Topic: Challenges to Freedom of Expression in Cambodia Presented by: Mr. SovannaPisakha Van. Sam ChanThoeurn Mr. SokLeangHort Mr. SamlengPhearun
Outline Background Problems formulation Objectives and advantage Scope II. Understanding of Freedom of Expression III. A. The main challenges to freedom of expression in Cambodia B. The fourbasic advantages of Freedom of Expressions in democracy C. Solution to tackle down the challenges IV. Conclusion and Recommendations V. References
General: Constitutional monarchy and Democratic country.
General political situation: from 1998- present
Freedom of expression : ranked 90th out of 167 in the Reporters Without Borders annual World Press Freedom Index, higher compared to countries in South-East Asia, particularly Thailand ranking 107th and the Philippines 139th
B. Problem Formulations What are the challenges to freedom of expression in Cambodia? Why does a country need to have freedom of expression? How can freedom of expression be freely and legally practiced and expressed?
Objectives: The study on this topic has the following objectives:
To explore the general situation of freedom of expression in Cambodia
To explore what really the barrier to freedom of expression are
To explain the advantages and the relationships between freedom of expression and democracy
To explore some of the mechanisms to solving and improving the condition of freedom of expression
Advantage: The study on this topic is mainly aimed to provide as a source of knowledge to everybody being interested in this topic.
D. Scope To make this study clear, effective and fully informative, we would like to focus our scope of study on the period of between 1997- 2010.
II. Understanding of Freedom of Expressions Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely concerning any issues– politic, social welfare, economy…etc. Freedom of expression is not only about verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas.( United Nations)
Con’t Freedom of expression has been recognized as human rights by many international law and covenant. UDHR: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) 1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference. 2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice. 3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary: (a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; (b) For the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health or morals.
The constitution of Cambodia Article 41: All Cambodian citizens shall have freedom of expression of their ideas, freedom of information, freedom of publication and freedom of assembly. Article 35: Khmer citizens of either sex shall have the rights to participate actively in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the nation.
III- Main Issues The main challenges to freedom of expression in Cambodia
B. The Four main basic advantages of Freedom of Expressions 1. First, it is a key rights for ensuring individual dignity. It gives people autonomy to express themselves as they see appropriate and exchange ideas with others so as to obtain a better understanding of themselves and the society around them.
Con’t 2. Essential to improving democracy. criticize the authority or the government for development expression of political opinion get to know more clearly about the government standing for election curtail or decrease corruption better accountability
Con’t 3. Basic rights to other rights: Without the space to exercise freedom of expression it becomes increasingly difficult to protect and promote other human rights and bring to light violations of those rights. 4. Social Development
Practice professionally based on the work ethic of journalists (truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability )
Provide all information from all angles to all Cambodian citizens
Provide only true information and avoid provocation
Journalist rights to the sources of information
Con’t 2. Government
Define defamation law and make it clear the differences between the rights to expressions and defamation
Maintain funding and technical support to local NGOs and others working towards the realization of human rights in Cambodia
Take actions to implement the 91 recommendations it accepted as part of the UPR process.
Provide a friendly environment for freedom of expression
Avoid media monopoly
Ensure that the cases of murder or life threatening are always found and punish the criminals
Con’t 3. NGOs Community Trainings and Hearings:Community Training is provided by the CCHR to increase human rights understanding amongst marginalized rural and urban communities involved in land conflicts and to transfer the skills required to claim those rights. The Project seeks to empower individuals and communities so they can negotiate the resolution of land conflicts, and to prevent or minimize associated rights violations.
Human Rights Defenders:The Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) Project seeks to protect people at risk and to promote the right to defend human rights. HRDs are those individuals who, in a professional or personal capacity, stand up to promote or protect the rights of others. The premise underlying the Project is that those who stand up for human rights in Cambodia do not stand alone.
IV- Conclusion and Recommendation Although we have seen a lot of improvement in democracy in Cambodia since 1998, freedom of expression, still, is not yet freely practiced. Media, human rights activists, lawyers and Cambodian people have been threaten and become the victims of freedom of expression. Also, there are a lot of more things the RGC not yet and should improve.
Recommendations make amendment to the law on defamation and disinformation Improve access to public information Invite and provide convenience for the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression to visit and assess the situation in Cambodia, and to make recommendations for improving protection of the right to freedom of expression. Provide more conveniences for the opposition parties and citizens to practice their rights
V. References http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4672bc122.html. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/campaign/ www.seamedia.org/largeprint.php?story_id Phnom Penh Post Newspaper Vol. 2 dated June 6-12, 1993. Akashi "Election Free and Fair“ Comment of Mr. Sok Sam Oeurn, President of Cambodia Defenders Project, at the round table "Defamation and Disinformation" organized by the Club of Cambodia on Oct. 05, 2006.