National Assembly members failed to reach a quorum Monday, postponing debate on the domestic violence draft law and prompting the Ministry of Women’s and Veterans’ Affairs to urge lawmakers to pass the legislation, ministry officials said Monday.
Only 77 of the minimum 86 lawmakers required for quorum attended Monday’s session, Assembly President Prince Norodom Ranariddh said. Debate will go ahead today if all appropriate lawmakers are in attendance.
“We are very positive. We have worked very hard and are in good shape to debate the law,” Minister of Women’s Affairs Mu Sochua said. “[But] there are always concerns when it comes to changing the values of society.”
Members of the Advisory Board of the Ministry of Women’s and Veterans’ Affairs urged lawmakers on Monday to pass the law.
“Domestic violence is a national issue and not a family matter, therefore members of the Advisory Board urge the Lawmakers: PASS THE LAW!” the board’s national and foreign experts wrote in a statement.
This is the first law to have a full-year action plan in place before the law is passed, Mu Sochua said. With the financial and technical support from local and international NGOs, the law will take action the day it is passed, she said.
To disseminate information about the law, step one of the plan involves a broad media campaign targeting all sectors of the population. “The country needs to be aware,” Mu Sochua said.
(Additional reporting by Lor Chandara)