Category : HR’s Reports

Will Abe champion democracy and human rights in Asia?


3 February 2015
Author: André Asplund, EIJS
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seems to be interested in breaking with traditional Japanese diplomacy by emphasising the need to strengthen democracy and human rights in ASEAN. But will Abe be able to promote the strengthening of these values over strategic cooperation?​Over 40 years after the establishment of the ASEAN–Japan Dialogue, Japanese official development assistance (ODA) underpins Japan’s relationship with Southeast Asia, having helped build vital infrastructure as well as build new opportunities and markets for Japanese businesses. Japanese trade with ASEAN, facilitated by said ODA, has surpassed that of both the US and the EU, and is now exceeded only by trade with China.
ASEAN is also increasingly important to Japan because of its potential geostrategic role in Asia, particularly with respect to a more assertive China.​


The Right to Remain Silenced Expressive Rights in the Kingdom of Cambodia

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This report outlines the challenges that Cambodian citizens face in exercising their expressive rights, particularly the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly. It also analyses, where relevant, how the national election – held 28 July 2013 impacted these rights, and provides recommendations for a post-election climate with greater respect for expressive rights.
ADHOC has collected data from across the country to compile this report, in addition to utilizing eyewitness accounts of rights violations seen by ADHOC’s human rights monitors. This report also incorporates information from other local Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs), International NGOs (INGOs) and media reports. This report cannot exhaustively detail the numerous and excessive violations of expressive rights in Cambodia over the past few years, but it refers to nmultiple case studies in an effort to demonstrate the reality of violations of expressive rights on the ground.

On paper, expressive rights are protected in Cambodia under both domestic and international law. Articles 31, 35, 41 and 42 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia guarantee expressive rights for all Cambodian citizens. Cambodia has also an obligation under international law to respect, protect and fulfill the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, having
ratified numerous international human rights instruments which explicitly guarantee these rights. The reality, however, is

ADHOC Condemns Court’s Decision Not to Release Detained Human Rights Defenders, Activists and Workers

Phnom Penh, 11 February 2014 – The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) condemns the Court’s decision today to continue to detain 21 demonstrators arrested during peaceful demonstrations in early January, 2014. ADHOC provided lawyers to 15 of the 23 people arrested at Yakjin Factory on 02 January 2014 and at the Canadia Industrial Zone on 03 January 2014.

ADHOC urges the Courts to drop all charges against the 23 demonstrators, and to compensate them for the time they have been illegally detained. Citizens of Cambodia have a constitutionally protected right to demonstrate, a right which has been denied through the use of deadly force to crackdown on demonstrators and the ongoing ban on assemblies. Four people have been killed; one young man is missing and scores more have been injured since the start of January. As yet nobody has been held to account for the violence, highlighting the culture of impunity which plagues Cambodia. The use of live ammunition on demonstrators is in breach of international standards of proportionality and has been widely condemned by rights groups and observers.

ADHOC calls for Mid-Term Election to Solve Political Crisis

Phnom Penh, 20 December 2013 – The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) urges Cambodia’s two main political parties to resume dialogue and embrace an attitude of compromise for the sake of peace and stability in the country. Cambodia has been in a state of political deadlock since the 28 July 2013 elections to the National Assembly. ADHOC welcomes the commitment to peace so far expressed by both parties, as demonstrated not only in words but in the relative lack of political violence in the election and post-election period as compared to previous elections in the country.

ADHOC proposes both sides agree to a mid-term election that can provide a meaningful, lasting, democratic and most importantly peaceful solution to the current stalemate. Few countries have endured the level of political violence as Cambodia and both parties have a duty to ensure they act responsibly so that the country is not again scarred by conflict. ADHOC believes there is significant common ground between the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP). This common ground, as outlined below, can and should form the basis for an agreement to hold a mid-term election within a time-frame that is satisfactory to both parties and their supporters.

Since the July election the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) has repeatedly taken to the streets to protest what it perceives as widespread fraud and electoral irregularities. It is now threatening to block major highways. The CNRP has called for major reforms to the National Election Committee (NEC), which it claims is heavily bias toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP). CNRP leader Mr. Sam Rainsy and his party argue that they won at least 63 seats in the election, and would have won more had the election been free and fair. The CNRP has put forward three solutions to Cambodia’s deadlock. The first of these is an electoral investigation; the second option is fresh elections and the third and final option is that Prime Minister Hun Sen resigns.

REPORT: A Turning Point? Land, Housing and Natural Resources Rights in Cambodia in 2012

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Whereas 2011 had seen a sharp increase in the number of Economic Land Concessions (ELCs) granted by the Royal Government of Cambodia to private companies, in 2012 conflicts became more acute and protests multiplied. The government showed that it had understood the seriousness of the situation by taking initiatives aimed at resolving land disputes, addressing some of the issues related to ELCs and granting thousands of land titles to rural families.

However, some of the most pressing concerns about the overall pressure on land, landlessness, land tenure insecurity, lack of law enforcement, power abuses, and encroachment on livelihoods and natural resources remained unaddressed. […]

ADHOC Expresses its Sincere Condolences at the Death of the Former King of Cambodia


Remembering Dey Krahorm: Three Years after their Forced Eviction, Former Residents Petition the National Assembly to Make Cambodia an Eviction and Land-Grab Free Zone

On 08th October 2012, past residents of the Dey Krahorm community in central Phnom Penh gathered at the site of their former homes to petition the National Assembly to put an end to pervasive land-grabbing and forced evictions across Cambodia. The residents of Dey Krahorm were forcibly evicted and the community razed on 29 January 2009, when armed police, military police and demolition workers came at night to tear down houses and move people off their land. In many cases residents did not have time to move their possessions outside of their houses before they were pulled down by the demolition teams.