Cambodia: Government promises to increase protection of female journalists

The Cambodian Ministry of Information plans to propose an additional clause to the current press law to protect against the harassment of female journalists. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes this commitment to improving working conditions for Cambodian women in journalism.

On October 3, Chea Sundaneth proposed the potential clause at a roundtable discussion hosted by CamboJA that focused on the challenges and opportunities for woman in journalism. Sundaneth, from the Ministry of Information, remarked that Cambodian authorities are aware of the continuing harassment against female journalists, predominately occurring during coverage of “serious events” such as protests.

Following the event, the issue was raised with the minister to review whether the protection of female journalists on duty can be integrated into the press law. Sixteen female journalists from various organisations voiced their concerns and the ongoing personal challenges they face at the event. The dialogue aimed to collate a definitive list of the issues encountered regularly when working, and conceive possible solutions to improve conditions for these women. For instance, online verbal and sexual harassment are developing and significant threats to many female journalists on duty.

Nop Vy, Executive Director of Cambodian Journalists Alliance (CamboJA) , appreciated the commitment of the government to promote women in journalism; “I hope the government will serve those commitments by setting up real actions to improve the situation. We are ready to work with the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Women Affairs, as well as other sectors, to make sure that those commitments are going to be achieved soon.”

The IFJ said: “The IFJ welcomes the commitment of government officials to highlight the challenges faced by women in journalism and their attempts to develop a solution. We hope the Cambodian government will intensify its efforts to ensure the ongoing safety of female journalists.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on ifj@ifj-asia.org

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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