Cambodia punished by EU over human rights violations – through limits to its trade access

The jobs of many hard-working women in Cambodia are at risk after the EU announced its intention to partially withdraw free access for Cambodian goods to the EU market due to the country’s “serious and systematic violations of human rights”.

As one in a group of least-developed countries, Cambodia enjoys the most preferential trade arrangement with the EU under the Everything But Arms (EBA) tariff, which offers quota and duty-free access to the EU single market for all goods except arms. Cambodia currently exports more than €5 billion of goods to the EU, most from its thriving garment sector.

In order to qualify for the EBA scheme, countries have to comply with many different UN and International Labour Organisation conventions on human rights.

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