Boeng Kak Women Attempt to Meet US Official

siem reap city – Four women evicted from the Boeng Kak lake community and released from jail last month arrived here Friday in an attempt to meet Melanne Verveer, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for women’s affairs, who is part of a delegation visiting the country with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“I want to meet her, and I hope that I will meet her to ask her to help us bring our issues to the government,” said Tep Vanny, a representative for the Boeng Kak community.

“We are sure that we will meet her.”

Ms. Vanny said the women had traveled to Siem Reap in order to request help from the U.S. in clearing their names of any crime, reclaiming their land and stopping the authorities from beating women and children during peaceful protests.

Ms. Vanny was among 13 wom­­en jailed on May 24 for protesting against evictions from Boeng Kak.

The Appeal Court released them last month but did not overturn their convictions.

After arriving here on Friday from Phnom Penh, Ms. Clinton met with representatives from 11 labor unions.

In the meeting, the unions told Ms. Clinton that “brands shouldn’t be squeezing every dollar in a race to the bottom by taking advantage of worker’s rights, but rather investing in them,” said David Welsh, country director for the American Center for Inter­nat­ional Labor Solidarity.

Delivering a speech at the Low­er Mekong Initiative Gender Equality and Women’s Empower­ment Dialogue in Siem Reap City, Ms. Clinton urged all countries in Asean to improve their labor conditions and respect the human rights of workers.

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