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Youth Debates the Development of the Cambodian Access to Information Law

Announcement of the New Project:

“Youth Debates the Development of the Cambodian Access to Information Law”

August 2019 to August 2020

Cambodia does not have a law on access to information (A2I) to safeguard people's right to information yet. The purpose of such a law is to ensure the public’s right to and freedom of access to information. Such a law defines the duties of public institutions to provide and disseminate information publicly, in conformity with the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia and Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Over the last fourteen years, API and the Civil Society Working Group on A2I have advocated for the Cambodian Access to Information (A2I) Law. It has been debated by the representatives of the Government ministries, institutions, UN agencies and CSOs who also significantly contributed to the development of the current draft law.  CSOs, Media and UNESCO have regularly reminded the Ministry of Information about the A2I draft Law. A2I Law has been included as a priority in the new National Strategic Development Plan and the Ministry of Information reconfirmed its commitment to get the law passed by Council of Ministers and Parliament in the near future.

However, API does not just want to wait and hope but wants to take action with Cambodian youth to advocate for a) improvement of the draft A2I law and b) approval by Council of Ministers and Parliament. Cambodian youth have a strong interest in a culture of transparency that supports their own opportunities in life. API coordinates with various youth organizations and networks for joint action in this project. This follows API’s strategic priorities of empowering youth and women for policy influencing, as well as the continued and enhanced advocacy for citizens’ full access to public information. Hence, as a first, API seeks to engage youth to lead activities of this proposed project.

API receives financial support from the The Swiss Confederation through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Cambodia (SDC), DanChurchAid (DCA) and Bread for the World to support the project “Youth Debates the Development of the Cambodian Access to Information Law” from August 2019 to August 2020. API builds on its knowledge built from previous achievements and experience as leader of the NGOs’ Access to Information Working Group that will now work together with youth organizations and networks towards encouraging the Government of Cambodia and the National Assembly to pass the draft Access to Information Law.