Press Release: Cambodia: EU mission assesses human rights and labour situation

The mission took place in the framework of the EBA trade scheme that allows Cambodia to export all products (except arms and ammunition) into the EU, free of quotas and tariffs provided respect of a number of international conventions.

A delegation of the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) visited Cambodia from 5 to 11 July 2018 to evaluate the situation following recent worrying human rights and labour rights developments in the country. The European Union will now analyse as a matter of priority the information gathered during the mission to consider further steps. The mission took place in the framework of the EBA trade scheme that allows Cambodia to export all products (except arms and ammunition) into the EU, free of quotas and tariffs provided respect of a number of international conventions. Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “The Everything But Arms initiative has had a significant impact on development and poverty eradication in Cambodia. Nevertheless, the recent worrying developments in the country have called for a closer assessment of whether Cambodia is fulfilling its commitments. The discussions during our EU mission have focused on the serious decline in the area of political and electoral rights, as well as a curbing of civil society activities. There are also deficiencies when it comes to land dispute resolution mechanisms, and serious threats to freedom of association and collective bargaining rights. We will now analyse the facts and consider further steps. Removing Cambodia from the trade scheme is a measure of last resort, if all our other efforts have failed to address these concerns.”  The EU is the main export destination, accounting for 40% of Cambodia’s overall exports. The EBA has brought important benefits to the Cambodian economy. EBA has contributed in particular to significant job creation and growth in the textile sector, which accounts for 75% of Cambodia’s exports to the EU. The EU has stepped up its engagement with Cambodia (GSP report of January 2018) in response to serious concerns about the continuing deterioration of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law, as flagged also by the European Parliament and the Council.See Commission websitefor more information on EU-Cambodia trade relations and the Everything But Arms schemePress release is also available online. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)

View the press release in the Daily News.

Source: European Commission

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