),

which is headed by Kek Galabru, has branched out beyond its own organizational mandate

to support the establishment of a variety of diverse associations.

Since its inception, LICADHO has given advice and administrative guidance to individuals

who have set up a Cambodian Students Association, a Rural Khmer Development Association,

an Association for Workers in Hotels and Restaurants, a Students of Art Association,

a Women's Association, and one dedicated to intellectuals who want a vehicle for

the discussion of ideas.

All this was made possible by the presence of UNTAC who released a set of guidelines

on the Rights of Association allowing any group to establish an organization for

whatever purposes.

"We help them to be independent," said Kek. "It is very important

for democracy." She added, "If people have an association they can pool

their resources. I want my people to become more free and independent. It is a unique

opportunity for us," she said in reference to the UNTAC environment which has

allowed individuals to form organizations. "We've even had Buddhist monks come

to us-more than 100-who want to form an association dedicated to Buddhist issues.

The Chams want to form one too," Kek said.

Many Cambodians who have been denied the right to associate independently in the

past two decades are coming to LICADHO for assistance on how to set up non-governmental

organizations, how to raise funds and how to lobby for collective purposes."We

let them use our computers and we give them advice," said Kek.

LICADHO, in and of itself, has engendered a membership of over 70,000 in the last

12 months. Their office is a beehive of activity, with staff processing hundreds

of new member applications daily.

To date LICADHO has 17 branch offices throughout the country. Their primary purpose

is to serve as an institution that will defend individual rights and freedoms. In

the short run they plan to ensure that the upcoming elections are free and fair.

In this regard they are training members to serve as non-partisan poll watchers to

be posted throughout the country.

After elections one of their primary goals is to set up a non-profit think tank focused

on the institutionalization of equitable judicial procedures.

"I want our government to have an independent judiciary," said Kek. "Its

the best way to protect individual rights."

MOST VIEWED

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Crumbling prices, rent ruffle condo segment

    The prolonged decline in international arrivals to Cambodia intensified by renewed Covid-19 fears has driven down condominium sales prices and rental rates in Phnom Penh, a research report said. CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures

  • More than 10,000 workers suspended

    More than 10,000 workers at 18 factories in Svay Rieng province have been suspended because of Covid-19, said provincial deputy governor Ros Pharith. Home to 11 special economic zones, Pharith said Svay Rieng has not been spared as the pandemic takes a toll on the global economy. “There

  • Nod given for school exams

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport announced that State-run higher educational institutions can hold examinations to end the academic year, while private schools can organise grade 9 and grade 12 examinations at their premises for two days. However, private institutions have to take measures to prevent

  • Kingdom’s exports to US mushroom 25.94% in first five months to $2.4B

    Though Cambodia’s exports to other countries have been stalled amid the evolving Covid-19 environment, the Kingdom’s shipments to the US were worth 25.94 per cent more in the first five months of this year than they were in the year-ago period. Bilateral trade between

  • Oz lauds Kingdom’s passage of money laundering laws

    In a press release published by the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh on Monday, the country applauded Cambodia’s stance on transnational crimes as well as its promulgation of an anti-money laundering law and a law on combating proliferation financing. The praise came after King

  • Lotus face masks designed to cover globe

    A French designer in Cambodia has produced ecological face masks from lotus fibre to supply local and international markets with an eye on preserving ancestral techniques and supporting Cambodian women in rural communities. During a trip to Asia, Awen Delaval, an eco-friendly fashion designer, was