Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry rejects request to repeal law on NGOs



Ministry rejects request to repeal law on NGOs

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Civil society organisations celebrated the International Human Rights Day last year. Hean Rangsey

Ministry rejects request to repeal law on NGOs

The Ministry of Interior has rejected a request by some 100 civil society organisations to repeal the Law on Associations and NGOs (Lango).

The ministry said the current Lango is in line with the Constitution and had gone through many rounds of consultation among relevant parties before it was approved by the National Assembly.

The rejection came after some 100 organisations released a joint statement demanding that the government amend some articles in the law.

They said the current Lango affects not only well-established NGOs but also associations and local communities operating throughout the country.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the ministry said: “The law had been consulted publicly and widely for 20 years before being passed in August 2015. The ministry has welcomed input from stakeholders and agreed to accept proposals for amendments to some articles of the law.

“The ministry hopes to continue discussions to find a consensus on amendments to some other articles in the near future,” it said.

The ministry said it is willing to promote collaboration with NGOs and associations and would continue to organise more meetings with them to obtain positive results.

Rights group Licadho’s monitoring manager Am Sam Ath defended the proposal, saying it reflected the reality and challenges encountered by NGOs and associations throughout the Kingdom.

“It’s not uncommon. Various reports or statements [by NGOs] have faced rejection by the government. We don’t know why, but the government has always said some reports or statements are pro-opposition and political.

“The reports reflected reality on the ground and the difficulties faced by civil society.

Ministry secretary of state Bun Hun, who oversees amendments to the law, declined to comment on Thursday.

The NGOs’ joint statement insisted the Lango in its current state was unnecessary and merely a tool to restrict freedom of expression and assembly, and establishment of organisations.

It said previous meetings between civil society representatives and the ministry had failed to produce positive results regarding proposed amendments to Lango.

It alleged the government lacks the will to amend the law.

“We believe civil society, local communities and associations should be able to carry out their work towards developing Cambodia without restriction, violation and interference imposed by the current Lango,” the statement said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian