Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Still falling short of Paris pact, say NGOs

Still falling short of Paris pact, say NGOs

OHCHR Cambodia representative Wan-Hea Lee speaks yesterday in Phnom Penh during a public forum on the Paris Peace Accords. Supplied
OHCHR Cambodia representative Wan-Hea Lee speaks yesterday in Phnom Penh during a public forum on the Paris Peace Accords. Supplied

Still falling short of Paris pact, say NGOs

In the run-up to this weekend’s 25th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords, 50 NGOs yesterday said the government has yet to fully comply with tenets of the historic pact, as evidenced by continuing human rights violations, a biased judiciary and questions over free and fair elections.

The agreement, which was endorsed by 19 signatories on October 23, 1991, aimed to usher in peace after years of internal conflict. Central to the deal was the setting up of a constitutional democracy and adherence to human rights standards.

Speaking at yesterday’s forum, head of rights group CCHR Chak Sopheap said the jailing of four Adhoc workers and one election official, as well as the recent killing of political activist Kem Ley, pointed only to regression.

“We have seen the court being used for harassing human rights activists or those who criticise politicians,” she said. “So the human rights situation is only moving backwards.”

Wan-Hea Lee, of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the lack of war or armed conflicts in the country were not the only measure for the success of the PPA.

“Is Cambodia today at peace? If human rights issues are potential causes of conflict, the way to mitigate them should be clear,” she said. The government’s prosecution of citizens who posted on social media and unlawful curbs on peaceful protests only add to the failures in implementing the accords, she added.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said the accords were no longer pertinent now that Cambodia had its own parliament and constitution, which were being used to implement the rule of law.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen

    A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern” on Tuesday over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter

  • Hun Sen says Montagnards don’t exist in Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen once again attacked ex-opposition leader Sam Rainsy for pledging “autonomy” to Montagnards, claiming – seemingly incorrectly – the ethnic minority does not exist in Cambodia. “We respect all minorities such as Jarai, Steang, Phnong, but we have never had Montagnards,” the premier said