EU gives Cambodia one month to sort out human and labour right issues

Eu Gives Cambodia One Month To Sort Out Human And Labour Right Issues

The European Union (EU) is giving Cambodia an ultimatum until the middle of December to respond to a report on a possible suspension of trade preferences owing to human and labour right issues in the country, Reuters reported. While the report was not published, it is believed to paint a quite negative picture on the situation in Cambodia in terms of freedom of speech, political opposition and on conditions for workers, especially in the country’s dominant garment industry.

The EU, which accounts for more than one-third of Cambodia’s exports, said it expects a response before it will be deciding whether to suspend the existing trade benefits regulation with Cambodia, the Everything But Arms scheme that gives 47 of the world’s poorest countries duty-free, quota-free access for all products except arms and ammunition.

The bloc has threatened to suspend the trade preferences over a crackdown on the opposition, NGOs and the media by the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled the country for more than 34 years.

“We are very concerned about the human rights situation there,” EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said, adding that “The Cambodians now have one month to respond and we will make our final decision in February next year.”

Cambodia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Koy Kuong confirmed the report had been received, but said there was no comment for now. However, in a sign of growing pressure on Cambodia, the government relaxed house arrest conditions at the weekend on opposition leader Kem Sokha, but did not withdraw treason charges against him.

Any European Commission decision to withdraw preferences would still need approval by the European Parliament and EU member states.

EU officials have also traveled to nearby Myanmar to raise concerns about human and labour rights, but has stopped short of starting the process to withdraw EBA preferences.

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The European Union (EU) is giving Cambodia an ultimatum until the middle of December to respond to a report on a possible suspension of trade preferences owing to human and labour right issues in the country, Reuters reported. While the report was not published, it is believed to paint a quite negative picture on the situation in Cambodia in terms of freedom of speech, political opposition and on conditions for workers, especially in the country’s dominant garment industry. The EU, which accounts for more than one-third of Cambodia's exports, said it expects a response before it will be deciding whether...

Eu Gives Cambodia One Month To Sort Out Human And Labour Right Issues

The European Union (EU) is giving Cambodia an ultimatum until the middle of December to respond to a report on a possible suspension of trade preferences owing to human and labour right issues in the country, Reuters reported. While the report was not published, it is believed to paint a quite negative picture on the situation in Cambodia in terms of freedom of speech, political opposition and on conditions for workers, especially in the country’s dominant garment industry.

The EU, which accounts for more than one-third of Cambodia’s exports, said it expects a response before it will be deciding whether to suspend the existing trade benefits regulation with Cambodia, the Everything But Arms scheme that gives 47 of the world’s poorest countries duty-free, quota-free access for all products except arms and ammunition.

The bloc has threatened to suspend the trade preferences over a crackdown on the opposition, NGOs and the media by the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled the country for more than 34 years.

“We are very concerned about the human rights situation there,” EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said, adding that “The Cambodians now have one month to respond and we will make our final decision in February next year.”

Cambodia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Koy Kuong confirmed the report had been received, but said there was no comment for now. However, in a sign of growing pressure on Cambodia, the government relaxed house arrest conditions at the weekend on opposition leader Kem Sokha, but did not withdraw treason charges against him.

Any European Commission decision to withdraw preferences would still need approval by the European Parliament and EU member states.

EU officials have also traveled to nearby Myanmar to raise concerns about human and labour rights, but has stopped short of starting the process to withdraw EBA preferences.

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