On 22nd May, 2013 the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung (RLS) Southeast Asia participated in a National Conference hosted by the Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) and Voice of Democracy Radio (VOD) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to introduce the Community Voice On Air Recommendations Report. It was the first activity of RLS and CCIM together and was thought to be the kick-off for long term cooperation. After some short opening remarks given by CCIM’s director, Mr Nguon Teang Pa and RLS’s director, Ms Nadja Charaby, his Excellency Mr. Ngy Champhal, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Interior and Project Coordinator of Demand for Good Governance Project (DFGG) opened the conference.
After Mr. Ngy Champhal’s overview on the implementation of the DFGG, CCIM introduced its findings and recommendations gathered over 2 years through research and the Community Voice of Air project. One of the major challenges in Cambodia is the distribution of power between the central government and the local communes. Even though decentralization reforms were ratified 10 years ago, the outcome of these reforms needs to be improved. The law itself clarifies the roles of communes in running and delivering services for the local people but yet, it is still not systematically applied by the authorities. This slows down the process of decentralisation on the one hand but even worse, it weakens the trust of the people in their local commune councils.
Main goal of the conference was to raise awareness of the challenges faced by local duty-bearers and communities implementing the law. In team-work the participants developed strategies and policy recommendations to overcome the current problematic situation. A report will be published soon.
Eventually, the conference was a great success and RLS and CCIM will continue their cooperation. For the second a half of the year 2013, CCIM together with RLS’s funding’s, is planning to promote and empower the situation of Cambodian women working in the garment industry.