Cambodia’s Draft Law on Access to Information Fails to Meet International Standards: Rights Groups

Cambodia’s recently introduced Draft Law on Access to Information, which could strike a blow to systemic graft in the country, “has numerous shortcomings” and should be amended to include key recommendations that would bring it in line with international standards, according to rights groups.

The most recently publicly available version of the draft law, dated Aug. 20, 2019, prompted British rights group and freedom of expression advocate ARTICLE 19 to send a list of recommendations to Cambodia’s Ministry of Information in late October amid concerns over its “many ambiguous provisions and unclear definitions,” as well as its lack of “key components of exemplary access to information legislation.”

On Wednesday, ARTICLE 19 and New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a joint statement urging authorities to incorporate the recommendations, which the government never responded to, saying their assessment of the proposed legislation contrasts with a recent statement by the Ministry of Information that it aligned with international standards and Cambodia’s constitution.

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