The Ministry of Interior will launch a new registration drive to document all NGOs working in Cambodia, according to Sak Setha, director of the ministry’s General Administration Department.
The registration drive will be encoded by a new prakas that, in lieu of an NGO law, will better organize the approximately 1,100 NGOs at work in the nation, said Sak Setha.
The directive grants NGOs, including those that have already registered themselves with the Ministry of Interior, a period of six months to register. If they do not, “the ministry will tell the NGO to stop its activities and will erase their name from the ministry’s list,” according to a draft of the prakas.
The registration documents require NGOs to submit the name of the founders of the NGO, the NGOs’ location and its rules and regulations. The prakas also lays down rules for NGOs operating in Cambodia, including a requirement that they not be aligned with any political parties, should be neutral and nondiscriminatory.
Yoib Meta, coordinator of the Advocacy and Information program at Star Kampuchea, an NGO that conducts surveys in Cambodia, said he has planned a meeting for today to discuss the new prakas with NGO directors.
Yoib Meta said he hoped that the Ministry of Interior follows whatever recommendations the NGO directors come up with at the meeting today.