EU project ; Protection and promotion of Human Rights in Cambodia

As part of CNV Internationaal; senior EU program officer, the final report of our EU funded three year project with CLC (an independent Union based in Cambodia) to the EU delegates in Phnom Penh had been finalized. What a beautiful city and culture, even now with the uncertainty of the elections upcoming and political space shrinking.

Cambodia has been faced with threats, violence, inprisonment targeted at trade unionists and human rights defenders in a grave and persistent nature. This violence is widespread, it occurs on a regular basis and 2014 was a terrible year for trade unions as 5 people were murdered and a lot imprisoned during the strikes. Furthermore, there is a strong lack of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, the ILO ratificatioms are not followed and during the project one of our steering committee members was killed. In order to be able to improve the situation in Cambodia relating to the right of freedom of assembly and association, including the right to form and join a trade union, CLC wanted to build its capacities, to raise awareness about the violations and to have capacitybuilding for its staff and members.

The aim was to promote human rights and improve the youth and women leadership capacities amongst unionist workers. Specific attention was given to decrease gender inequality and GBV at the workplace.

After three years we can conclude that the knowledge is there, the self- empowerment of unionists is increased enourmous. Also the public awareness has been raised, through facebook, a website and a GBV hotline. The training on unionwork and capacitybuilding by CLC created for more awareness, especially amongst women and youngsters

The EU guidelines are always very strict, and need specific actions to be taken. After finalizing this project and finishing up with the EU project in Cambodia, I can call myself an EU monitoring expert. I have enjoyed working with the EU Delegates in Cambodia and the CLC and I welcome you to visit our website and see what actions have been accomplished!