The Cambodian authorities should amend the Draft Law on Access to Information to reflect international standards relating to the right to information, ARTICLE 19 and Human Rights Watch said today.
“The government’s commitment to adopting access to information legislation is a step in the right direction. A strong law could open up channels for combatting corruption, promoting accountability, and enabling public participation in official decision-making processes,” said Matthew Bugher, ARTICLE 19’s Head of Asia Programme. “However, the government has yet to incorporate key recommendations, despite a lengthy consultation process.”
While the Cambodian government’s efforts to facilitate access to information held by public authorities are positive, the Draft Law has numerous shortcomings, including a narrow definition of the type of information and institutions to which it applies, and failure to establish effective oversight mechanisms. These shortcomings contravene international standards on the right to information and Cambodia’s obligations under international human rights law as well as threaten to undermine the law’s potential.