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International groups to put Hun Sen to task over bloody crackdowns

Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development Statement - January 9, 2014

A series of protest actions at Cambodian embassies around the world will happen on Friday 10 January 2014 to ask the Cambodian government to stop the bloody and violent repression against civil society and garment workers. International civil society are rising up in reaction to the bloody police crackdowns on protesters asking for wage increase in the industrial sectors of Phnom Penh in the first week of January, which had resulted in 4 dead, 21 wounded and 23 arrested. Regional human rights and development organization Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development will be coordinating the various actions with other advocacy groups in the region.

The actions will be at the Cambodian embassies of the following cities:

1. Seoul, South Korea
2. Jakarta, Indonesia
3. Hong Kong, China
4. Bangkok, Thailand.
5. Washington DC, USA
6. London, UK
7. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
8. Makati City, Philippines
Similar actions are planned on Saturday 11 January in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sunday 12 January in Berlin Germany and on Monday, 13th January in Manila, Philippines.

Cambodian garment workers have been protesting since mid-December of 2013, asking for a wage increase from 80 USD a month to 160 USD. There had been protest actions in the capital since November of the previous year, with support from other civil society organizations in the country. Major garment manufacturers in Cambodia are reportedly owned by Korean firms, who had requested the government to deal with the strikes. The current wages for garment workers are at barely subsistence level, as manufacturers make profit out of the labour of a workforce who are mostly women from the poverty-ridden rural areas.

Simultaneous with the protests at embassies, social media will also be harnessed to put pressure on the Cambodian government to expose and put to account the global brands Gap, Adidas, H&M and Walmart whose products are made in Cambodia under these starvation conditions.

To set interviews with people involved in the protest actions please contact Aileen Familara, <aileen@apwld.org>.

To find out more about these coordinated protest actions, and the joint civil society action on Cambodia, please go to https://www.facebook.com/events/712507662107438/?ref=5.

Aileen Familara
Information and Communication Officer
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development
Telephone: (66) 53 284527, 284856
Mobile: (66) 0831533139

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