Cambodia: Draft NGO Law

Taken Question
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 12, 2011

Question: Has the government of Cambodia started to make laws that place limits on NGOs operating in country? What sort of limits? How is this affecting NGO programs?

Answer: The United States has serious concerns about the law as drafted and strongly opposes the enactment of any law that would constrain the legitimate activities of NGOs. We urge the Royal Government of Cambodia to consult closely with NGOs and other stakeholders on the substance of the draft law, and to reconsider whether such a measure is even necessary. The United States believes that a strong and free civil society is vital to strengthening democratic institutions, enhancing economic and humanitarian well-being, and promoting a sustainable economy. In Cambodia, as in many other countries, NGOs and other civil society organizations make critical contributions in these areas.

PRN: 2011/048