Albeit these societies have largely embraced democratic values, the country’s democratic institutions have not been proportionally nourished.
The EU with a value-based trade policy is the most profitable partner to economically vulnerable countries of the world providing free access to their market. The EU through its Everything but Arms (EBA) initiative had a significant impact and brought socio-economic benefits to the Cambodian economy. Apart from acting as a pivotal facilitator of developmental politics, education and poverty eradication, Cambodian exports to the EU rose to 5 Billion EUR in 2017. In the trade policy of the EU, social justice is an indispensable facet, in addition to the respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and labour standards.
The body has given notice of its intention to “send an emergency, high-level EU commission to the country in the coming days to evaluate the situation on the ground.
At the 1991 Peace Accord, the Cambodian government had assented to a legally binding commitment to preserving a pluralistic and democratic system. Human rights, democracy and the rule of law are crucial ethics of the EU, rooted in its endowing treaty. They were buttressed when the EU espoused the Charter of Fundamental Rights in 2000 and strengthened when the Charter became legally binding and enforceable with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. After taking into consideration, the discussions and information gathered during EU’s mission, serious violations have been acknowledged in the area of political and electoral rights, land dispute resolution mechanisms and threats to freedom of association and collective bargaining rights. EU to act in retaliation to these gross violations is considering a review on the removal of its preferred trade status (EBA) – A covenant of the General Scheme of Preferences the EU, unilaterally granting exporters from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) tariff free and quota-free access to its market for all products (except arms and ammunition) with the intent to accord to the economic development of these economies and their homogenization into the global trading system.
EU’s six-month review pivoted on the larger political scenario in Cambodia and especially on the executive’s decision to ban the main opposition bloc, Cambodian National Rescue Party, prior to the elections and deteriorating respect for the right of workers. A legislation was passed in 2015, which restricted the activities of a wide range of NGOs, including those advocating on behalf of the workers. Another regulation was adopted in 2016 which restricts those who wish to form new unions and curtails the right of union members to strike or engage in public demonstrations.
Referring to it as ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas and the fiasco of civilian leader Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to resolve the crisis.
United States legislators have also warranted for sanctions on Cambodia, encompassing asset freezes for high-ranking Cambodian officials. The U.S. has already imposed visa sanctions on hand-picked Cambodian government officials. The U.S. Department of State announced that it “will obstruct entry into the United States of those individuals actively involved in undermining democracy in Cambodia.” The EU Parliament validated a resolution, calling for a detailed list of persons responsible for the disbandment of the opposition and other consequential human rights violations in Cambodia with a view to imposing possible visa diminutions and asset freezes on them. The transnational sanctions that the United States and the European Union may impose are implausible to create commendatory conditions for political discourse while China accords its full support to Hun Sen’s regime.
The European Commission and the European External Action Service accused Myanmar of “audacious violation of human rights” in Myanmar, referring to it as ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas and the fiasco of civilian leader Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to resolve the crisis. A recent U.N. report accused Myanmar’s military of gang rapes and mass killings with “genocidal intent” in Rakhine state and called for its commander-in-chief and five generals to be prosecuted under international law. The body has given notice of its intention to “send an emergency, high-level EU commission to the country in the coming days to evaluate the situation on the ground. This high-level commission is within the framework of a prospective withdrawal of Myanmar from the EBA arrangement. There is a clear probability that a withdrawal could be the outcome.”
Both these democracies are young and unshielded to power conflicts. Albeit these societies have largely embraced democratic values, the country’s democratic institutions have not been proportionally nourished. This has backtracked democratic development in these fragile economies, and there is currently no neutral and unprejudiced force in power to promote political development and protect human rights.