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TITLE:  CAMBODIA HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1994
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DATE:  FEBRUARY 1995









                            CAMBODIA


Cambodia completed its first full year under democratic rule 
after 20 years of undemocratic regimes and civil war.  The 
transition to democracy followed the signing of the 1991 Paris 
Peace Accords by Cambodia's rival factions and a peace process 
overseen by the U.N. Transitional Authority in Cambodia 
(UNTAC).  This process culminated in the May 1993 multiparty 
election sponsored by the United Nations.  The U.N. certified 
the election as free and fair, although polling in areas 
controlled by the Khmer Rouge was not possible.  The royalist 
party FUNCINPEC entered into a coalition with the other parties 
that participated in the election, including the Cambodian 
People's Party (CPP), which had ruled the country since 1979 
following the ouster of the Khmer Rouge (KR) regime by the 
Vietnamese.  In September 1993 a new Constitution was 
promulgated, establishing a constitutional monarchy with King 
Sihanouk as Head of State.  The leader of FUNCINPEC, Prince 
Norodom Ranariddh, and CPP leader Hun Sen became First and 
Second Prime Ministers respectively.

The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) are composed of former 
members of the armies of the factions that implemented the 
Paris accords.  The RCAF continued to face a mostly low-level 
armed insurgency by the Khmer Rouge, who signed the Paris 
Accords but refused to implement them by demobilizing, opening 
their illegal zones, or participating in the elections.  
Although the KR have only a small number of troops, the 
effectiveness of the RCAF in combating the KR was marred by 
corruption, lack of materiel, overstaffing at senior levels, 
poor leadership, and the Government's inability to pay troops a 
living wage.  The RCAF drafted and began implementation of a 
reform plan in September.  The Government announced plans to 
integrate the police forces, which are composed mostly of CPP 
staff, by appointing personnel from other parties.  The 
Interior Ministry began to carry out this plan in the latter 
part of the year.

Although the economy depends largely on subsistence rice 
farming, Cambodia has a market economy.  It was a radical 
Communist agrarian state under the Khmer Rouge, and had a 
centrally planned economy for most of the time of 
Vietnamese-backed rule, known as the State of Cambodia (SOC) 
period.  Cambodia is primarily agrarian and very poor, with a 
per capita gross domestic product of approximately $200.

The human rights climate was better than in past years, with a 
relatively open political atmosphere, a vigorous press, and an 
active human rights community.  Cambodia continued, however, to 
suffer from many problems, including the ongoing threat of the 
KR insurgency.  In July there was a failed coup attempt.  There 
continued to be sporadic reports of political intimidation and 
of murders that appeared to be politically motivated.  Emerging 
democratic institutions, particularly the judiciary, were 
weak.  The ethnic Vietnamese minority faced widespread 
discrimination, sporadic attacks leading to numerous 
casualties, and uncertain legal status.  There were credible 
reports that individual members of government security forces 
committed serious human rights abuses, including instances of 
extrajudicial killing.  In many cases the Government lacked the 
resources or the political will to act aggressively against 
individuals who were responsible for such abuses.  Women and 
people with disabilities, in principle protected under the 
Constitution, in fact faced discrimination.

In areas they control, the Khmer Rouge denied citizens most 
basic human rights.  There were confirmed reports that the KR 
summarily executed large numbers of civilians, including 
Cambodians, Thais, Western tourists, and Vietnamese fishermen.  
The dead and wounded also included women and children.

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

There was no evidence of orchestrated violence by the 
Government.  However, there were credible reports that 
individual members of government security forces, including 
members of the RCAF, committed extrajudicial killings.  In 
December, an RCAF Colonel was arrested in connection with the 
killing of a journalist.  (See detail below.)  There were 
several other murders committed by as yet unidentified 
assailants that appeared to be politically motivated.  The 
authorities made few arrests in connection with these crimes, 
due to a combination of ineffectiveness of law enforcement and 
in some cases an intentional lack of prosecutorial vigor.

There were numerous allegations of civilians killed by RCAF 
troops in various parts of Cambodia, particularly in areas in 
the Northwest where fighting with the Khmer Rouge was 
heaviest.  One KR soldier was reportedly beheaded after 
interrogation (see Section 1.g.).  In the province of Kratie, a 
civilian court convicted three provincial soldiers of voluntary 
manslaughter after they killed three villagers in April.  Two 
of the soldiers were sentenced to 13 years; one was sentenced 
to ten years.

In November a Thai worker on a USAID construction project was 
killed when soldiers fired upon the convoy in which he was 
traveling.  The police questioned several persons in connection 
with the case, but it is unclear whether any arrests had been 
made by year's end.

On April 19, Ang Kouy, the third-ranking FUNCINPEC party 
official in Kampot province, and his nephew, were killed at 
close-range by unknown assailants.  According to well-informed 
observers, Ang had been threatened by district officials and 
believed his life was in danger.  No suspects were arrested in 
the case.  Human rights organizations asserted that there was 
strong evidence that local officials killed Ang Kouy.

On September 7 Nuon Chan, editor of the Voice of Khmer Youth 
newspaper, was shot to death in Phnom Penh.  His newspaper had 
been highly critical of government authorities of all parties 
and his killing may have been politically motivated.  In 
September the police arrested two suspects in connection with 
the murder.  The investigating judge issued a statement that 
there was no evidence against the two persons and that a 
confession from one of them had been coerced.  However, the 
case was returned to the investigating judge for further 
investigation.  No trial had taken place at year's end.

According to human rights groups, a guard at Kampot provincial 
prison shot and killed two prisoners who had surrendered after 
an escape attempt in May.  The guard was not prosecuted.  Human 
rights groups alleged there were several other instances which 
resulted in the deaths of prisoners in which prison officials 
used excessive force.

In December, journalist Chan Dara was fatally shot in the city 
of Kompong Cham.  RCAF Colonel Sath Souen, who was with Chan 
Dara at the time, was arrested for the killing.  There was 
widespread speculation that Dara was killed in retaliation for 
publishing allegations about corruption involving Kompong 
Cham's rubber industry.  Sath Souen had not been tried by 
year's end.

Human rights groups presented credible evidence that the 
military killed at least 35 persons during the second half of 
1993 at an illegal detention facility known as Cheu Kmau in a 
remote part of Battambang province.  Human rights observers 
believe one more detainee was killed at Cheu Kmau in January 
1994.

Attacks on ethnic Vietnamese continued throughout the year, 
resulting in numerous deaths and injuries.  In April unknown 
assailants using grenades and AK-47's attacked a Vietnamese 
village in Kandal province leaving 14 civilians dead and over 
20 wounded.

The Khmer Rouge continued to execute summarily civilians in 
areas under its control.  (See Section 1g.)  In July KR forces 
killed nine people in a train ambush.  In October Khmer Rouge 
radio announced that the KR had made a policy decision to 
engage in the systematic execution of Government officials in 
the countryside.  Since then several officials have been killed 
by the KR, and others have been taken hostage or had their 
houses burned.  The KR have kidnaped and killed other villagers 
as well.  The Khmer Rouge have also broadcast threats to kidnap 
foreigners, particularly Americans, French, and Australians, 
and have implied that foreigners captured would be killed.  In 
November the Government found the remains of three Westerners 
taken hostage and subsequently executed by the Khmer Rouge 
during the July train attack.  Also in November, Khmer Rouge 
guerrillas were responsible for the massacre of 51 Cambodian 
villagers and, in a separate attack for which the KR is widely 
considered responsible, at least 21 Thai loggers, in border 
areas inside Cambodia.

     b.  Disappearance

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances.  
However, people frequently disappeared temporarily, including 
some who were abducted by the KR for short periods.  There was 
no reliable mechanism for determining when or whether these 
people reappeared.  Several such cases remained unsolved, like 
that of the three Vietnamese abducted with the Westerners in 
the July train attack.

The disappearances of 17 political party activists before the 
May 1993 election, which UNTAC attributed to authorities of the 
former State of Cambodia, remained unsolved.  Human rights 
groups suspect these missing activists were killed by members 
of the SOC security forces.  There were no new disappearance 
cases of this nature in 1994, although people, including 
individuals abducted by the Khmer Rouge, were often temporarily 
unaccounted for in Cambodia.

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

The Government does not systematically use torture, but there 
were credible reports that security officials physically abused 
criminal detainees, particularly during interrogations.  There 
were credible allegations that in 1993 and possibly in early 
1994 members of the security forces tortured prisoners in the 
secret detention center, Cheu Kmau (see Section l.d.).  
According to press reports, Battambang provincial officials 
acknowledged in September that some prisoners were tortured in 
the facility.

Discipline is poor within the RCAF and the Cambodian police; 
members of the security forces commit many crimes, including 
extortion, beatings, and car theft.  At least one extortion 
attempt by soldiers is known to have resulted in a killing (see 
Section 1.a.).

Access to prisons by human rights groups improved, and the 
Government allowed human rights groups to give human rights 
training to prison guards.  Many government officials appeared 
determined to improve prison conditions within the limits of 
available financial resources.  However, conditions in many 
prisons remained unsatisfactory.  The Government allows 
independent monitoring of prisons.  The U.S.-based 
nongovernmental organization (NGO) Physicians for Human Rights, 
which sent a team to Cambodia to investigate prison conditions, 
issued a report on June 1 calling for the closure of the 
judicial police prison in Phnom Penh, citing overcrowding, food 
and water shortages, and a high level of violence against 
prisoners.  The Cambodian NGO Licadho provided a similar 
characterization of conditions in that prison and, to a lesser 
extent, in other facilities.  Human rights observers say that 
prisoners were often kept in their cells 24 hours a day in 
violation of international standards, and that the practices of 
using shackles and holding prisoners in small, dark cells 
resumed after being virtually eliminated during the UNTAC 
period.  A U.N. human rights official stated that prison 
officials sometimes raped and abused women prisoners.  In 
response to these criticisms, the Government, with the 
assistance of the Australian Government and human rights NGO's, 
began to take steps to improve conditions in the judicial 
police prison.

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

A Penal Code drafted by UNTAC and approved by the interim 
Supreme National Council remains in effect, as does a Criminal 
Procedure Law dating from the State of Cambodia period.  The 
Criminal Procedure Law in theory provides adequate protection 
for criminal suspects, but in practice the Government 
frequently ignored these protections.  The inefficiency of the 
judicial system resulted in long pretrial detention periods.

Although the Government did not generally use detention without 
charge as a means of political control, there were a few cases 
in which persons, including a newspaper editor and a human 
rights NGO worker, were detained for political reasons (see 
Section 1.e.).

Human Rights groups criticized the Government for detaining for 
a long period without charge nine Thai nationals arrested in 
June for suspected involvement in the failed coup attempt.  In 
October the Government tried the Thais, who were all given 
three-year suspended sentences.  At year's end the nine had 
returned to Thailand.

Human rights groups presented convincing evidence that 19 
prisoners were held illegally by the security forces in the 
secret detention facility in Cheu Kmau (see Section l.a.).  
Although in 1993 UNTAC observers identified the site as an 
illegal detention facility, government observers initially 
denied reports of abuses at Cheu Kmau.  At year's end the 
Government had not conducted a credible investigation.  
However, according to press reports, Co-Interior Minister Sar 
Kheng and a Deputy Governor of Battambang acknowledged in 
September that Cheu Kmau was used as a detention center until 
mid-1994.  Human rights groups believe the security forces 
stopped detaining prisoners at Cheu Kmau by year's end.  Some 
groups believe that military officials continued to detain 
prisoners in other illegal facilities, but there is no evidence 
to support this assertion.

Exile is prohibited in Cambodia's Constitution and is not 
practiced.

No legal system is known to exist in Khmer Rouge zones.  KR 
forces often seize hostages in order to intimidate villagers 
into cooperating with their insurgency (see Section 1.g.).

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

Although mandated in the Constitution, in practice the 
Government does not ensure due process and an independent 
judiciary.  There is a severe shortage of lawyers, particularly 
in the provinces.  The judicial system implemented during the 
SOC regime generally remains in place, and the country's 
judges, most of whom were appointed during the SOC period, are 
not equipped to operate an independent judicial system.  There 
are frequent and credible charges of corruption by judges.  The 
Constitution calls for the establishment of a body to choose 
judges.  In late December, the National Assembly passed 
legislation establishing a body to choose judges.  The body had 
not been established by year's end.

Prisoners are usually allowed visits by their family and their 
attorneys, if they have them.  However, the Government does not 
provide attorneys to the indigent, although human rights groups 
sometimes provide defenders.

Foreign and local NGO's are conducting major, long term 
projects to train defenders and otherwise strengthen the 
judiciary.  The military justice system faces similar problems.

Although the practice of holding political prisoners, common 
under the SOC, has all but disappeared, there were a few cases 
in which persons were detained for political reasons.  
Newspaper editor Nguon Non was detained in July on national 
security charges and released in August pending trial; there is 
widespread speculation that he was arrested because the 
Government disapproved of his coverage of the July coup attempt 
(see Section 2.a.).  A human rights worker for the NGO Adhoc in 
Prey Veng province was detained from November 1993 to February 
1994 under an antiterrorism law; his alleged act of "terror" 
was that he created instability and chaos by encouraging 
villagers to reclaim their property.  Human rights groups 
believe his detention was an act of retaliation on the part of 
local authorities who suspected him of being the source of a 
news article describing the corrupt handling of land disputes 
by officials.  Human rights observers also believe that several 
prisoners held in various areas on suspicion of being Khmer 
Rouge members were detained for political reasons.

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
         Correspondence

According to human rights observers, the police routinely make 
arrests and conduct searches without warrants.  However, the 
number of forced entries into homes and offices decreased, 
after a high incidence during the 1993 political campaign.  
Reports of surveillance continued, but decreased as the 
security apparatus of the SOC continued to be dismantled.  
According to newspaper reports, the Government often monitored 
private citizens' telephone calls and asked telephone companies 
for records of conversations.  There were no reported 
incidences of forced political party membership.  Persons in 
Khmer Rouge zones are subject to rigid social controls and 
accorded no right to privacy.

     g.  Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian 
         Law in Internal Conflicts

Fighting between government forces and the Khmer Rouge 
insurgency escalated in early 1994.  A rise in the number of 
incidents of excessive force and violations of humanitarian law 
on both sides accompanied this fighting.  As in previous years, 
many civilians were killed or wounded by indiscriminate 
shelling and by land mines laid by both sides.  Villagers were 
subjected to burning and looting during Khmer Rouge raids and 
to harassment by RCAF officials.

Human rights NGO's reported that a Khmer Rouge soldier was 
beheaded in May after undergoing interrogation by the RCAF.  
According to these reports, the soldier's head was later 
displayed on a wall outside the RCAF headquarters in 
Battambang.  There were several other credible reports of 
executions of Khmer Rouge prisoners by the RCAF.

The Khmer Rouge continued to abduct and summarily execute both 
Cambodians and foreigners in areas under its control.  (See 
Section 1a.)  In mid-November the Khmer Rouge massacred 51 
villagers in Battambang province.  The Khmer Rouge often 
attacked civilians.  A KR ambush on a train in July left 9 
dead.  After the train attack hostages were taken, including 
three Westerners who were subsequently killed and whose remains 
were identified in November.  (See Section 1a.)  At year's end 
the fate of three Vietnamese taken captive after the train 
attack remained unknown.  Khmer Rouge soldiers raped the wives 
of 10 RCAF soldiers in an attack on a village in Banteay 
Meanchey province.

Several hundred people were abducted by the Khmer Rouge or 
remained missing after being abducted in earlier years.  Most 
hostages are released after several weeks, but in some cases 
the captives are held for longer periods.  For example, Khmer 
Rouge soldiers abducted 25 villagers in Kompong Speu province 
on August 19.  After a 5-day walk they arrived at a Khmer Rouge 
camp where about 35 other hostages were already being held.  
They were held for approximately 7 weeks.  Some escaped, and 
the rest were released after many of them became ill.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

The Cambodian Constitution provides for freedom of expression, 
press, publication, and association.  However, the Constitution 
implicitly limits free speech by requiring that the speech not 
adversely affect public security and be carried out in 
accordance with law.  The Constitution also declares that the 
King is "inviolable."  The National Assembly has yet to 
implement legislation to clarify how these articles affect 
press freedom.  In practice, the Government placed some 
restrictions on press freedom.  Self-censorship, reflecting the 
Government's inability to ensure the safety of journalists, 
remained a problem.

Cambodia's independent news organizations, which were first 
allowed to operate during the UNTAC period, remained active.  
At year's end, there were 33 newspapers and magazines in 
operation.  The Khmer Journalists' Association, established at 
the end of 1993, drew up a code of ethics and served as an 
informal liaison between the press and the Government.  
However, throughout the year government pressure and violence 
from still undetermined sources created a climate of fear among 
the members of the Cambodian press and a widespread suspicion 
that journalists who criticized officials were being targeted 
for violence, possibly by members of the Government or security 
forces.

In March two men on motorcycles threw a hand grenade into the 
office of the newspaper Intervention; police made no arrests in 
connection with this incident.  In June the editor of 
Intervention, Tou Chhom Mongkol, was found unconscious with a 
fractured skull on a Phnom Penh street and later died.  A 
police report stated that the cause of death was a collision 
with a bicycle taxi.  In September another newspaper editor, 
Nuon Chan, whose predecessor as editor of the newspaper Voice 
of Khmer Youth had resigned after receiving threats on his 
life, was shot to death in what may have been a politically 
motivated killing (see Section 1.a.).  In December of 
journalist Chan Dara was fatally shot in Kompong Cham (see also 
Section 1.a.)

Nguon Non, editor of the Morning News, was arrested in July 
under a provision of the SOC Press Law which prohibits 
newspapers from publishing articles detrimental to the national 
security.  His newspaper had published articles that implied 
involvement of high-ranking officials in the failed July coup 
attempt.  After several postponements of his trial, he was 
released from prison in early August.  By year's end he had not 
been tried.

Human rights groups criticized the broad language of the 
SOC-era Press Law.  There are currently no laws on libel.  
There were several instances in which the press printed stories 
that included harsh personal criticisms of Government 
officials, prompting Government threats to restrict press 
freedom.  Although the final form of the draft press law under 
consideration in the National Assembly was not known at year's 
end, Members of Parliament may be responsive to King Sihanouk's 
request that the draft law's criminal penalties for libel be 
replaced by civil penalties.

The Government placed pressure on the press on several 
occasions.  In May police surrounded the newspaper Sakol and 
seized copies of the newspaper and printing materials.  The 
newspaper had printed material critical of King Sihanouk.  The 
authorities closed down the newspaper briefly, then allowed it 
to reopen.  High-level government officials often hinted 
publicly that they would shut down newspapers that continued to 
print irresponsible stories.  Although many newspapers 
continued to publish critical stories in spite of these 
threats, some practiced self-censorship in order to avoid 
government reprisals.

The Khmer Rouge does not allow freedom of speech or press in 
zones they control.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association are  
provided for in the Constitution and were generally 
unrestricted in 1994.  There were fewer political rallies than 
in 1993, an election year.  There were no reports of disruption 
of the few demonstrations that did take place, most of which 
concerned land distribution.  However, human rights groups 
believed that in some provinces the Government maintained a 
climate of political intimidation that discouraged residents 
from engaging in political activities.

Cambodia's large NGO community was generally allowed to operate 
freely, particularly in Phnom Penh.  However, the lack of 
legislation clarifying the rights and obligations of NGO's led 
NGO's to worry that they would unintentionally run afoul of the 
authorities.  The Interior Ministry registers NGO's and 
requires them to submit lists of their staff, and to obtain 
permission to conduct training.  There were reports that some 
provincial officials enforced these requirements in a manner 
which inhibited the NGO's ability to operate freely.

In Khmer Rouge controlled areas freedom of assembly and 
association do not exist.  In early 1994 two participants in a 
peace march in an area along the Thai-Cambodian border were 
killed by Khmer Rouge gunfire.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

Buddhism is the state religion, but the Constitution provides 
for freedom of religion and forbids discrimination based on 
religion.

     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

The Government does not restrict travel outside Cambodia or 
within parts of Cambodia it controls.  However, the presence of 
land mines and bandits makes travel in some areas perilous.  
The Khmer Rouge, who refused to comply with the Paris Accords 
by opening the areas they control, continued to restrict access 
to, from, and within these zones.

Tens of thousands of ethnic Vietnamese fled Cambodia in early 
1993 due to racial violence directed at Vietnamese.  Many 
returned overland after the elections.  However, the Cambodian 
authorities stopped and forbade reentry to several thousand 
boats on the Mekong river.  Immigration legislation passed in 
August made no reference to nationality and therefore failed to 
resolve the status of these people, many of whom were born in 
Cambodia.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
           to Change Their Government

The Constitution provides for the right of citizens to change 
their government, and most citizens exercised this right in the 
1993 elections.  In those areas of the country controlled by 
the Khmer Rouge, citizens cannot exercise this right.

Cambodia experienced its first complete year under democratic 
rule in decades.  The Government was formed after a 
U.N.-sponsored election in May 1993 in which each province 
elected Constituent Assembly members through proportional 
representation.  Some 20 parties took part; four won seats.  
The United Nations certified the election as free and fair.  
After the drafting of a Constitution the Constituent Assembly 
became the National Assembly.  All four parties that took part 
in the election entered a coalition government, which remained 
in power throughout the year.

In July CPP members Sin Sen, Sin Song, and Prince Norodom 
Chakrapong attempted a coup d'etat, which was quickly defeated, 
in large part because of the loyalty of RCAF forces to the 
Government.  In October following a 2-day trial, a military 
court found guilty and sentenced those involved in the coup 
attempt.  The three who led the effort received prison 
sentences ranging from 18 to 20 years.  At year's end Sin Song 
remained outside Cambodia, and Prince Chakrapong was in exile 
in France.  Other CPP members involved received lesser 
sentences.

In July the National Assembly outlawed the Khmer Rouge after 
their refusal to negotiate in good faith with the Government.

Traditional cultural practices inhibit the role of women in 
government.  There are seven women among the 120 members of the 
National Assembly.

Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

Cambodia's large international and indigenous human rights 
community, which first began operating under UNTAC, remained 
active and engaged in diverse activities.  The National 
Assembly established a commission to serve as a liaison with 
the human rights community.

Although generally allowed to operate freely, there were 
isolated incidents in which the Government restricted NGO 
activities, especially in the provinces.  There were also 
credible reports of intimidation of NGO's by the Government.

An employee of the NGO Adhoc was imprisoned for what appeared 
to be political motives (see Section l.e.).  Also, during a 
human rights class in Kompong Chhnang province, several NGO 
workers were taken away by RCAF soldiers wielding AK-47's.  The 
NGO activists were held at the police station for 3 days, then 
released but prohibited from conducting the human rights 
class.  There were credible reports that human rights workers 
were verbally threatened by provincial authorities.

On at least one occasion officials in Battambang prevented an 
NGO from conducting human rights training; provincial NGO's 
later stated they no longer felt restricted.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) interpreted as an 
accusation of government involvement a statement released by 
the NGO Khmer Institute for Democracy (KID) on the killing of 
newspaper editor Nuon Chan.  In response, the MFA stated that 
KID was operating illegally and threatened to close the 
organization.  However, since KID was registered properly and 
did not, as an indigenous group, fall under MFA jurisdiction, 
no action was taken against the organization.  The Government 
informed another indigenous NGO that it, too, was operating 
illegally, but took no action to close the organization.

The Khmer Rouge does not permit any investigation of human 
rights violations within their zones.

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language, or Social Status

Although the Constitution prohibits discrimination based on 
race, color, sex, language, religious belief, or political 
views, the Government does not always protect these rights in 
practice.  The Government's failure to implement these 
provisions effectively means that women and children, the most 
vulnerable elements of Cambodian society, are often victims of 
discrimination.

     Women

The Constitution contains strong language providing for equal 
rights for women, equal pay for equal work, and equal status in 
marriage.  In practice, women have equal property rights with 
men, have the same status in bringing divorce proceedings, and 
have equal access to education and some jobs.  However, 
cultural traditions continued to affect adversely women's 
ability to reach senior positions in government, business, and 
other areas.  There were a large number of women's NGO's and 
the leaders of two of the most prominent human rights NGO's are 
women.

International and Cambodian NGO workers confirm that violence 
against women, including rape and domestic violence, is common, 
although there have been no systematic studies to determine the 
extent of the problem.  Authorities normally decline to become 
involved in domestic disputes.

     Children

Children are often victims of land mines.  There is also 
evidence of increasing numbers of  child prostitutes among 
street children in Phnom Penh.  The Constitution explicitly 
provides for children's rights, and ensuring the welfare of 
children is a specific goal of the Government's political 
program.  However, the Government must rely on international 
aid to fund most social welfare programs targeted at children 
and, therefore, resources devoted to the goal are modest.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

People of Vietnamese and Chinese background have long comprised 
the largest ethnic minorities in Cambodia.  Ethnic Chinese are 
well accepted.  However, fear and animosity toward the 
Vietnamese, who are seen as a threat to the Khmer nation and 
culture, continues.  In the absence of a nationality law, the 
legal and constitutional rights of ethnic Vietnamese are 
unclear.  Constitutional protections are extended only to 
"Khmer people."  The Vietnamese Government and some NGO's 
expressed concern that an immigration bill passed in August 
could be used to conduct large-scale deportations of ethnic 
Vietnamese.  The Government, however, made assurances that this 
would not happen, and there were no such deportations in 1994.  
The legal status of ethnic Vietnamese, many of whom were born 
in Cambodia, was not resolved in the immigration legislation.

The Khmer Rouge continued a calculated campaign of racial 
violence and inflammatory propaganda directed against ethnic 
Vietnamese civilians, although relatively few killings of 
ethnic Vietnamese could be attributed definitively to the Khmer 
Rouge (see Section 1.a.).  There was violence against ethnic 
Vietnamese from other sources.  In April 13 Vietnamese 
residents of Kandal province were killed and 27 were wounded in 
an attack on their village.  Seven suspects were arrested but 
later released for lack of evidence.

Several thousand ethnic Vietnamese who fled to the 
Vietnam-Cambodia border following massacres in early 1993 were 
prohibited by the Government from returning to their homes.  
They remained on the border at the year's end (see Section 
l.d.).

     People with Disabilities

The Government does not mandate accessibility to buildings or 
government services for people with disabilities.  According to 
international human rights groups, one in 236 Cambodians is 
missing at least one limb.  This figure reflects the continuing 
impact of landmines on the population.  Programs administered 
by various NGO's have brought about dramatic improvements in 
the treatment and rehabilitation of amputees, but they continue 
to face discrimination, particularly in obtaining skilled 
employment.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

The current Labor Law was passed by the SOC in 1992.  
Throughout the year the Government worked with the 
International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Asian-American 
Free Labor Institute (AAFLI) to draft a new labor code, but at 
year's end the new legislation had not been passed.  Workers 
have the right to form unions of their own choosing without 
previous authorization, and unions are not required to join a 
single trade union structure.

There were few, if any, independent trade unions active.  The 
majority of salaried workers are employed by the State, 
although there is a growing service sector.  A large proportion 
of the urban population is engaged in low-level commerce or 
self-employed artisanship.

The SOC Labor Law permits unions to join federations but does 
not address whether they may be affiliated with international 
bodies.

The 1993 Constitution provides for the right to strike, but the 
Government has not passed implementing legislation.  There were 
several strikes throughout the year.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The Labor Law provides for collective bargaining, although any 
agreement reached between workers and employees is subject to 
government approval.  In practice collective bargaining does 
not take place.  The Government sets wages for civil servants.  
Wage rates in other sectors are set largely by the market.  The 
Labor Law prohibits antiunion discrimination by employers, but 
there is no mechanism for enforcement of this provision.

No export processing zones existed in 1994.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The Labor Law prohibits forced or compulsory labor and contains 
penal sanctions for offenders.  However, the Government does 
not adequately enforce these provisions.  There are no reports 
that domestic or foreign workers are being forced to remain in 
situations amounting to coerced labor, although there were some 
reports of women being forced to work as prostitutes.  The 
Khmer Rouge compel people under their control to serve as 
porters for military and other supplies and to clear land for 
farming.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The Labor Law states that the minimum age for employment is 16, 
except for those workers in family enterprises.  Although 
penalties exist for violation of these provisions, the 
Government has not established an apparatus to enforce them.  
Cambodians under the age of 16 years routinely engage in a 
variety of jobs, including street trading, construction, and 
small-scale manufacturing.  According to a NGO study, at least 
86 children, most aged 11 to 14, worked in the Phnom Penh dump 
collecting recyclable materials under extremely unhealthful, 
dangerous, and unsanitary conditions.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

The Labor Law does not provide for a nationwide minimum wage, 
but requires a wage that assures a decent living standard.  
This standard wage varies according to region.  The Government, 
however, does not enforce this requirement.  Currently, 
market-determined wage rates at lower levels are not sufficient 
to provide a decent living for a worker and family.

The Labor Law provides for a standard legal workweek of 48 
hours and a 24-hour rest period and requires overtime pay.  The 
Government does not enforce these standards and workers 
commonly work more than 48 hours per week.  The Law states that 
the workplace should have health and safety standards necessary 
to ensure the workers' well-being.  However, the Government has 
not yet set specific standards.  Penalties are specified in the 
law, but there are no provisions to protect workers who 
complain about unsafe or unhealthful conditions.  Conditions in 
factories and small-scale industries are generally poor and 
often do not meet international standards.


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[end of document]

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