Drink coffee. Talk politics. Blog opinions

Koffee

សិទ្ធិសេរីភាពក្នុងការបញ្ចេញមតិរបស់ពលរដ្ឋក្នុងបទដ្ឋានសង្គមលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ

សរសេរដោយ៖ យ៉ាត់ ម៉ាឡៃ កែអត្ថបទដោយ៖ អូន ឆេងប៉ (Photo Credit: "freedom of expression is your right" by rhinman)   អត្ថបទទស្សនៈ៖ សិទ្ធិសេរីភាពក្នុងការបញ្ចេញមតិរបស់ពលរដ្ឋក្នុងបទដ្ឋានសង្គមលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ   ប្រទេសកម្ពុជាគឺជាប្រទេសដែលប្រកាន់លទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ ដែលមានន័យថាផ្តល់សិទ្ធិសេរីភាពគ្រប់គ្រាន់សម្រាប់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋជាម្ចាស់ប្រទេស មានសិទ្ធិអំណាចគ្រប់គ្រាន់នៅក្នុងការបញ្ចេញមតិជាសាធារណៈ។ តាម​រដ្ឋធម្ម​នុញ្ញ​នៃ​ព្រះ​រាជាណា​ច​ក្រ​កម្ពុជា (​មា​ត្រា ៤១) សិទ្ធិ​និង​សេរីភាពជា​មូលដ្ឋាន​ជា​ច្រើន​របស់​ពលរដ្ឋ​ខ្មែរ​និង​សង្គម​ស៊ី​វិល ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋលែងមានកង្វល់នៅក្នុងការបញ្ចេញមតិនិងមិនមានការរំខានពីរាជរដ្ឋាភិបាល។   ក៏ប៉ុន្តែ សិទ្ធិសេរីភាពក្នុងការបញ្ចេញមតិរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋនៅក្នុងប្រទេស គឺនៅមានកម្រិតនៅឡើយបើធៀបទៅនឹងប្រទេសដទៃ។ ក្នុងបរិបទសង្គមខ្មែរបច្ចុប្បន្ន​​ មានភាពមិនប្រក្រតីទាក់ទងទៅនឹងបញ្ហាសេ​រី​ភាព​ខាង​កា​របញ្ចេញម​តិ​របស់​ខ្លួន ​សេ​រី​ភាព​ខាងសារ​ព័ត៌​មាន ​សេ​រី​ភាព​ខាង​កា​រ​បោះ​ពុម្ពផ្សាយ​ និង​សេ​រី​ភាព​ខាង​ការ​ជួប​ប្រ​ជុំរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ។​ ជាមួយគ្នានេះដែរ ​សកម្មភាពពុករលួយ​ថ្មីៗ ដែល​មាន​ជនល្មើស​​មួយ​ចំនួនត្រូវបានចាប់ខ្លួន ប៉ុន្តែមិនយូរប៉ុន្មានក៏បានត្រូវបានដោះលែង ដូច្នេះជាកត្តាដែល​ជះឥទ្ធិពល​មក​លើ​​សិទ្ធិ​សេរីភាព​បញ្ចេញ​មតិ​​ ដែលបណ្ដាល​ឲ្យ​ស្ថានភាព​សេរីភាព​បញ្ចេញ​មតិ​​នៅ​កម្ពុជា​ស្ថិត​ក្នុង​គ្រោះ​ថ្នាក់​កាន់​តែ​ធ្ងន់​ធ្ងរ​ជាង​មុន ក្នុងន័យដែលទទួលបានការចាប់អារម្មណ៍តិចតួច ចំណែកឯសេរីភាពនៅក្នុងបញ្ចេញមតិនៅក្នុងប្រទេសកម្ពុជាសព្វថ្ងៃធ្វើឱ្យមានការព្រួយបារម្ភជាខ្លាំង ។   គណបក្សប្រជាជនកម្ពុជាដែលជាគណបក្សកាន់អំណាច អះអាង​ថា​ខ្លួន​មានសិទ្ធិក្នុងការដឹកនាំប្រទេសក្នុងមាគ៌ាអោយស្របតាមពាក្យប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ នៅក្នុងការគ្រប់គ្រងសារព័ត៌មាន និងមានការផ្តល់អាជ្ញាបណ្ណ កំណត់ថាអ្នកណាដែលអាច​ធ្វើ​សកម្ម​ភាព​សង្គម​ស៊ីវិល​ អ្នកណា​អាច​ដឹក​នាំ​បក្ស​ក្រៅ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល ហើយអ្នកណាអាចប្រកបវិជ្ជាជីវៈសារព័ត៌​មាន​បាន។   ការបង្ក្រាប​និង​ការ​គំរាម​កំហែង លើស្ថាប័ននិងអ្នកសារព័ត៌មាន​ ដែល​មិន​ធ្វើ​ការ​ក្រោម​ចំណុះ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​និងគណបក្សកាន់អំណាច ធ្វើឱ្យមានការខកខានក្នុងការ​អនុវត្តសិទ្ធិសេរីភាពបញ្ចេញមតិ ។ ដូច្នេះយើងអាចនិយាយបានថាប្រទេសកម្ពុជាបើនិយាយអំពីប្រជាធិបតេយ្យមានកម្រិតនៅឡើយ ។ ដោយមានការចាប់ខ្លួនសកម្មជនបរិស្ថាន​៣​រូប ដែល​ត្រូវ​សមត្ថកិច្ច​ចាប់​ខ្លួន ក្រុម​អ្នកឃ្លាំមើល​ទាមទារ​ឱ្យ​ទម្លាក់​បទចោទ​និង​ដោះលែង​សកម្មជន​សង្គម នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​១៦ មិថុនា ឆ្នាំ​២០២១ ដែលបានចោទប្រកាន់ពួកគាត់ថាជាការបង្កអសន្តិសុខដល់សង្គម ដែលការចាប់ខ្លួននេះមិនមែនជាលើកទីមួយនោះទេ នៅពេលសកម្មជនបរិស្ថានប្រើសិទ្ធិសេរីភាពនៅក្នុងការបញ្ចេញមតិរិះគន់រាជរដ្ឋាភិបាល ត្រូវបានអាជ្ញាធរតាមរំខាននិងចាប់ខ្លួន ។ មានយុវជនមួយចំនួននៅតាមជនបទ ដែលពួកគាត់បានបញ្ចេញមតិដើម្បីឱ្យសហគមន៍របស់ពួកគាត់មានដំណោះស្រាយ ដូចជាទំនាស់ដីធ្លី ការកាប់បំផ្លាញព្រៃឈើ បញ្ហាព្រំដែន ប៉ុន្តែសំឡេងរបស់ពួកគាត់មិនមានឥទ្ធិពល និងមិនមានការយកចិត្តទុកដាក់ពីអាជ្ញាធរនៅក្នុងតំបន់ឡើយ មានតែការបិទសិទ្ធិនិងគំរាមកំហែងដល់ពួកគាត់ទៅវិញ ។   ទាំងអស់នេះសបញ្ជាក់ឱ្យឃើញថាអំណាចរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ ដែលជាម្ចាស់ប្រទេស មិនទាន់ទទួលបានគ្រប់គ្រាន់សម្រាប់ពួកគាត់នៅឡើយទេ។​   ប្រសិនបើប្រជាពលរដ្ឋបញ្ចេញមតិលើកសរសើរដល់រាជរដ្ឋាភិបាលទើបជា​ទី​ពេញ​ចិត្ត​របស់​អ្នក​មានអំណាច ។ ជាមួយគ្នានេះដែរ ក្រុមអង្គការសង្គមស៊ីវិលតែងបានទាមទារទៅស្ថាប័នពាក់ព័ន្ធរបស់រដ្ឋាភិបាលទម្លាក់​បទចោទ និង​ដោះ​លែងតំណាង​សហគម​ន៍​ដីធ្លី បរិស្ថាន និង​ព្រៃឈើ ដោយ​ថា វិធាន​ទាំង​នោះធ្វើឡើង​​ក្រោម​ឥទ្ធិពល​នយោបាយ​ដើម្បី​បំបិទ​សំឡេង​រិះគន់ មិន​អនុលោម​តាម​ច្បាប់​ជាតិនិងអន្តរជាតិ។​ ក្រុមអ្នកឃ្លាំមើលទាំងនោះបានលើកយកករណី​ចាប់​ឃុំ​ខ្លួន​សកម្មជន​ការ​ពារធ​ន​ធាន​ធម្មជាតិដ៏សកម្ម នៅខេត្ត​រតនគិរី លោក ឆន ផល្លា។ ការចាប់ឃុំខ្លួន​តំណាងសហគមន៍ដីធ្លីដ៏លេចធ្លោ​ម្នាក់​ទៀ​ត​នៅ​ឃុំ​ជាំក្រវៀន ខេត្តត្បូងឃ្មុំ លោក ផុន សុផល, សំណុំរឿងសកម្មជនការពារព្រៃឡង់ លោក ចាន់ ធឿន ដែលត្រូវបានចោទប្រកាន់ពីបទ «ប៉ុនប៉ងមនុស្សឃាត» ពីជនល្មើសកាប់ឈើ និងសំណុំរឿងចោទប្រកាន់មួយចំនួនទៀតទៅលើសកម្មជនព្រៃឈើនៅខេត្តព្រះវិហារ។   សរុបមក យើងឃើញថា​ មានបុគ្គលមួយចំនួនតែងតែជីកកកាយ សួរសំណួរវែកញែកអំពី តើមូលហេតុអ្វីបានជានាំអោយ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​រឹតត្បិតសិទ្ធសេរីភាពក្នុងការបញ្ចេញមតិ? ចម្លើយគឺ ពេលខ្លះការបញ្ចេញមតិរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ ត្រូវបានចាត់ទុកថាជាការញុះញង់ បង្កការបះបោរ បំបែកបំបាក់ផ្ទៃក្នុង ផ្សព្វផ្សាយនូវរាល់ព័ត៌មានខ្លះមិនពិតទាំងស្រុងក្នុងការនិយាយវែកញែក មិនមានភស្តុតាង ដូចនេះវាអាចធ្វើឱ្យមានផលប៉ះពាល់។​   ជាមួយគ្នានេះដែរ យើងអាចសន្និដ្ឋានបានថា បើកំណើននៃអ្នកសារព័ត៌មានដែលមានវិជ្ជាជីវៈ​កាន់តែច្រើន និងការណ៍ដែល​ពលរដ្ឋ​អាច​បញ្ចេញ​មតិ​បាន​ដោយ​សេរី​ នោះវិសាលភាពក្នុងការផ្សព្វផ្សាយក៏កាន់តែទូលំទូលាយ។ ម៉្យាងទៀត វាក៏ផ្នែកមួយក្នុងការចូលរួមចំណែកជួយទៅដល់ការងាររាជរដ្ឋាភិបាល ក្នុងការផ្សព្វផ្សាយនូវព័ត៌មានដែលពិតនិងមានទម្ងន់។   ជាចុងក្រោយ ក្នុងនាមយើងជាយុវជនខ្មែរគ្រប់រូប យើង​តែង​តែ​ចង់​បាន​នូវ​សិទ្ធិសេរីភាពពេញលេញក្នុងការបញ្ចេញមតិ ដែលពាក់ព័ន្ធទៅនឹងបញ្ហាផ្សេងៗដែលកើតមានក្នុងសកម្មភាពអវិជ្ជមាន ក៏ដូចទៅនឹងការសិក្សាស្រាវជ្រាវតាមដានយ៉ាងស្វិតស្វាញ ដើម្បីទប់ទល់នឹងជួយដោះស្រាយបញ្ហាប្រទេសជាតិ អភិវឌ្ឍន៍ អភិរក្ស ថែរក្សា ការពារអ្វីដែលយើងមាន៕   *អត្ថបទទសន្ស:នេះ ត្រូវបានផលិតឡើងក្រោមជំនួយហិរញ្ញវត្ថុរបស់សហភាពអឺរ៉ុបនិងទីភ្នាក់ងារសហប្រតិបត្តិការអភិវឌ្ឍអន្តរជាតិស៊ុយអ៊ែត តាមរយ:អង្គការតម្លាភាពកម្ពុជានិងអង្គការអាក់សិនអេតកម្ពុជា។ រាល់ខ្លឹមសារ​ មិនឆ្លុះបញ្ចាំងអំពីទស្សន:របស់ម្ចាស់ជំនួយនោះទេ។

ពេលនេះជាពេលវេលាក្នុងការលុបបំបាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារ

សរសេរដោយ៖ ខន សុខា, សួ សុវណ្ណិកា និង រឿន ចន្ទ័សូលីកា កែអត្ថបទដោយ៖ អូន ឆេងប៉ (Photo credit: "#orangeurhood Cambodia" by UN Women Gallery is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)   អត្ថបទទស្សនៈ៖ ពេលនេះជាពេលវេលាក្នុងការលុបបំបាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារ   នៅក្នុងគ្រួសារដែលចាប់ផ្ដើមចេញពីចំណងអាពាហ៍ពិពាហ៍ដែលមានបុរស និងស្ត្រីបានរួមគ្នាបង្កើតជាគ្រួសារមួយ ដោយមានការយល់ព្រមពីញាតិលោហិតសងខាង ដោយគោរពតាមច្បាប់កម្ពុជាផងដែរ មុននឹងក្លាយជាប្ដីប្រពន្ធស្របច្បាប់។ គ្រួសារនីមួយៗតែងតែមានសុភមង្គលក្នុងគ្រួសារ បង្កើតបានជាភាពរីករាយក្រោមចំណងអាពាហ៍ពិពាហ៍។ ប៉ុន្តែមានគ្រួសារខ្លះ ហាក់មិនទទួលបាននូវសុភមង្គលឡើយ ដោយបង្កើតបានជាអំពើហិង្សានៅក្នុងគ្រួសារទៅ​វិញ។ អំពើហិង្សាទាំងនោះបានធ្វើឱ្យគ្រួសារខ្លះ ប្រឈមនឹងការបែកបាក់រស់នៅមិនចុះសម្រុងនឹងគ្នា ហើយឈានដល់ការការប្រព្រឹត្តអំពើជាបទល្មើសផងដែរ។ លើសពីនេះ អាចប្រឈមនឹងការទទួលខុសត្រូវចំពោះមុខច្បាប់សម្រាប់ជនល្មើសផងដែរ។ ដូច្នេះ ដោយមើលឃើញផលអវិជ្ជមាននៃអំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារ គេបានដាក់ចេញនូវយន្តការជាច្រើនក្នុងការលុបបំបាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារ។    អត្ថន័យនៃពាក្យ អំពើហិង្សា បើយោងតាមអង្គការថែទាំសុខភាពគ្រួសារកម្ពុ​ជា(រ៉ាក់)បង្ហាញថា គឺជាគម្រូនៃឥរិយាបទដែលជាប់ពាក់ព័ន្ធនឹងអំពើហិង្សា ឬការរំលោភបំពានផ្សេងៗទៀតដោយមនុស្សម្នាក់ប្រឆាំងនិងការផ្សេងទៀតនៅក្នុងការកំណត់ក្នុងការគ្រួសារ ដូចជានៅក្នុងអាពាហ៍ពិពាហ៍ ឬដែលមានចរិកលក្ខណៈជាការប្រមាថមាក់ងាយ ការរំលោភបំពាន ការគំរាមគំហែងលើផ្លូវកាយ ផ្លូវចិត្ត ផ្លូវភេទ និងផ្លូវសេដ្ឋកិច្ច ដល់មនុស្សណាម្នាក់ ក្រុមណាមួយ ហើយដែលប្រព្រឹត្តដោយមនុស្សម្នាក់ ឬច្រើននាក់ដើម្បីត្រួតត្រាទៅលើមនុស្សផ្សេងៗទៀតដែលកំពុងរស់នៅក្នុងគ្រួសារនោះ។    តើមានមូលហេតុអ្វីខ្លះដែលនាំឱ្យមានអំពើហិង្សា? តើអំពើហិង្សាមានអ្វីខ្លះ? ទន្ទឹមនឹងនេះ តើយើងមានដំណោះស្រាយបែបណាខ្លះក្នុងការទប់ស្កាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារជាបន្តទៀត? អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារតែងតែកើតឡើងដោយមានមូលហេតុរបស់វា មិន​មែនកើតឡើងដោយគ្មានមូលហេតុនោះទេ។ យោងតាមអង្គការសុខភាពថែទាំសុខភាពគ្រួសារកម្ពុជា(រ៉ាក់) បានបង្ហាញពីមូលហេតុដូចខាងក្រោម៖ ចង់បានអំណាច និងការត្រួតត្រាលើសមាជិកគ្រួសារ ចង់ឱ្យគេគោរពកោតខ្លាចធ្វើតាម ចង់ឱ្យគេគោរពកោតខ្លាចធ្វើតាមតម្រូវការរបស់ខ្លួនឯង ចង់ឱ្យគេស្ដាប់តាមការបង្គាប់បញ្ជារបស់ខ្លួន ចង់បង្ហាញថាខ្លួនជាមនុស្សខ្លាំងពូកែ ខ្វះវិធីគ្រប់គ្រងកំហឹងរបស់ខ្លួន ខ្វះការអធ្យាស្រ័យពីអ្នកដ៏ទៃ ការប្រកាន់យកនូវការអនុវត្តទម្លាប់ខុសឆ្គងមួយចំនួន៖ ស្ត្រីមិនស្មើរបុរស ឬឯងមិនស្មើរអញ ខ្លួនមានសិទ្ធិអំណាចទៅលើអ្នកក្រោមបង្គាប់ ឬសមាជិកគ្រួសារជាដើម។ បន្ថែមពីលើនេះច្បាប់ស្ដីពីការទប់ស្កាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារ និងកិច្ចការពារជនរងគ្រោះក្នុងមាត្រា៣បង្ហាញ មានដូចជា៖ ១. ការប៉ះពាល់ដល់ជីវិត ២. ការប៉ះពាល់ដល់បូរណៈភាពរូបរាងកាយ ៣. ការធ្វើទារុណកម្ម ឬការធ្វើអំពើឃោរឃៅ និង ៤. ការឈ្លានពានផ្លូវភេទ។ ទន្ទឹមនឹងនេះ ច្បាប់ស្ដីពីការទប់ស្កាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារ និងកិច្ចការពារជនរងគ្រោះ ជំពូក៤ វិធានការទប់ស្កាត់ និងការពារជនរងគ្រោះចាប់ពីមាត្រា១៣ដល់មាត្រា១៩ បានបង្ហាញពីការទប់ស្កាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារផងដែរ។ ចំពោះអង្គការសុខភាពថែទាំសុខភាពគ្រួសារកម្ពុជា(រ៉ាក់) ការកាត់បន្ថយអំពើហិង្សាក្នុងសហគមន៍រួមមាន៖ និយាយពន្យល់ពីផលប៉ះពាល់នៃអំពើហិង្សាដោយបើកចំហជាមួយមិត្តភក្តិ ឪពុកម្ដាយនិងសហគមន៍ ធ្វើការដោយផ្ទាល់ជាមួយសហគមន៍ដើម្បីផ្លាស់ប្ដូរឥរិយាបទហិង្សា និងការពារមនុស្សគ្រប់គ្នាក្នុងសហគមន៍ គ្រប់គ្រងការទទួលខុសត្រូវរបស់ខ្លួនលើការប្រើប្រាស់គ្រឿងស្រវឹង ស្វះស្វែងរកវិធីសាស្ត្រដោះស្រាយដោយអហិង្សា ​​និងលើកទឹកចិត្តយុវ័យចេះគោរពខ្លួន និងគោរពគ្នាទៅវិញទៅមក។ យោងតាមការបកស្រាយខាងលើនេះ យើងអាចធ្វើការសន្និដ្ឋានបានថា មានបទដ្ឋានគតិយុត្តិជាច្រើនបានបញ្ញត្តិ ដូចជា ក្រមព្រហ្មទណ្ឌឆ្នាំ២០០៩ ច្បាប់ស្ដីពីអាពាហ៍ពិពាហ៍និងគ្រួសារ ច្បាប់ទប់ស្កាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារនិងកិច្ចការពារជនរងគ្រោះឆ្នាំ២០០៥ និងគោលនយោបាយស្ដីពីភូមិឃុំមានសុវត្តិភាពដែលបានបង្ហាញពីការទប់ស្កាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារ។ ដើម្បីចៀសវាង ក៏ដូចជាលុបបំបាត់នូវបញ្ហាដែលកំពុងជួបប្រឈមនេះ យើងគួរតែអនុវត្តតាមច្បាប់ដែលមានចែង ដើម្បីបង្ការនូវបទល្មើសផ្សេងៗ។    ការផ្ដល់តម្លៃចំពោះគ្នាទៅវិញទៅមក និងការគោរពគ្នានៅក្នុងគ្រួសារ ដោយប្រកាន់ភ្ជាប់នូវការអធ្យាស្រ័យល្អ តែងនាំមកនូវការចុះសម្រុងរវាងគ្នានិងគ្នា។ សៀវភៅសីលធម៌-ពលរដ្ឋវិជ្ជាថ្នាក់ទី១១របស់ក្រសួងអប់រំ យុវជន និងកីឡា បានបង្ហាញពីនិយមន័យនៃការអធ្យាស្រ័យគឺការគោរពគ្នា ការយោគយល់​ ការអត់ឱនគ្នា តាមរយៈការយល់ចិត្តគ្នាទៅវិញទៅមកទាំងកាយ ទាំងវាចា និងទាំងចិត្ត។ ចំពោះសាលារៀនដែលមានតួនាទីសំខាន់ៗក្នុងការអប់រំសិស្សានុសិស្ស ដោយបានដាក់បញ្ចូលនូវគោលការណ៍អប់រំនិងមេរៀនស្ដីពីការលុបបំបាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារផងដែរ សម្រាប់ឱ្យសិស្សានុសិស្សស្វែងយល់បន្ថែមចាប់ពីបឋមសិក្សារហូតដល់មធ្យមសិក្សាជាដើម។ លើសពីនេះ វត្តអារាម ក៏បានដើរតួរយ៉ាងសំខាន់ផងដែរក្នុងការផ្សេព្វផ្សាយលុបបំបាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារដោយបានផ្សារភ្ជាប់នឹងធម្មទេសនា។ បន្ថែមពីនេះ ព្រះសង្ឃបានបង្កើតកម្មវិធីទស្សនៈទានជាច្រើនក្នុងការផ្សព្វផ្សាយដល់សាធារណៈជន ក្នុងការលុបបំបាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារ តាមរយៈប្រព័ន្ធផ្សព្វផ្សាយសង្គម ជាពិសេសធម៌អហិង្សាដែលមានចែងក្នុងព្រះពុទ្ធសាសនា។  ការរកដំណោះស្រាយដោយអហិង្សា និងការពិភាក្សាគ្នាចំពោះបញ្ហាដែលបានកើតឡើង នោះនាំឱ្យមានការលុបបំបាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារជាអតិបរមា។ ការមិនប្រើអំពើហិង្សាក្នុងការដោះស្រាយបញ្ហា បានជះឥទ្ធិពលល្អក្នុងសង្គម ក្នុងការប្រកាន់ខ្ជាប់ធម៌អហិង្សា។ យោងតាមសៀវភៅសីលធម៌-ពលរដ្ឋវិជ្ជាថ្នាក់ទី១១ ទំព័រទី១២ ក្នុងមេរៀនទី៣របស់ក្រសួងអប់រំ យុវជន និងកីឡា បានបង្ហាញនិយមន័យស្ដីពី «ធម៌អហិង្សា គឺធម៌ទាំងឡាយណាដែលទ្រទ្រង់មនុស្សមិនឱ្យប្រព្រឹត្តអំពើហិង្សា មិនឱ្យបៀតបៀន ឬធ្វើទុក្ខបុកម្នេញអ្នកដ៏ទៃ និងមិនធ្វើឱ្យអ្នកដ៏ទៃមានការឈឺចាប់ទាំងផ្លូវចិត្ត ទាំងផ្លូវកាយ»។   សង្គមមនុស្សនឹងមានសុខសន្តិភាពពេញលេញ ប្រសិនបើបុគ្គលម្នាក់ៗប្រតិបត្តិតាមគោលការណ៍នៃធម៌អហិង្សាដូចខាងក្រោមដែលរួមមាន៖ ប្រកាន់ខ្ជាប់សេចក្ដីស្ងប់ខាងផ្លូវកាយនិងផ្លូវចិត្ត គឺការរួមរស់ជាមួយគ្នាដោយសុខដុមរមនា មិនបៀតបៀនគ្នា មិនព្យាបាទ ឈ្នានីសគ្នា ពោលគឺការរស់នៅដោយគន្លងធម៌ប្រកបដោយចិត្ត មេត្តា ករុណា មុទិតា ឧបេក្ខា និងគ្មានការលោភលន់កេងប្រវ័ញ្ច ខន្តី ឬសេចក្ដីអត់ធន់ ជាឱសថទប់ទល់នឹងពាក្យទិតៀន និងការឈ្លោះប្រកែកគ្នា។ បុគ្គលដែលប្រកបដោយសេចក្ដីអត់ធន់ នឹងទទួលបានមិត្តល្អ បានកិត្តិយស និងសុភមង្គល។ ជនដែលចេះអត់ឱន តែងតែមានការស្រឡាញ់រាប់អានពីអ្នកដ៏ទៃជានិច្ច ប្រព្រឹត្តតែអំពើល្អ លះបង់គំនុំគុំគួនដែលមាននៅក្នុងចិត្ត ពោលគឺ ពៀររំងាប់ដោយការមិនចងពៀរ ហើយមានតែសេចក្ដីស្រលាញ់ទេដែលជួយមនុស្សឱ្យរួចផុតពីការស្អប់និងកំហឹងបាន។ ការរស់នៅប្រកបដោយចិត្តមេត្តា ករុណា នឹងនាំមកនូវសុភមង្គលជានិច្ចនិរន្តរ៍។   បន្ថែមពីនេះ សៀវភៅសីលធម៌-ពលរដ្ឋវិជ្ជា បានបង្ហាញពីផលប្រយោជន៍នៃការប្រតិបត្តិធម៌អហិង្សា ការរស់នៅក្នុងសង្គម ប្រសិនបើមនុស្សម្នាក់ៗជ្រើសរើសយកធម៌អហិង្សាមកដាក់ក្នុងខ្លួន គឺមនុស្សអាចឈ្នះចិត្តខ្លួនឯងបាន។ បើចិត្តមនុស្សគ្រប់គ្នាមានធម៌អហិង្សា កាយនិងវាចាក៏មានធម៌អហិង្សាដែរ។ ការជ្រើសរើសយក ឬការប្រកាន់ខ្ជាប់ធម៌ គឺធ្វើឱ្យគ្រួសារ សហគមន៍ ប្រទេសជាតិនិងពិភពលោកទាំងមូលមានស្ថិរភាព មិនមានជម្លោះវាយប្រហារគ្នា មានសន្តិភាព ការគោរពគ្នាទៅវិញទៅមក ទទួលបានផលប្រយោជន៍គ្រប់យ៉ាងដូចជាគោរពជីវិតមនុស្ស តម្លៃមនុស្ស សហប្រតិបត្តិការ មានការយោគយល់គ្នារវាងជនជាតិនិងជនជាតិ រវាងជាតិនិងជាតិ និងការយល់គ្នាជាអន្តរជាតិ។ ជារួម បុគ្គលគ្រប់រូបដែលប្រកាន់ខ្ជាប់ធម៌អហិង្សា មានសន្តិភាពផ្លូវចិត្ត ផ្លូវកាយ សុភមង្គលដល់ជីវិតមនុស្សគ្រប់រូប នឹងចូលរួមចំណែកធ្វើឱ្យសង្គមគ្រួសារ ប្រទេសជាតិមានការអភិវឌ្ឍគ្រប់ផ្នែក។ មិនតែប៉ុណ្ណោះ ការលុបបំបាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារ ជាកាតព្វកិច្ចរបស់យើងគ្រប់គ្នា។ ការរួមចំណែកដែលមិនអាចខ្វះបាន គឺការចូលរួមពីគ្រប់មជ្ឈដ្ឋាន ជាពិសេសពលរដ្ឋទូទៅដូចជា៖ ចូលរួមរាយការណ៍ជូនសមត្ថកិច្ចគ្រប់លំដាប់ថ្នាក់ពេលមានការប្រើប្រាស់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារ ការចូលរួមយុទ្ធនាការនានាស្ដីពីការលុបបំបាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារក្នុងសហគមន៍ ការផ្សព្វផ្សាយ ការចែករំលែកចំណេះដឹងស្ដីពីការទប់ស្កាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារទៅកាន់មិត្តភ័ក្រ បងប្អូននិងមនុស្សជុំវិញខ្លួនជាដើម ដែលជាកាតព្វកិច្ចរួមរបស់ពលរដ្ឋទូទៅក្នុងការរួមចំណែកលុបបំបាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារយ៉ាងមានប្រសិទ្ធិភាព។ ការអប់រំយែនឌ័រស្ដីពីភាពស្មើគ្នារវាងបុរសនិងស្ត្រីក្នុងការសម្រេចចិត្ត ឬធ្វើអ្វីមួយនោះ ដោយមានការចូលរួមពីស្ត្រី ដែលបង្ហាញពីការគោរពសិទ្ធិ ដែលជាផ្នែកមួយដែលមានផ្នត់គំនិតភាពស្មើគ្នារវាងបុរសនិងស្រ្តី ដែលអាចឈានទៅរកការលុបបំបាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារបានផងដែរ។ ដូច្នេះក្នុងនាមខ្ញុំជាយុវជនជំនាន់ក្រោយ ខ្ញុំនឹងចូលរួមយ៉ាងសកម្មក្នុងការលុបបំបាត់រាល់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារ អំពើហិង្សាដ៏ទៃទៀត ការប្រកាន់ភ្ជាប់ធម៌អហិង្សាជានិច្ចក្នុងការរកដំណោះស្រាយអ្វីមួយ និងបង្កើនការចូលរួមគ្រប់សកម្មភាពក្នុងការឆ្លើយតបទៅលើលុបបំបាត់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារ។  «បដិសេធការប្រើប្រាស់អំពើហិង្សាក្នុងគ្រួសារ និងបញ្ចប់អំពើហិង្សាគ្រប់រូបភាព សម្រាប់មនុស្សគ្រប់គ្នា!»    * អត្ថបទទស្សន:នេះ ត្រូវបានផលិតឡើងក្រោមជំនួយហិរញ្ញវត្ថុរបស់សហភាពអឺរ៉ុប និងទីភ្នាក់ងារសហប្រតិបត្តិការអភិវឌ្ឍអន្តរជាតិស៊ុយអ៊ែត តាមរយ:អង្គការតម្លាភាពកម្ពុជានិងអង្គការអាក់សិនអេតកម្ពុជា។ រាល់ខ្លឹមសារ​ មិនឆ្លុះបញ្ចាំងអំពីទស្សន:របស់ម្ចាស់ជំនួយនោះទេ។

ហេតុអ្វីយុវជនសតវត្សរ៍ទី២១នៅតែភ័យខ្លាចក្នុងការចូលរួមក្នុងនយោបាយ?

សរសេរដោយ៖ ពក ពន្លឺ និង ស៊ន ស្រីអាង កែអត្ថបទដោយ៖ អូន ឆេងប៉ (Photo Credit: "ASEAN Youth Volunteer Program" by USAID Asia is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0)   អត្ថបទទស្សនៈ៖ ហេតុអ្វីយុវជនសតវត្សរ៍ទី២១នៅតែភ័យខ្លាចក្នុងការចូលរួមក្នុងនយោបាយ?   ស្ថានភាពបច្ចុប្បន្ន សកម្មជនអតីតគណបក្សប្រឆាំងមិនក្រោមពី១៤នាក់ទេ ដែលត្រូវបានចោទប្រកាន់ពីបទ «រួម​គំនិត​ក្បត់ និង​ញុះញង់​ឱ្យ​ប្រព្រឹត្ត​បទ​ឧក្រិដ្ឋ​ជា​អាទិ៍» និង​បទ «រួម​គំនិត​ក្បត់​ និង​ញុះ​ញង់​ឱ្យ​មាន​ភាព​វឹកវរ​ធ្ងន់ធ្ងរ​ដល់​សន្តិសុខ​សង្គម»។ ជាក់​ស្ដែង​​ថ្មីៗ​បំផុត​នេះ លោកស៊ិន ខុន ជា​សកម្ម​ជន​នយោបាយ ត្រូវ​បាន​ជន​មិន​ស្គាល់​មុខ​ធ្វើ​ឃាត។ លោក​ត្រូវ​បាន​គេ​​ស្គាល់​ថា​ឧស្សាហ៍​បង្ហោះ​រឿង​នយោបាយ​និង​បញ្ចេញ​មតិ​ទស្សនៈ​លើ​បណ្តាញ​សង្គម។   ម្យ៉ាង​វិញ​ទៀត​ ទោះ​បី​សកម្ម​ជន​នយោបាយ​មួយ​ចំនួន ខំ​រត់​ភៀស​ខ្លួន​ទៅ​ក្រៅ​ប្រទេស​ដូច​ជា​ប្រទេស​ថៃ​ជា​ដើម​ ក៏​ត្រូវ​បាន​អាជ្ញាធរ​កម្ពុជា​សហការ​ជាមួយ​សមត្ថកិច្ច​ថៃ​ចាប់​បញ្ចូន​ខ្លួន​មក​វិញ​ផង​ដែរ។ ជាក់​ស្តែង​កាល​ពី​ខែ​វិច្ឆិកា​​កន្លង​ទៅ​នេះ អ្នកស្រី ឡាញ់ ថាវរី អតីត​សកម្មជន​គណបក្ស​ប្រឆាំង​ត្រូវ​សមត្ថកិច្ច​ថៃ​ចាប់​បញ្ជូន​ខ្លួន​មក​ឱ្យ​អាជ្ញាធរកម្ពុជា​វិញ។ បើ​យោង​តាម​អង្គការ​ឃ្លាំ​មើល​សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស​អន្តរជាតិ (Human Rights Watch) ចេញ​ផ្សាយ​របាយ​ការណ៍​កាល​ពី​ថ្មីៗ​នេះ​ មាន​សកម្ម​ជន​បរិស្ថាន នយោបាយ និងអ្នក​ទោស​មនសិការ​ចំនួន​៦០​នាក់​ទៀត​កំពុង​ជាប់​ឃុំ ​និង​ចោទ​ប្រកាន់​ពី​បទ​ល្មើស​ផ្សេងៗ។​ ជា​រួម​រយៈពេល​មួយ​ទសវត្សរ៍​មក​នេះ សកម្មភាព​ចាប់​យុវជន​ដែល​ជា​សកម្មជន​នយោបាយ​ សកម្មជន​បរិស្ថាន សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស ឬ​រូប​វ័ន្តបុគ្គល​ដែល​បាន​បញ្ចេញ​គំនិត​ និង​ទស្សនៈ​ក្នុង​ប្រព័ន្ធ​​ទំនាក់​ទំនង​សង្គម​ពាក់ព័ន្ធ​នយោបាយ ក៏​ត្រូវ​បាន​ចាប់​ខ្លួន​ និង​គំរាម​គំហែង​ដោយ​សមត្ថកិច្ច​កាន់​តែ​ច្រើនៗ​ទៅ និង​ជា​បន្ត​បន្ទាប់។ ជា​ពិសេស​ការ​រំលាយ​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ​​កាលពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី១៦ ខែវិច្ឆិកា ឆ្នាំ២០១៧ ដែល​ជា​គណបក្ស​ប្រឆាំង​ដ៏​ធំ និង​មាន​សក្តានុពល​មួយ​នៅ​ក្នុង​ស្រុក​ ហើយ​នេះ​ក៏​ជា​ភ្លើង​ក្រហម​បង្ហាញ​ឱ្យ​គណបក្ស​នយោបាយ សកម្មជន យុវជន ពលរដ្ឋ និង​សាធារណ​ជន​ទូទៅ មាន​ការ​ភ័យ​ខ្លាច តក់​ស្លុត និង​លែង​ហ៊ាន​ចូល​រួម ​ឬ​បញ្ចេញ​មតិ​ពាក់​ព័ន្ធ​នយោបាយ​បន្ត​ទៀត។ ដោយ​ឡែក ទោះ​បី​ប្រទេស​ជាតិ​មាន​វិបត្តិ​វឹកវរ ដោយ​សារ​កូវីដ-១៩​ក៏​ដោយ​ ក៏​មាន​យុវជន​មិន​ក្រោម​ពី​២០នាក់​ទេ ដែល​ត្រូវ​បាន​ចាប់​ខ្លួន​ដោយ​ចោទ​ពី​បទ «ញុះ​ញង់ និង​បង្ក​ឱ្យ​មាន​អសន្តិសុខ​សង្គម» ដែល​ជា​បទ​ល្មើស​ដ៏​ល្បី​​ក្នុង​ប្រព័ន្ធ​តុលាការ​កម្ពុជា​ប្រចាំ​យុគ​សម័យ​កូវីដ-១៩​នេះ​។ ដូច្នេះ​ថា​តើ​សកម្មភាព និង​ហេតុការណ៍​ទាំង​អស់​នេះ​ឬ​ ជា​កត្តា​ធ្វើ​ឱ្យ​យុវជន​សម័យ​នេះ (សតវត្សរ៍ទី២១)ភ័យ​ខ្លាច និង​តក់​ស្លុត​លែង​ហ៊ាន​ចូល​រួម​សកម្មភាព​នយោបាយ​ និង​ការ​បញ្ចេញ​មតិ​ពាក់​ព័ន្ធ​នយោបាយ? ឬ​ក៏​យុវជន​ខ្លួន​ឯង​មិន​មាន​ចំណេះ​ដឹង​ ឬ​មន​សិការ​ក្នុង​កិច្ចការ​នយោបាយ?​   អ្វីជានយោបាយ ដោយ​ផ្តើម​ពី​សំណួរ​ថា​អ្វី​ទៅ​គឺ​ជា «នយោបាយ» ?  ពាក្យ​ថា​នយោបាយ​មាន​ការ​ផ្តល់​នូវ​និយម​ន័យ​ជា​ច្រើន និង​ការ​ពន្យល់​បក​ស្រាយ​ផ្សេងៗ​ពី​គ្នា។ ប៉ុន្តែ​យើង​អាច​សិក្សា​ឈ្វេង​យល់​តាម​រយៈ​ទស្សន​វិទូ​ល្បីៗ​កាល​ពី​អតីតកាល ដូច​លោក​ប្លា​តុង / Platon (428-347 BC «មុន គ.ស.») បានឱ្យនិ​យម​ន័យ​ថា «នយោបាយ គឺជា​សិល្បៈ​ដឹក​នាំ​ហ្វូង​មនុស្ស»។ ចំពោះលោកអា​រី​ស្តូ​ត / Aristoteles (384-322 BC) «នយោបាយ​គឺ​ជា​កិច្ចការ​ទំនាក់​ទំនង​របស់​ប្រជាពល​រដ្ឋ​នៅ​ក្នុង​ប្រទេស ឬបុរី​-រដ្ឋ»។ ចំណែក​នៅក្នុង​វចនានុក្រម​សម្ដេចព្រះសង្ឃរាជ ជួន ណាត បាន​ពន្យល់​ពាក្យ​នេះ​ថា «នយោបាយ (ន)៖ (ន​យ+ឧបាយ) មាន​ន័យ​ថា ឧបាយ​ក្នុង​ការណែនាំ, កលល្បិច ឬ​មេ​គំនិត​ដែល​គេ​ផ្ដើម​ឡើង​ដើម្បី​ដឹកនាំ​ជន​ដទៃ​ឲ្យ​ប្រព្រឹត្ត​ទៅរក​ទិសដៅ​យ៉ាងនេះ ឬ​យ៉ាង​នោះ, កិច្ចការ​ទាក់​ទង​នឹង​ការ​គ្រប់​គ្រង​រដ្ឋ»។ ពោល​ដោយ​សរុប​មក ទោះ​ជា​គេ​មើល​និយម​ន័យ​នយោបាយ​ពី​ជ្រុង​ណា​មក​ក៏​ដោយ​ វា​សុទ្ធ​តែ​មាន​ការ​ទាក់​ទង​នឹង​អំណាច​របស់​រដ្ឋ​ទាំង​អស់។ អំណាច​ដែល​បាន​ពេល​នេះ​ មិន​មែន​ជា​អំណាច​ធម្មតា តែ​ជា​អំណាច​ខ្ពស់​បំផុត​របស់​រដ្ឋ ឬ​របស់​ផែន​ដី។ បញ្ហា​សំខាន់​ដែល​គួរ​តែ​យក​ចិត្ត​ទុក​ដាក់​ គឺ​អំណាច​ខាង​នយោបាយ ប្រើ​ដើម្បី​ប្រយោជន៍​នរណា? ហើយ​អ្វី​ជា​តួនាទី​នយោបាយ ​និង​នយោបាយ​មាន​សារៈ​សំខាន់​យ៉ាង​ណា​ចំពោះ​សង្គម​ជាតិ? ហើយ​យុវជន​ចូល​រួម​សកម្មភាព​នយោបាយ ជា​កត្តា​ជំរុញ​ឱ្យ​ប្រទេសជាតិ​រីកចម្រើន​ដែរ​ឬ​ទេ?   តួនាទីរបស់នយោបាយ តួនាទី​របស់​នយោបាយ ​គឺ​ការ​ធ្វើ​ឱ្យ​ពល​រដ្ឋ​ក្លាយ​ទៅ​ជា​បុគ្គល​ដែល​យល់​ច្បាស់​នូវ​វប្បធម៌​នយោបាយ។​(ឧ. របប​នយោបាយ) ពលរដ្ឋ​ទាំង​អស់​មិន​ត្រូវ​អនុញ្ញាតិ​ឱ្យ​អ្នក​នយោបាយ​ចាត់​ទុក​ពលរដ្ឋ​ជា​មនុស្ស​យន្ត (Robot) ដែល​អាច​វាយ​តប់​ និង​អាច​ប្រើ​ប្រាស់​តាម​គោលបំណង​របស់​អ្នក​នយោបាយ​ទេ។ ដូច្នេះ ពលរដ្ឋ​ទាំង​ឡាយ​ត្រូវ​តែ​មាន​ចំណេះ​ដឹង​ផ្នែក​សង្គម​នយោបាយ​ យល់​ដឹង​អំពី​តក្កភាព​នៃ​ដំណើរ​រីក​ចម្រើន​សង្គម យល់​ដឹង​ជីវិត​គណបក្ស​នយោបាយ មេដឹកនាំ​នយោបាយ​ និង​ស្គាល់​ឱ្យ​ច្បាស់​អ្វី​ជា​អត្ថន័យ​នីតិរដ្ឋ។ ធ្វើ​ដូច្នោះ​ទើប​ជា​ពលរដ្ឋ​ដែល​មាន​កម្លាំង​រឹង​មាំ ​ដែល​អាច​ការ​ពារ​រដ្ឋ ដែល​សម​ជា​ឈ្មោះ​ពល​(សេនា)​របស់​រដ្ឋ​បាន។   សារសំខាន់​របស់​នយោបាយ​ ម្យ៉ាង​វិញ​ទៀត នយោបាយ​ពិត​ជា​មាន​សារ​សំខាន់​ខ្លាំង​ណាស់ មិន​ថា​សម្រាប់​យុវជន បុគ្គល​ ឬ​ពល​រដ្ឋ សូម្បី​សង្គមជាតិ​ក៏​មិន​អាច​ខ្វះ​នយោបាយ​បាន​ដែរ។ ហើយ​យុវជន​គឺ​ជា​កម្លាំង​ស្នូល​ ដើម្បី​ចូល​រួម​កែ​ប្រែ និង​អភិវឌ្ឍ​សង្គម​តាម​បែប​សកម្មភាព​ផ្សេងៗ ជំនាញ​ផ្សេងៗ ហើយ​អ្វី​ដែល​យុវជន​មិន​អាច​ខ្វះ​បាន​គឺ​ចំណេះ និង​ជំនាញ​នយោបាយ។​ នៅ​ពេល​យុវជន​មាន​ចំណេះ​ដឹង​ស៊ី​ជម្រៅ​ក្នុង​នយោបាយ បែប​មាន​ហេតុ​ផល​ និង​តក្ក​វិជ្ជា​ច្បាស់​លាស់ នោះ​យុវជនមិន​ដើរ​លើ​ផ្លូវ​ធ្លាក់​ទៅ​ក្នុង​ស្ថាន​ភាព​ចាញ់​បោក​អ្នក​ដទៃ ឬ​អ្នក​នយោបាយ​នោះ​ឡើយ។ ១. យុវជន​ចេះ​វិភាគ និង​កំណត់​ច្បាស់​លាស់​ថា អ្នក​ណា​ជា​អ្នក​នយោបាយ​បោក​ប្រាស់​ មាន​ល្បិច​កិច្ច​កល្ប ប្រើ​ពាក្យ​ពេជន៍​ផ្អែម​ល្អែម​ដូច​ជា​ផ្លែល្វា។ ២. យុវ​ជន​យល់​ដឹង​នូវ​ដំណើរ​ការ​នយោបាយ​កំពុង​តែ​ស្ថិត​លើ​ផ្លូវ​ត្រូវ ឬ​ផ្លូវ​ខុស​ចំពោះ​សេចក្តី​អនុម័ត និង​សម្រេច​អ្វី​ផ្សេងៗ។ ៣. យុវ​ជន​យល់​ច្បាស់​អំពី​កន្លែង​របស់​ខ្លួន និង​តួនាទី​នៅ​ក្នុង​សង្គម សិទ្ធិ និង​កាតព្វ​កិច្ច​ ហើយ​នឹង​មាន​សមត្ថ​ភាព​គ្រប់គ្រាន់ ដើម្បី​ការពារ​ផល​ប្រយោជន៍​របស់​ខ្លួន ឬ​ប្រយោជន៍​សង្គម​ក្នុង​ប្រទេស។​ ៤.​ចំណេះ​ដឹង​ផ្នែក​នយោបាយ​របស់​យុវជន ជា​កត្តា​ធ្វើ​ឱ្យ​អ្នក​នយោបាយ​បោក​ប្រាស់ អ​សមត្ថ​ភាព​ និង​ជា​អ្នក​នយោបាយ​អត្ត​ទត្ថ​បុគ្គល មាន​ការ​ភ័យ​ខ្លាច​ និង​គ្មាន​ជីវភាព​ក្នុង​នយោបាយ​បាន​យូរ​ទេ។ ៥. ធ្វើ​ឱ្យ​សង្គម​មាន​ប្រជាធិតេយ្យ​ និង​អ្នក​ដឹក​នាំ​នយោបាយ​មាន​មនសិការ​ស្នេហា​ជាតិ​ពិត​ប្រាកដ ហើយ​វា​ជា​ចលករ​ឱ្យ​ពលរដ្ឋ​មាន​សិទ្ធិ សេរីភាព និង​មាន​ការ​ការពារ​ពី​ច្បាប់​ស្មើៗ​គ្នា។ ជា​រួម​នៅ​ពេល​យុវជន​មាន​កត្តា​ទាំង​អស់​នេះ​ហើយ យុវជន​នឹង​ពួត​ដៃ​គ្នា​ចូល​រួម​សម្អាត​សង្គម​ និង​អភិវឌ្ឍ​សង្គម តាម​បែប​បញ្ចេញ​គំនិត​យ៉ាង​ស៊ី​ជម្រៅ​ និង​តាម​ដាន​អ្នក​នយោបាយ​ប្រព្រឹត្ត​អំពើ​ពុករលួយ និង​ការ​ដឹក​នាំ​គ្មាន​តម្លាភាព និង​យុត្តិធម៌​ចំពោះ​ស្ថាប័ន និង​វិស័យ​មួយ​ចំនួន។​ ចូល​រួម​ទប់​ស្កាត់​កុំ​ឱ្យ​មាន​វិបត្តិ​សង្គម​កើត​ឡើង និង​ចូល​រួម​កែ​ប្រែ​ និង​ស្តារ​ប្រព័ន្ធ​សង្គម​ឱ្យ​មាន​ភាព​ទាក់​ទាញ និង​ស្ថិរ​ភាព​ដើម្បី​ឱ្យ​ការ​វិនិយោគ​ពី​បរទេស​កាន់​តែ​ច្រើន​ នោះ​នឹង​នាំ​សេដ្ឋកិច្ច​ជាតិ​កាន់​តែ​រីក​ចម្រើន។   ឫសគល់នៃការភ័យខ្លាចរបស់យុវជន យើង​ដឹង​ថា​យុវជន​មាន​ភាព​ភ័យ​ខ្លាច​ក្នុង​ការ​ចូល​រួម​ក្នុង​សកម្មភាព​នយោបាយ​ បើ​ផ្អែក​ទៅ​តាម​ភាព​អសកម្ម​ ក៏​ដូច​ជា​កិរិយា​មិន​ខ្វាយ​ខ្វល់​មួយចំ​នួន​ធំនៅ​ក្នុង​ប្រធានបទ​នយោបាយ​ពីសំណាក់​យុវជន។ ដោយ​ឡែក​បើ​យើង​ពិនិត្យ​អោយ​កាន់តែជ្រៅទៅមួយស្រទាប់ទៀត យើង​នឹង​ដឹង​ថា​ភាព​ភ័យ​ខ្លាច​របស់​ពួក​គេ​មិន​មែន​ស្ថិត​នៅ​លើ​តែ​កត្តា​សង្គម​ដូច​ដែល​យើង​គិត​តែ​ប៉ុណ្ណោះ​ទេ ដោយ​ហេតុ​កត្តា​ផ្នត់​គំនិត ការ​អប់រំ​សង្គម ទម្លាប់​នៃ​ការ​រស់​នៅ ​និង​បុគ្គល​ខ្លួន​ឯង​ផ្ទាល់​ដែល​នាំឱ្យ​កើត​មាន​ការ​ភ័យ​ខ្លាច​បាក់​ស្បាត​រាប់​តំណរ​បែប​នេះ។ សង្គម​មួយ​មាន​ការ​អភិវឌ្ឍ​បាន លុះ​ត្រា​តែ​មនុស្ស​នៅ​ក្នុង​សង្គម​នោះ​មាន​ប្រពៃណី​ជា​អ្នក​រៀន​ អ្នក​គិត​វិភាគ​ប្រកប​ដោយ​ហេតុ​និង​ផល​ច្បាស់​លាស់ ជា​អ្នក​ចូល​រួម​ក្នុង​កិច្ច​ការ​ប្រទេស​ ខ្វាយ​ខ្វល់​ឈឺ​ឆ្អាល​នឹង​សុខ​ទុក្ខ​ប្រទេស​ជាតិ​ ជា​សង្គម​ដែល​ចំណុះទៅ​ដោយ​ប្រជា​ពលរដ្ឋ​ដែល​មាន​ការ​អប់រំ​ខ្ពស់​ ក្នុងកម្រិតមួយដែលការសម្រេចចិត្តត្រូវបានធ្វើឡើងក្រោមការគិតវិភាគល្អិតល្អន់។ រី​ឯ​នៅ​ក្នុង​សង្គម​កម្ពុជា​បច្ចុប្បន្ន​វិញ ភាព​ប្រងើយ​កន្តើយ​មិន​អើពើ​របស់​យុវជន បង្ហាញ​ចេញ​យ៉ាង​ច្បាស់​នៅ​ក្នុង​យុវជន​មួយ​ភាគ​ធំ​នៃ​ប្រទេស។ យុវជននៅកម្ពុជា (អាយុក្រោមសាមសិបឆ្នាំ) មានចំនួនប្រមាណ ៦៥.៣% នៃប្រជាជនកម្ពុជាសរុប​ នេះបើយោងទៅតាមអង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិប្រចាំប្រទេសកម្ពុជា  ប៉ុន្តែ​ហេតុអ្វី​ទើប​នេះ​ជា​រឿង​សំខាន់​ដែរ​ចំពោះ​នយោបាយ​ប្រទេស? ដោយ​ហេតុ​ថា​សង្គម​គឺ​ដើរ​ទៅ​មុខ ពេល​វេលា​កន្លង​ទៅ​ជានិច្ច​ របត់​នៃ​ការ​រស់​នៅ​មាន​ការ​ប្រែប្រួល​ដែល​ទាម​ទារ​អោយ​មនុស្ស​រត់​តាម​ឱ្យ​ទាន់​សម័យ​កាល​ ឯ​សម័យ​នេះ​ជា​សម័យ​ដែល​ប្រជាជន​មិន​ថា​ក្មេង​ចាស់​ប្រុស​ស្រី​មាន​សិទ្ធិ​ក្នុង​ការ​ចូល​រួម​ ការ​បញ្ចេញ​មតិ​ជា​សាធារណៈ។  រឿង​នេះ​ត្រូវ​បាន​អនុវត្ត​នៅ​តាម​បណ្តា​ប្រទេស​រីក​ចម្រើន​ជា​ច្រើន​នៅ​ជុំវិញ​ពិភព​លោក​រួច​មក​ហើយ ដែល​យើង​មើល​ឃើញ​ថា​ប្រជាជន​នៅ​តាម​បណ្តា​ប្រទេស​ទាំង​នោះ​មាន​ឆន្ទៈ​ក្នុង​ការ​ចូល​រួម​ក្នុង​សង្គម តាម​ដាន​និង​ជម្រុញ​នូវ​កិច្ច​ការ​នយោបាយ​ជាតិ​ សង្គម​មាន​ធនធាន​មនុស្ស​ដែល​ប្រកប​ដោយ​ចំណេះ​ដឹង​ច្រើន។ ដូច្នេះ​ហើយ​ ភាព​ភ័យ​ខ្លាច​របស់​យុវជន​ក្នុង​សង្គម​ខ្មែរ​នា​សម័យ​នេះ​ស្តែង​ឱ្យ​ឃើញ​ពី​កង្វះ​ការ​អប់រំ​របស់​ប្រជាជន​អំពី​នយោបាយ​ ប្រជាជន​មិន​ស្គាល់​អ្វី​ដែល​ជា​នយោបាយ​ពិត​ប្រាកដ មិន​ដឹង​ពី​សិទ្ធិ​និង​តួនាទី​របស់​ខ្លួន​ក្នុង​នាម​ជា​ពល​រដ្ឋ​នៅ​ឡើយ​ ដែល​ជះ​ឥទ្ធិពល​ដល់​ដំណើរ​ការ​នយោបាយ​ក្នុង​ស្រុក។ ប្រជាជន​ត្រចៀក​ស ការ​សម្រេច​ចិត្ត​រេ​ទៅ​តាម​ខ្យល់​នៃ​ការ​ឃោសនា​របស់​អ្នក​នយោបាយ​មួយ​ចំនួន​ ដោយ​ព្រោះ​មិន​បាន​គិត​ពិចារណា​ច្បាស់​លាស់ ប៉ុន្តែ​នេះ​ក៏​មិន​មែន​ជា​កំហុស​របស់​យុវ​ជន​ទាំង​ស្រុង​ដែរ​ ដោយ​ព្រោះ​តែ​ពួក​គាត់​គ្មាន​ព័ត៌​មាន​គ្រប់​គ្រាន់​ទើប​មិន​មាន​ការ​ពិចារណា​ល្អិត​ល្អន់​និង​ធ្វើការ​សម្រេច​ចិត្ត​ប្រាស​ចាក​ពី​មន​សិការ​ខ្លួន។ ម៉្យាង​វិញ​ទៀត ផ្នត់​គំនិត​សង្គម​ក៏​ជា​បញ្ហា​ប្រឈម​នៅ​ក្នុង​ភាព​ភ័យ​ខ្លាច​របស់​យុវជន​ផង​ដែរ។ សង្គម​តែង​តែ​បង្រៀន​ថា​នយោបាយ​ជា​រឿង​របស់​មនុស្ស​ចាស់​ មិន​មែន​ជា​កិច្ច​ការ​ដែល​យុវជន​គួរ​តែ​លូក​ដៃ។​ មិន​ត្រឹម​តែ​មិន​ជួយ​ចូក​ជួយ​ចែវ​ប៉ុណ្ណោះ​ទេ​តែ​ផ្នត់​គំនិត​មួយ​នេះ​ប្រៀប​ដូច​ជា​ការ​លើក​ជើង​រាទឹក​ដូច្នោះ​ដែរ។ ការ​ដែល​បណ្តុះ​ផ្នត់​គំនិត​បែប​នេះ​ក្នុង​សង្គម​ ធ្វើ​ឱ្យ​យុវជន​គិត​ថា​នយោ​បាយ​ជា​រឿង​ដែល​ហួស​ពី​ការ​គិត​របស់​ខ្លួន​ដែលមិនគួរជ្រៀតខ្លួនចូល ទោះជាយ៉ាងណាក្តី យើងទទួលស្គាល់ថាការអនុវត្តនយោបាយជារឿងដែលស្មុគស្មាញនិងពិបាកយល់ ដោយត្រូវការការគិតអោយបានស៊ីជម្រៅ ដោយ​ឡែកវាជារឿងដែលមិនត្រឹមត្រូវទាល់តែសោះនៅក្នុងផ្នត់គំនិតដែលញួសញង់លើចំណុចតែមួយផ្នែកនៃនយោបាយ ដោយ​ប្រាប់​ថា​នយោ​បាយ​ជា​ការ​ប្រឆាំង​ទាស់​ទែង​គ្នា មាន​តែ​កំហឹង ភាព​អត្ថមារ​និយម​ជា​ដើម​ ដែល​ទាំង​នេះ​ធ្វើ​ឱ្យ​យុវជន​បាក់​ស្បាត​មិន​ហ៊ាន មិន​ចង់​ចេះ​ដឹង​រឿង​នយោបាយ​ រស់​នៅ​ក្រោម​ភាព​ភ័យ​ខ្លាច​ជា​និច្ច។ រី​ឯ​ទម្លាប់​នៃ​ការ​រស់​នៅ​ក៏​ជា​បញ្ហា​ចម្បង​មួយ​ផង​ដែរ​ យើង​នឹង​មើល​ថា​តើ​ទម្លាប់​យ៉ាង​ដូច​ម្តេច​ដែល​ជះ​ឥទ្ធិពល​អវិជ្ជមាន​ដល់​យុវជន។ យុវជន​សម័យ​នេះ​រស់​នៅ​ក្នុង​បរិបទ​ឌីជីថល​ បច្ចេក​វិទ្យា​ទំនើប​ដូច​ជា ទូរស័ព្ទ កុំព្យូទ័រ និង​ឧបករណ៍​លេង​កម្សាន្ត​ផ្សេង​ទៀត​មិន​មែន​ជា​រឿងដែល​ពិបាក​ក្នុង​ការ​ស្វែង​រក​ពេក​នោះ​ទេ​។ យុវជន​មាន​ទូរស័ព្ទ​ផ្ទាល់​ខ្លួន​ស្ទើរ​តែ​គ្រប់​គ្នា​ ប៉ុន្តែ​អ្វី​ដែល​ជា​បញ្ហា​ចោទ​គឺ​យុវជន​​វក់វី​នឹង​ឧបករណ៍​ទាំងអស់​នោះ​បាន​ធ្វើ​ឱ្យ​ពួក​គេ​ចំណាយ​ពេល​ច្រើន​បំផុត​ទៅ​លើ​វា​ មិន​គិត​ខ្វាយ​ខ្វល់​ពី​រឿង​នៅ​ក្នុង​ជីវិត​ពិត​នោះ​ឡើយ។​ ពួក​គេ​មិន​ចាប់​អារម្មណ៍​នឹង​រឿង​នយោបាយ​ដែល​គួរ​ឱ្យ​ស្មុគ្រស្មាញ​និង​ធុញទ្រាន់​នោះ​ទេ​ យុវជន​ឈ្លក់​វង្វេង​នឹង​ភាព​សប្បាយ​រីក​រាយ​ក្នុង​រយៈ​ពេល​ខ្លី​ជា​ជាង​ខ្វាយ​ខ្វល់​ពី​សុខ​ទុក្ខ​នា​ពេល​អនាគត​ ដោយ​យក​ការ​សប្បាយ​ជា​ធំ​មិន​អើពើ​នឹង​សកម្មភាព​នយោបាយ និង​កិច្ច​ការ​នយោបាយ​ក្នុង​និង​ក្រៅ​ប្រទេស។ ដូច​នេះ សរុប​ជា​រួម​មក កត្តា​ដែល​ធ្វើ​ឱ្យ​យុវជន​មាន​ភាព​ភ័យ​ខ្លាច​ក្នុង​ចូល​រួម​ក្នុង​សកម្មភាព​នយោបាយ​គឺ​ដោយ​ព្រោះ​តែ​ភាព​ចម្រូង​ចម្រាស់​ក្នុង​សង្គម​និង​កត្តា​បុគ្គល​យុវជន​ខ្លួន​ឯង​ដែល​មិន​មាន​គំនិត​គិត​ឱ្យ​ស៊ី​ជម្រៅ​លើ​បញ្ហា​ដែល​ថា​តើ​ការ​ចូល​រួម​ក្នុង​នយោបាយ​វា​ជា​រឿង​ដែល​សាក​សម​នឹង​គួរ​អោយ​ខ្លាច​ដែល​ឬ​ទេ​។   ត្រៀមខ្លួនក្នុងការចូលរួមសកម្មភាពនយោបាយ មក​ដល់​ត្រឹម​នេះ យើង​ខ្ញុំ​ជឿ​ថា​មិត្តអ្នកអាន​បាន​ទទួល​ព័ត៌មាន​មួយ​ចំនួន​រួច​ជាស្រេច​ទាក់​ទង​ទៅ​នឹង​ការ​ចូល​រួម​ក្នុង​នយោបាយ​ ដូច្នេះ​ហើយ​យើង​នឹង​ងាក​ទៅ​មើល​ថា​តើ​យុវជន​អាច​ចូល​រួម​ក្នុង​នយោបាយ​ក្រោម​រូប​ភាព​អ្វី​ខ្លះ​ ដើម្បី​ត្រៀម​ខ្លួន​ឱ្យ​រួច​រាល់​ក្នុង​ការ​ចូល​រួម​ក្នុង​កិច្ចការ​នយោបាយ​នា​ពេល​ខាង​មុខ។ ជាដំបូង យើង​នឹង​មើល​ទៅ​កាន់​សិទ្ធិ​របស់​ប្រជា​ពលរដ្ឋ​ជា​មុន​សិន។ សិទ្ធិ ជា​អ្វីៗ​ដែល​យើង​ម្នាក់ៗ​អាច​ទទួល​បាន​ឬ​ផ្តល់​ឲ្យ​នូវ​សេរីភាព​តាម​អំណាច​ឬ​ធានា​ដោយ​ច្បាប់។​ បើ​យោង​តាម​ច្បាប់​រដ្ឋ​ធម្មនុញ្ញ​នៃ​ព្រះ​រាជា​ណាចក្រ​កម្ពុជា ​ប្រ​ទេស​នេះ​ទទួល​ស្គាល់​ និង​គោរព​សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស​ដូច​មាន​ចែង​ក្នុង​ធម្មនុញ្ញ​នៃ​អង្គការ​សហប្រជាជាតិ សេចក្តី​ប្រកាស​ជា​សកល​ស្តីពី​សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស​ និង​កតិកា​សញ្ញា ព្រម​ទាំង​អនុសញ្ញា​ទាំង​ឡាយ​ទាក់​ទង​ទៅ​នឹង​សិទ្ធិមនុស្ស សិទ្ធិ​នារី និង​សិទ្ធិ​កុមារ។ ​រដ្ឋ​ធម្មនុញ្ញ​កម្ពុជា​ចែង​ថា៖ «ប្រជា​ពលរដ្ឋ​ខ្មែរ​មាន​ភាព​ស្មើ​គ្នា​ចំពោះ​មុខ​ច្បាប់ មាន​សិទ្ធិ​សេរីភាព​ និង​ករណីយ​កិច្ច​ដូច​គ្នា​ទាំង​អស់​ដោយ​ឥត​ប្រកាន់​ពូជសាសន៍ ពណ៌សម្បុរ ភេទ ភាសា ជំនឿ សាសនា និន្នាការ​នយោបាយ​ ដើម​កំណើត​ជាតិ ឋានៈ​សង្គម ធនធាន ឬ ស្ថាន​ភាព​ឯ​ទៀត​ឡើយ»។ រដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញ​ក៏បាន​ចែង​ទៀត​ថា៖ «ការ​ប្រើ​សិទ្ធិ​សេរីភាព​ផ្ទាល់​ខ្លួន​របស់​បុគ្គល​ម្នាក់ៗ មិន​ត្រូវ​ឱ្យ​ប៉ះ​ពាល់​ដល់​សិទ្ធិ​សេរីភាព​អ្នក​ដទៃ​ឡើយ ។ ការ​ប្រើ​សិទ្ធិ​សេរីភាព​នេះ​ ត្រូវ​ប្រព្រឹត្ត​តាម​ល័ក្ខខ័ណ្ឌ​កំណត់​ក្នុង​ច្បាប់​ ដូច្នេះ​ហើយ​ប្រជា​ពលរដ្ឋ​ខ្មែរ​គ្រប់​រូប​មាន​សិទ្ធិ​ជា​មនុស្ស​ពេញ​លេញ​ក្នុង​ការ​រស់​នៅ​ក្រោម​ការ​ដឹក​នាំ​របស់​ច្បាប់។ មិន​តែ​ប៉ុណ្ណោះ ​ចំពោះ​ផ្នែក​នយោបាយ​វិញ​ ប្រជា​ពលរដ្ឋ​មាន​សិទ្ធិ​ក្នុង​ការ​ចូល​រួម​ក្នុង​កិច្ចការ​នយាបាយ​​ ដោយ​ផ្អែក​តាម​ច្បាប់​រដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញ​ដដែលនៅក្នុងមាត្រា៣៤​ បាន​ចែង​ថា៖ ប្រជា​ពល​រដ្ឋ​ខ្មែរ​ទាំង​ពីរ​ភេទ​មាន​សិទ្ធិ​បោះឆ្នោត និង​អាច​ឈរ​ឈ្មោះ​ឱ្យ​គេ​បោះ​ឆ្នោត។ ហេតុ​ដូច្នេះ​ហើយ​ យុវជន​ដែល​មាន​អាយុ​យ៉ាង​តិច​១៨ឆ្នាំ ​មាន​សិទ្ធិ​ក្នុង​ការ​បោះ​ឆ្នោត​ជ្រើស​តាំង​អ្នក​ដឹក​នាំ​ដែល​ខ្លួន​ពេញ​ចិត្ត​ដោយ​ស្រប​ច្បាប់​ និង​ដោយ​សន្តិ​វិធី​នៅ​ក្នុង​នាម​ជា​សម្លេង​ឆ្នោត​មួយ​ដ៏​សំខាន់​តាម​រយៈ​សន្លឹក​ឆ្នោត​របស់​ខ្លួន ដែល​នេះ​ក៏ជា​កត្តា​ចាំ​បាច់​របស់​ប្រជា​ពលរដ្ឋ​គ្រប់​រូប​ក្នុង​កិច្ចការ​ពលរដ្ឋ។ មួយ​វិញ​ទៀត​ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ​ទាំង​ពីរ​ភេទ​មិន​ត្រឹម​តែ​មាន​សិទ្ធិ​ក្នុង​ការ​ចូល​រួម​បោះ​ឆ្នោត​នោះ​ទេ ប្រជា​ពលរដ្ឋ​ខ្មែរ​ទាំង​ពីរ​ភេទ ដែល​មាន​អាយុ​យ៉ាង​តិច២៥ឆ្នាំ​ ក៏​អាច​ឈរ​ឈ្មោះ​ឱ្យ​គេ​បោះឆ្នោត​ជ្រើសតាំង​ជា​តំណាង​រាស្ត្រ​ផង​ដែរ។ ហេតុ​ដូច្នេះ​ហើយ​ យុវជន​មាន​លទ្ធភាព​ពេញ​លេញ​នៅ​ក្រោម​ការ​ធានា​របស់​ច្បាប់​ក្នុង​ការ​ចូល​រួម​ក្នុង​កិច្ច​ការ​នយោបាយ​ណាមួយ​ដោយ​មិន​មាន​ការ​គំរាម​កំហែង​ពី​បុគ្គល​ណាមួយ​នោះ​ឡើយ។​​    សរុបមក យុវជនត្រូវតែមានភាពក្លាហាន មានជំហរច្បាស់លាស់នៅក្នុងនយោបាយប្រទេស ព្រោះនេះគឺជាអាយុជីវិតរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋគ្រប់គ្នាដែលរស់នៅក្នុងប្រទេស និងមានស្មារតីទំនួលខុសត្រូវឲ្យសាកសមជាយុវជនក្នុងភាពជាអ្នកដឹកនាំ ព្រមទាំងស្វែងយល់ពីសិទ្ធិនិងកាតព្វកិច្ចក្នុងនាមជាប្រជាពលរដ្ឋដ៏ល្អ៕   * អត្ថបទទស្សន:នេះ ត្រូវបានផលិតឡើងក្រោមជំនួយហិរញ្ញវត្ថុរបស់សហភាពអឺរ៉ុប និងទីភ្នាក់ងារសហប្រតិបត្តិការអភិវឌ្ឍអន្តរជាតិស៊ុយអ៊ែត តាមរយ:អង្គការតម្លាភាពកម្ពុជានិងអង្គការអាក់សិនអេតកម្ពុជា។ រាល់ខ្លឹមសារ​ មិនឆ្លុះបញ្ចាំងអំពីទស្សន:របស់ម្ចាស់ជំនួយនោះទេ។

អត្ថបទទស្សន:៖ តើគេត្រូវធ្វើដូចម្ដេចទើបអនុវត្តសេរីភាពបញ្ចេញមតិបានពេញលេញនិងស្របច្បាប់?

សរសេរដោយ៖ ឃី ចន្ទក្រឹះស្នា, ពៅ ណាទី និង សុខ សុម៉ា កែអត្ថបទដោយ៖ អូន ឆេងប៉ (Photo Credit: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) ) អត្ថបទទស្សន:៖ តើគេត្រូវធ្វើដូចម្ដេចទើបអនុវត្តសេរីភាពបញ្ចេញមតិបានពេញលេញនិងស្របច្បាប់?   នៅពេលនិយាយអំពីសេរីភាពបញ្ចេញមតិ គេនឹងនឹកឃើញទៅដល់ការប្រើប្រាស់បណ្ដាញសង្គមក្នុងការបញ្ចេញមតិពាក់ព័ន្ធនឹងបញ្ហាសង្គម បរិស្ថាន វប្បធម៌ និងអក្សរសាស្រ្ដជាដើម។ ប៉ុន្តែការប្រើប្រាស់សេរីភាពនេះ ហាក់ដូចជាមិន​ត្រូវបានផ្ដល់ឱ្យពេញលេញនោះទេ ដោយសារកន្លងមកមាន​បណ្ដាសារព័ត៌មានមួយចំនួនបានចុះផ្សាយពីការចា​ប់ខ្លួន និងឃុំខ្លួនអ្នកដែលបានរិះគន់ពីរឿងបរិស្ថាន និងបញ្ហាសិទ្ធិមនុស្សជាដើម។   តាមរយៈរបាយការណ៍ប្រចាំឆ្នាំទី៥ នៃការឃ្លាំមើលសេរីភាពមូលដ្ឋាននៅកម្ពុជារបស់មជ្ឈមណ្ឌលសិទ្ធិមនុស្សកម្ពុជា បានរៀបរាប់ថា​ ការរឹតត្បិត និងរំលោភបំពានទៅលើសេរីភាពបញ្ចេញមតិចំនួន១០៨ករណី ដែលបានកើតឡើងនៅឆ្នាំទី៥ ពីថ្ងៃទី០១ ខែមេសា ដល់ ខែធ្នូ ឆ្នាំ២០២០ មានចំនួន៥៣% (ឬ៥៧ករណី) បានកើតឡើងតាមប្រព័ន្ធអ៊ីនធឺណេត។ របាយការណ៍នេះបានបន្តទៀតថា ការរឹតត្បិតសេរីភាពមតិខ្លួនឯងនៅលើបណ្ដាញសង្គមហ្វេសប៊ុក ស្ថិតនៅលើលំដាប់ថ្នាក់ទី១ ដែលមាន៤៦ករណី។ កន្លងមកមន្រ្តីអង្គការសង្គមស៊ីវិល បានលើកឡើងពីការចាប់ខ្លួនអ្នករិះគន់នូវការបញ្ចេញមតិនៅតាមបណ្ដាញសង្គមថា ជាការដើរផ្ទុយពីសង្គមប្រជាធិបតេយ្យដែលផ្តល់ឱ្យនូវសិទ្ធិបញ្ចេញមតិរិះគន់ដើម្បីស្ថាបនា។ ដូចគ្នានេះដែរ ក្រុមអង្គការសង្គមស៊ីវិល ក៏បានបង្ហាញពីការព្រួយបារម្ភនៅដែលតុលាការប្រើប្រាស់បទល្មើសញុះញង់ក្នុងការចោទប្រកាន់អ្នកបញ្ចេញមតិក្នុងបញ្ហាសង្គមផងដែរ។ បើយោងតាម កតិកាសញ្ញាអន្តរជាតិស្ដីសិទ្ធិពលរដ្ឋ និងសិទ្ធិនយោបាយ មាត្រា១៩ បានចែងថា៖ «ជនគ្រប់រូបមានសេរីភាពក្នុងការបញ្ចេញមតិ។ សិទ្ធិនេះត្រូវរាប់បញ្ចូលទាំងសេរីភាព ស្រាវជ្រាវព័ត៌មាន ទទួល និងផ្សព្វផ្សាយព័ត៌មាន និងគំនិតសព្វបែបយ៉ាង ដោយមិនគិតពីព្រំដែនដោយផ្ទាល់មាត់ ឬបោះពុម្ពតាមទម្រង់សិល្ប: ឬក៏ដោយមធ្យោបាយផ្សព្វផ្សាយដទៃទៀតក្ដី តាមការជ្រើសរើសរបស់ខ្លួន»។   ទោះបីជាយ៉ាងណា រដ្ឋាភិបាលកម្ពុជាបានអនុម័តឱ្យប្រើប្រាស់អនុក្រឹត្យស្ដីពីច្រកទ្វារអ៊ីនធឺណេត ដែលអនុក្រឹត្យនេះមានតួនាទីក្នុងការគ្រប់គ្រងបណ្ដាញអ៊ីនធឺណេតនៅក្នុងប្រទេស។ មន្រ្ដីរដ្ឋាភិបាលបានលើកឡើងថា អនុក្រឹត្យនេះនឹងប្រមូលថវិកាជាតិ និង លើកកម្ពស់នៃការតភ្ជាប់អ៊ីនធឺណេតរបស់ប្រទេសឱ្យមានប្រសិទ្ធភាព។ ប៉ុន្តែយើងសង្កេតឃើញថាមានប្រតិកម្មពីក្រុមអង្គការសង្គមស៊ីវិលជាតិ និងក្រុមយុវជនមួយចំនួន អំពីការរឹតត្បិតសេរីភាពបញ្ចេញមតិដែលជាសិទ្ធិមូលដ្ឋានរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ និងស្នើសុំឱ្យមានការនិរាករណ៍នូវអនុក្រឹត្យមួយនេះទៀតផង។ ថ្មីៗនេះដែរ ការព្រមានចាប់ខ្លួនអ្នកវិភាគឯករាជ្យពីសំណាក់អ្នកដឹកនាំនយោបាយបន្ទាប់ពីពួកគេបានបញ្ចេញមតិលើបណ្ដាញសង្គម បានធ្វើឱ្យមាននូវការបារម្ភពីសំណាក់មន្រ្ដីសិទ្ធិមនុស្ស និងអ្នកការសែត។    តើការប្រើប្រាស់សេរីភាពបញ្ចេញមតិនេះពិតជាអាចធ្វើបានគ្រប់កាលៈទេសៈបានមែនទេ?  ហើយតើធ្វើដូចម្ដេចទើបប្រជាពលរដ្ឋអាចប្រើប្រាស់សិទ្ធិនេះបានយ៉ាងពេញលេញ?   សេរីភាពបញ្ចេញមតិជាសិទ្ធិដែលអាចដកហូតបាន ជាគោលការណ៍ច្បាប់ សេរីភាពបញ្ចេញមតិគឺជាសិទ្ធិមានដែនកំណត់ (Limited Rights) ដែលច្បាប់ចែងកំណត់ពីព្រំដែនរបស់វា។ កាលណាបុគ្គលប្រើប្រាស់សិទ្ធិនេះបណ្ដាលឱ្យប៉ះពាល់ដល់សេចក្ដីថ្លៃថ្នូររបស់អ្នកដទៃ ទំនៀមទម្លាប់ល្អរបស់សង្គម សណ្ដាប់ធ្នាប់សារធារណៈ និងសន្តិសុខជាតិ ជននោះនឹងទទួលការផ្ដន្ទាទោសតាមការកំណត់ដោយច្បាប់។   រដ្ឋធម្មនុញរបស់ប្រទេសកម្ពុជា មាត្រា៤១ចែងថា៖ «ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរមានសេរីភាពខាងការបញ្ចេញមតិរបស់ខ្លួន[...]។ ជនណាក៏ដោយ មិនអាចឆ្លៀតប្រើសិទ្ធិនេះដោយរំលោភ នាំឱ្យប៉ះពាល់ដល់កិត្តិយសរបស់អ្នកដទៃ ដល់ទំនៀមទម្លាប់ល្អរបស់សង្គមដល់សណ្ដាប់ធ្នាប់សាធារណៈនិងដល់សន្តិសុខជាតិបានឡើយ»។    ទោះបីជាយ៉ាងនេះក្ដី ច្បាប់ត្រូវចែងពន្យល់ឱ្យបានច្បាស់អំពីលក្ខខណ្ឌនៃការរឹតត្បិតនីមួយៗទាំងនេះ ដែលមិនធ្វើឱ្យមានការបកស្រាយតាមអំពើចិត្ត និងលើសពិន័យដើម។ ក្រមព្រហ្មទណ្ឌនៃព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា មាត្រា៥ ចែងថា៖ «នៅក្នុងរឿងព្រហ្មទណ្ឌ ច្បាប់ត្រូវបកស្រាយយ៉ាងតឹងរ៉ឹង។ ចៅក្រមមិនអាចពង្រីកវិសាលភាពអនុវត្ត ឬ ប្រព្រឹត្តតាមសទិសភាពបានឡើយ»។ នេះមានន័យថា នៅពេលណាដែលចៅក្រមធ្វើការបកស្រាយពន្លាតលើសពីន័យច្បាប់ នោះការបកស្រាយនេះនឹងទាញចូលទៅរកអង្គហេតុមួយថ្មីទៀត។ ជាក់ស្ដែងគេសង្កេតឃើញថា​ បទល្មើសញុះញង់ដែលចែងនៅក្នុងមាត្រា៤៩៣ ដល់ ៤៩៨ នៅក្នុងផ្នែកទី៣ នៃក្រមព្រហ្មទណ្ឌនៃព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា ត្រូវបានក្រុមអង្គការសង្គមស៊ីវិលមានការព្រួយបារម្ភចំពោះការប្រើប្រាស់សិទ្ធិនេះ ដើម្បីបំបិទសេរីភាពបញ្ចេញមតិរបស់សាធារណជន។ ការប្រើប្រាស់សិទ្ធិបញ្ចេញមតិរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋត្រូវបា​នទទួលស្គាល់ដោយពេញលេញនៅក្នុងប្រទេសនីតិរដ្ឋ អំណាចទាំងបីត្រូវបែកចែកដាច់ពីគ្នា។ អំណាចតុលាការ ជាអំណាចឯករាជ្យ។ អំណាចនេះមិនត្រូវស្ថិតនៅក្រោមឥទ្ធិពលនៃអំណាចណាមួយឡើយ។ មានតែចៅក្រមទេមានសិទ្ធិជម្រះក្ដី ដោយត្រូវឈរលើគោលការណ៍ច្បាប់ មិនលំអៀង និងមិនត្រូវស្ថិតក្រោមសម្ពាធពីភាគីណាមួយដោយប្រយោលក្ដី ឬផ្ទាល់ក្ដី។ ដោយឈរលើគោលការណ៍នេះ ទើបប្រជាពលរដ្ឋអាចអនុវត្តសិទ្ធិរបស់ខ្លួនបានពេញលេញ និងមិនរងសម្ពាធពីការចោទប្រកាន់ណាមួយឡើយ។​ សេរីភាពបញ្ចេញមតិ គឺជាធាតុចាំបាច់ដែលមិនអាចកាច់ផ្ដាច់ពីសង្គមប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ។ រដ្ឋដែលទទួលស្គាល់ និងផ្ដល់សច្ចាប័នលើច្បាប់សិទ្ធិមនុស្សអន្តរជាតិ មានភារកិច្ចក្នុងការ គោរព ការពារ និងបំពេញនូវលិខិតបទដ្ឋាននានាស្របតាមច្បាប់សិទ្ធិមនុស្សអន្តជាតិ។ ដូចដែរប្រទេសកម្ពុជាជារដ្ឋហត្ថាលេខីនៃកតិកាសញ្ញា និងសន្ធិសញ្ញាផ្សេងៗទាក់ទងនឹងសិទ្ធិមនុស្សដូចមានចែងនូវក្នុងរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ ប្រទេសកម្ពុជាមានភារកិច្ចក្នុងការការពារនូវសេរីភាពក្នុងការបញ្ចេញមតិ និងទស្សនៈនានារបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ។  ការបើកលំហនយោបាយឱ្យប្រជាពលរដ្ឋអាចបញ្ចេញមតិរិះគន់ក្នុងន័យស្ថាបនាពីបញ្ហាសង្គមជាតិ គឺបង្ហាញពីការចូលរួមរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋក្នុងដំណើរការប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ។ មួយវិញទៀត ការបញ្ចេញមតិរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋក៏បង្ហាញពីការចូលរួម ក្នុងការសម្រេចចិត្តនានា ដែលជាធាតុផ្សំនៃគោលការណ៍អភិបាលកិច្ចល្អនៃយុទ្ធសាស្រ្ដចតុកោណ ដំណាក់កាលទី៤ នីតិកាលទី៦ របស់រាជរដ្ឋាភិបាល ។ សង្គមមួយអាចអភិវឌ្ឍទៅបាន ល្កឹកណាដែរសង្គមនោះទទួលស្គាល់ពីភាពចម្រុះរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋប្រកបដោយបរិប័ន្ន ដោយមិនបែកចែកនិន្នាការនយោបាយ និងការគុំគួនគ្នា។ នៅពេលដែលប្រជាពលរដ្ឋអាចបញ្ចេញមតិកែលម្អ ឬរិះគន់ដើម្បីស្ថាបនា ស្ថាប័នសាធារណៈឬ អាជ្ញាធរសាធារណៈបានដោយសេរីនោះ ប្រទេសជាតិនិងទទួលបានគំនិតចូលរួមពីប្រជាពលរដ្ឋប្រកបដោយចម្រុះភាព ហើយប្រទេសជាតិនឹងមានការអភិវឌ្ឍឈានទៅមុខ។   សរុបមកវិញ សេរីភាពបញ្ចេញមតិគួរតែត្រូវបានផ្ដល់ឱ្យពេញលេញដល់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋស្របតាមរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញ និងច្បាប់អន្តរជាតិនានាស្ដីពីសិទ្ធិមនុស្ស។ នៅពេលដែលលំហនៃការចូលរួមប្រជាពលរដ្ឋបានពេញលេញ នោះដំណើរការប្រជាធិបតេយ្យនឹងមានការរីកចម្រើន។ ការអភិវឌ្ឍរបស់ប្រទេសជាតិ​ត្រូវការមតិចូលរួមរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ។ ហេតុដូចនេះ រដ្ឋត្រូវតែអប់រំប្រជាពលរដ្ឋឱ្យយល់ពីគោលការណ៍ និងបើកចំហសេរីភាពក្នុងបញ្ចេញមតិស្របតាមគោលគំនិតនៃច្បាប់។   ក្នុងនាមជាពលរដ្ឋ និងជាយុវជនដែលរស់នៅក្នុងសង្គមប្រជាធិបតយ្យ ​និងជាអ្នកដែលចង់បាននូវសេរីភាពមួយដែលពេញលេញស្របតាមច្បាប់ជាតិ និងអន្តរជាតិ ជាពិសេសលំហនៃការចូលរួមរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ ខ្ញុំមាននូវការស្នើរសុំមួយចំនួនពាក់ព័ន្ធនឹងសេរីភាពបញ្ចេញមតិ៖  រដ្ឋាភិបាលគួរតែបើកចំហទទួលយកនូវទស្សនៈចូលរួមរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋពីគ្រប់មជ្ឈដ្ឋាន ពីព្រោះការចូលរួមរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋក្នុងការបញ្ចេញទស្សនៈទាំងនេះ ជាការអភិវឌ្ឍតាមបែបប្រជាធិបតេយ្យដែលពួកគេអាចលើកជាមតិក្នុងការរិះគន់ដើម្បីស្ថាបនា និងកែលំអរភាពអសកម្មមួយចំនួនរបស់អាជ្ញាធររដ្ឋ។ រដ្ឋាភិបាលគួរតែវិសោធនកម្មនូវច្បាប់ណាដែលរឹតត្បិតដល់សេរីភាពបញ្ចេញមតិជាពិសេសបទញុះញង់​ នៅក្នុងក្រមព្រហ្មទណ្ឌនៃព្រះរាជណាចក្រកម្ពុជា ស្របតាមរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ និង កតិការសញ្ញាស្ដីសិទ្ធិពលរដ្ឋ និងសិទ្ធិនយោបាយ។ ម្យ៉ាងទៀត ការដាក់ទោសទណ្ឌដល់បុគ្គល ឬក្រុមមនុស្សដែលបានលើកឡើងពីបញ្ហាសង្គមគួរតែបញ្ឈប់ ផ្ទុយមកវិញ រដ្ឋាភិបាលគួរតែលើកតម្កើងឱ្យមានការចូលរួមយ៉ាងសកម្មពីសំណាក់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋក្នុងបញ្ហាសង្គមជាតិ។ ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋត្រូវតែស្វែងយល់ឱ្យបានច្បាស់ពីដែនកំណត់នៃសេរីបញ្ចេញមតិរបស់ខ្លួន និងត្រូវចូលរួមយ៉ាងសកម្មក្នុងការអភិវឌ្ឍជាតិ និងលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ។ អំណាចទាំង៣ ត្រូវបែកចែកឱ្យដាច់ពីគ្នា។ អំណាចតុលាការត្រូវស្ថិតនៅដាច់ដោយឡែកពីអំណាចនីតិប្រតិបត្តិ ហើយចៅក្រមត្រូវជម្រះក្ដីដោយជៀសវាងនូវអនាគតិទាំង៤ និងត្រូវប្រកាន់ខ្ជាប់នូវក្រមសីលធម៌របស់ខ្លួន។​ ម្យ៉ាងទៀត ស្ថាប័ននគរបាលត្រូវតែបម្រើដល់ផលប្រយោជន៌សាធារណៈ និង ត្រូវទទួលខុសត្រូវចំពោះទណ្ឌកម្មវិន័យចំពោះការប្រព្រឹត្តិអំពើរបស់ខ្លួន។ អ្នកមានឥទ្ធិពលលើបណ្តាញសង្គម(Influencer) ត្រូវសិក្សាពីសេរីភាពនៃការបញ្ចេញមតិឱ្យបានត្រឹមត្រូវ ហើយត្រូវផ្សព្វផ្សាយជូនទៅមហាជនឱ្យបានយល់ពីសេរីភាពនៃការបញ្ចេញមតិ និងការបញ្ចេញមតិឲបានត្រឹមត្រូវស្របតាមច្បាប់។   * អត្ថបទទស្សន:នេះ ត្រូវបានផលិតឡើងក្រោមជំនួយហិរញ្ញវត្ថុរបស់សហភាពអឺរ៉ុប និងទីភ្នាក់ងារសហប្រតិបត្តិការអភិវឌ្ឍអន្តរជាតិស៊ុយអ៊ែត តាមរយ:អង្គការតម្លាភាពកម្ពុជានិងអង្គការអាក់សិនអេតកម្ពុជា។ រាល់ខ្លឹមសារ​ មិនឆ្លុះបញ្ចាំងអំពីទស្សន:របស់ម្ចាស់ជំនួយនោះទេ។

What Does It Take for the Cambodian Economy to De-Dollarize? 

Written by: Song Daphea, Junior Student majoring in Political Science and International Relations at Paragon International University Edited by: Sao Phal Niseiy, Editor-in-Chief at The Cambodianess and Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Thmey Thmey News Photo Credit: Rie Ishii My very first experience in Thailand was shocking as I saw my dad rushed to find the currency exchange counter in one busy Thai district. I turned to my dad and asked him: “Pa, why can’t we just pay them in dollars like in our country?”  I remembered he replied with a slight giggle, “In Thailand, only Bahts are allowed here. But in our country, we use dual currencies.” I asked again, “Then, why can’t we use only one like them?”  Although my dad never really answered my last question, we can find out the answer together in this very article. And we are going to find out how to use only the riel instead of using other foreign currencies. You and I are aware that our country welcomes both the riel and the dollar. But we now should think of how we can start using only our very own money.  Generally, dollarization is never an uninvited guest. Its presence indicated that a particular economy is at risk. In the case of Cambodia, there was a chain of instability and risks occurring one after the other. But dollars stepped foot in Cambodia during the transitional period (UNTAC). It was when up to 1.7 Billion USD poured into our economy through the UN-led missions. That was also when dollars began to earn the trust of our people and made a way to become one of our main currencies.  Economically speaking, Dollarization in Cambodia is a big help through which we could find a better substitute to diminishing inflation, attract FDI, and, ultimately, restore the economy. In addition, the dollar has been aiding our economy, and it eventually allows us to learn to stand on our own.  Nevertheless, persistent dollarization also has significant disadvantages. First of all, we do not have an independent monetary policy. Every dollarized economy generally is influenced by the United States. In other words, if the U.S. were to depreciate its dollars to expand its liquidity or to increase exports, consequently, the Cambodian economy or any other dollarized economies would experience inflation due to the reduction of the dollar value.  Secondly, it is the loss of seigniorage, a term given to describe the difference between the value of the money and the product cost of making it. In other words, seigniorage is the profit that the government gains from generating the money. For example, to produce 10,000 riels, it would cost the government 1000 riel for production expenses. So, the seigniorage would be 9,000 riels. With this gain, the government can allocate it to the national development program based on its priorities. But, when the dollar is highly regulated within our economy, the loss of seigniorage would go up, suggesting that the national revenue is not fulfilling.  Therefore, the question is, "how can we de-dollarize our economy?" There are some practical solutions I would like to raise. First of all, having a great core or a healthy macroeconomic framework is the best starting point. Since Cambodia has had limited control on monetary policy driven by the steady progress of dollarization, it is better to establish credible financial institutions. This practice should be a priority because it will help the people to place their trust in the riel and also for it to circulate with proper regulations and transparency.  Moreover, a closer step to de-dollarizing our economy would be finding a currency to back up for the riel. I refer to the currency that is universally recognized and can be kept as our reserve in case of extreme unexpected events happening to the riel. In other words, we need to find an anchor currency. According to Rasheed J. Griffith and LOR Samnang’s Monetary Policy and Rielization, Cambodia can carefully pick an anchor currency. The authors explored a few options that could be the possible anchor currency for Cambodia, such as the USD, Yen, Yuan, and Asian Monetary Unit. Moreover, the country must also analyze the economic well-being afterward. Secondly, the exchange rate system is another factor. As Nombuleo Duma stated in his paper for the IMF, the exchange rate system in Cambodia is relatively fixed to the USD. In return, this strategy has stabilized the inflation rate and prompted more investments into the country. However, this explains why Cambodia is still the most dollarized country. When the real exchange rate is stabilized relative to the inflation rate, the dollar is preferable. This action is contradictory to the de-dollarization strategy. On the other hand, if the exchange rate is too flexible, it will cause an uproar in the economy. Therefore, finding a suitable exchange rate policy is necessary.  But what is more important here is the people. We all know that people are a driving factor of the value of the riel. Thus, I think that we can do so much better to navigate the value of our currency. Even though we have been using dollars way too much, we can alter this by embracing a shift in our preferences, habits, customs, and mindset.  When it comes to our habits, I want to stress a little bit here. In some religious rituals, most people tend to make an offering in which replica cars, houses, and paper money are burned for their deceased ancestors. The replica paper money people commonly burn is the dollar. Sometimes, it can be other foreign currencies such as dong, euros, yen, or yuan, but not the riel. It already symbolizes that even the departed prefer the dollars.  Furthermore, shoppings and price tags, as well as most daily transactions, are in dollars. It can serve as significant evidence that the use of riels should be further encouraged among the people in Cambodia. It is time for us to use our currency if we want to achieve proper de-dollarization.  Nevertheless, one thing Cambodia should avoid is forcing de-dollarization. Unlike other countries, the dollar has a long presence and has taken deep roots in our country. Therefore, any reversal in practice is going to be time-consuming, and, of course, enforcing de-dollarization will only end miserably. By saying this, we can study history to see the backfires some countries encountered. Lao PDR, in particular, attempted to impose swift de-dollarization by issuing a decree to make the kip the official currency in every transaction. In the end, the demand for it depreciated remarkably.  Finally, I also want to emphasize that some factors suggest Cambodia is on the right path to de-dollarization. One is the removal of small-dollar banknotes as the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has tried to get rid of $1, $2, and $5 banknotes from the economy since 2020. Last but not least is the establishment of Bakong, a blockchain-based technology that allows users to transfer, peer-to-peer transact, and pay via the digital platform. Apart from de-dollarizing and promoting the riel, Bakong aims to include the unbanked households and boost digital payments. This system has so much to achieve and can even foster digital transactions, cybersecurity, and stricter monetary policy. Indeed, Bakong could be the catalyst for our country to drive a complete de-dollarization.  All in all, dollars have a long presence in our country. Thanks to its existence, we could achieve a lot. However, I believe it is high time to begin regaining our independence in terms of monetary policy. It, of course, is going to be time-consuming and arduous to do so, but there is a saying: "good things take time". So does de-dollarization, which can happen gradually without harshly enforcing. Instead, we should take the time to develop credible financial institutions, find a suitable currency exchange rate, introduce an enduring reserve currency, and instill the spirit of the riel among our people. 

Cambodia Should Foster Youth Environmental Engagement

Written by: Chea Sameang, a graduate with a Bachelor's degree in International Relations from Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia Edited by: Sao Phal Niseiy, Editor-in-Chief at The Cambodianess and Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Thmey Thmey News Photo Credit: LICADHO In Cambodia, youth civic engagement seems to have increased significantly over the past years. They have become more interested in partaking in social works as well as expressing their opinion on social media platforms on different topics while trying to get involved in any activities that aim to raise the wellbeing and quality of life of people in their respective communities.  However, youth engagement in environmental protection appears to be facing more challenges with shrinking civic space and increasing restrictions. Some of them have also risked being arrested and imprisoned.  As can be seen, three environmental activists who are members of the environmental NGO Mother Nature Cambodia—Sun Ratha, Ly Chandaravuth, and Yim Leanghy—were arrested two days before the Queen Mother’s Birthday. All of them were formally charged with plotting against the government and insulting the King under articles 453 and 437 of the Criminal Code, ostensibly after they had documented water pollution in Tonle Sap River.  Moreover, this is not the first case that involves the arrest and imprisonment of environmental youth activists. Five other members of Mother Nature Cambodia were also sentenced to jail for incitement to cause serious social chaos as they planned protests against the filling of Boeung Tamok Lake in Phnom Penh.  Personally speaking, it has now become more common in Cambodia that environmental youth activists are accused of being anti-development or allegedly trying to topple the government. But what I want to emphasize is that it is outrageous when young and environmentally-concerned citizens have to face unfavorable conditions, having to confront apprehensions and incarceration for taking part in safeguarding the environment and natural resources.  Any negative actions taken against them by the authorities only discourage other people, especially youngsters from expressing their opinions freely and meaningfully, and this action would prevent them from thriving to become more active and environmentally responsible citizens in the future.  Regarding the prosecution of environmental youth activists in Cambodia, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns, Ming Yu Hah already warned that legal actions are not only the attempt to intimidate members of Mother Nature Cambodia but also “the entire generation of Cambodian youth who have dared to stand up for human rights and environmental justice.”  Thus, if the onslaught against young people continues, I would say, it will impact the future of Cambodian youth. And the next generations will not have enough courage to demonstrate their passion and commitment to protecting the environment and natural resources Moreover, the enduring fear of being arrested and jailed would only continue to trigger the so-called self-censorship. They soon will lose interest in actively participating in tackling issues facing our society. Environmentally speaking, we only will end up failing to address the environmental problems such as growing deforestation and pollution if the involvement of young people is lacking. Of course, the majority, if not all of us, will be the ones who eventually will be badly affected by this failure.   Environmental Activism Is Indispensable  Based on my observation, it turns out to be less and less common for young people to show concern and express ideas on sensitive yet essential issues such as the environment, politics, and human rights. Frankly, they turn out to focus more on other things, including social trending and any topics that are less beneficial to society.  Even though this can be a bit disappointing and depressing, I remain hopeful that we can change this and work together to promote environmental activism in our country.    Currently, we need more voices from youth in resolving social issues and their active participation in civic engagement. And it is essential to keep promoting and supporting environmental youth engagement if we want to see their more proactive role in addressing the environmental issues. Here I would offer three humble reasons why youth environmental engagement is crucial.  First, it can serve as a role model that allows young people to influence or inspire others. By granting them space and supporting their active participation will aspire them to be mindful of the environment, voice their concerns with reasons, and take appropriate actions to deal with all challenges. A prominent example is Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has become a role model for youth globally for her effort, confidence, and bravery in leading the global climate strike movement and demanding climate actions. If the country can free up more spaces for young people to discuss, debate, offer solutions as well as defend the environment, it will both improve its natural resource management and create a more inclusive and open society.  Second, it enables a diversity of opinions expressed by young people on environmental issues. Through debating and discussing, I think, people will not only be able to expand their knowledge but also change their mindsets as well as their behavior toward the environment. These changes are very instrumental for our country to build a better and more resilient future for our younger generations. Third, granting our youngsters opportunity and space to interact in environmental protection also improves the public image of our country. While young people in other countries earn appreciation and support for their efforts and actions, Cambodian youth, who care about the environment and are courageous enough to speak up against anything that impacts the environment negatively, face arrests and prosecution. Therefore, if this continues, it will only further damage the good image of our country.  As a developing country, Cambodia has a population of around 15.8 million —two-third of whom are under the age of 30, meaning that we need to listen to their considerations carefully. Furthermore, we also need their active participation in safeguarding nature and preventing all kinds of environmental destruction as the government alone can’t solve all problems facing our environment.  All in all, the attempt to block the environmental youth campaign in any form must end, and the government should also drop all charges against those arrested environmental activists. Doing so allows the government to demonstrate that it recognizes the importance of youth in any stage of the development process and indicates its genuine efforts and intention in working in partnership with the youth in tackling environmental problems and creating a sustainable future for younger generations. 

Why Should Cambodia Stop Arresting Youth Activists?

Written By: Samoeurth Seavmeng, 3rd Generation Leader of Politikoffee Edited by: Heng Kimkong, a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Cambodia Development Center and a PhD Candidate in Educationat The University of Queensland, Australia  Photo Credit: Mother Nature Cambodia The former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Anan, once said  “A society that cuts itself off from its youth severs its lifetime; it is condemned to bleed to death”. Youth’s participation in socioeconomic and political developments play crucial roles for Cambodia as a developing country. Youth accounts for more than 30% of the Cambodian population of more than 16 million people. Youth and their civic and political engagement are in danger when their freedom of expression is suppressed. In recent years, some outspoken youth activists have been arrested and jailed for expressing their concerns on critical issues impacting their community and society. Why should they be in jail for expressing concerns on important social issues? Why, as youth, do they have to end up in prison rather than receive praise for their activism? What are the negative impacts of the suppression on youth that prevents them from expressing their opinions? Arresting youth activists means dwarfing their potential Three members of the Mother Nature Cambodia were accused of “plotting” to oust the Cambodian government and were arrested in 2021. The previous arrest of this youth group has, no doubt, affected young people’s ability and freedom to think and express themselves. Although their sentence has been reduced and now that they are out of jail, the arrests have already scared other young people and youth activists who want to express their concerns. The damage has already been done. The arrests and jailing of young people have undoubtedly affected Cambodian youth’s freedom of thinking big. This damage will continue to affect their thinking for a long time. More importantly, the act of arrests or imprisonment to silence the citizens only opens a bigger gap between the “governed” and the “governors” and it could cause more misunderstanding and conflicts. There is one saying that goes: “Real gold does not fear the test of fire”. If you do not commit the act, you shall prove your innocence. You should not be scared. The government should first hold discussions with the concerned parties to listen to the problems before having any accusations. The “Culture of Dialogue'' should be practiced more often, especially in the future. I believe this practice will contribute to a closer and better relationship between the government and citizens. Government is more than just governing the country peacefully and it is more than just a group of politicians deciding alone how the country should be governed. It is about everyone’s participation in the process. Politics is supposed to be inclusive, participatory and, more importantly, free for all. When the culture of self-censorship is rooted among the citizens, especially the younger ones, the ability to think creatively and independently will be dwarfed. Cambodia does not only need more creativity and innovation in businesses and startups, but it also needs political innovators, which is crucial for the country to build a more unique and prosperous nation in the future. The world is dramatically changing, meaning the current political system might not work for Cambodia in the future. In this regard, the next generation should be encouraged to think big, free and beyond. Arresting youth activists will only suppress their potential to think beyond things and dwarf their potential in thinking creatively and innovatively. Therefore, youth civic and political participants are extremely crucial for Cambodia and no youth should be arrested for expressing their opinions on issues that matter to them and their country. Why is youth and civic engagement important for Cambodia? As a citizen, we have the responsibility to lead our country along with the government officials and politicians. We have the role to direct the country with them. Cambodia is not owned by anyone. The next generation will inherit everything from their current leaders. Therefore, the government should not pressure themselves to overwork and work alone. Some issues could be helped by the citizens who have the right to help and keep the government accountable for what it has promised in its elections campaign. This could help the government save some time to focus on bigger issues. Significant problems like deforestation, overuse of plastics, filling of lakes and rivers, and sand dredging, among other issues, should be shared responsibilities between Cambodian people and the government. Youth activists, for a concrete example, could help the government by observing the issues and reporting to the government and media to help spread words so that solutions to the problems can be proposed. The government should not overreact but instead try to understand the issues and figure things out. However, so far, there have been little discussions or frank talks between these two sides. The culture of not talking ends up a confusion between them. I believe young people have no intention to put their country in danger. All they want is inclusive development, less corruption, responsible leaders and transparent governance. The government should act as “parents” instead of “enemies” for youth and other citizens.  Youth empowerment in the Cambodian political sphere Among the 20 political parties in Cambodia, there is only one youth party named “Cambodian Youth Party” which is founded by Pich Sros who is the president of the party and a member of the Supreme Council for Consultation and Recommendations. Cambodia's current political arena is occupied by senior people who have been politically driving Cambodia to what it is nowadays. This does not mean they are not capable of leading the country anymore but when they are retired, who will be the next political leaders in the country? And while they do not seem to equip the next generations to become future leaders, how can young people have the ability to lead their country? The commune and national elections are coming soon and if the space of political engagement is still limited, the chance to have more young politicians are far behind and youth will not feel like they belong to the political sphere anymore. Cambodian youth still suffer from the lack of the capacity and mechanisms supporting them to engage in politics and governance. This limitation is a result of a prohibition preventing teachers and students not to talk about politics in schools. Youth have become less active in the political sphere over the past few years. Since the ban was announced, they have practiced self-censorship and have been afraid of talking about politics in schools, which affects their critical thinking skill and political literacy. Youth build these skills by discussing and analyzing political issues with their peers but when this practice is banned, how could they improve their skills? The ban to prevent free discussion about politics will also dwarf youth’s political literacy and this will definitely decrease their participation in politics. All in all, youth and their engagement in political and civic space are essential to build a stronger, more transparent and innovative Cambodia. Youth’s participation in every sector decides the fate of the country. Therefore, their freedom of expression should be empowered and encouraged, rather than suppressed. Arresting active youth or putting them in jail only results in adverse consequences for the country in the long run. Suggestions As a youth and a citizen who wants to participate in civic and political affairs in the country, I have a few suggestions to address this important issue: Cambodian youth are enthusiastic to engage in the country’s governance and they should not get kicked out. The government should not perceive this activism as a threat to the country but instead consider it as a contribution to improve the country. Therefore, there should be more discussions among the two parties to understand each other better. I believe the government should initiate more youth-oriented events so that young people can voice their concerns directly to their leaders. The upcoming elections are very crucial for the government to show to the Cambodian citizens that it really cares about the country, especially the citizens. Engaging youth in the election process is a starting point for participatory elections and a great start to empower youth in politics. Political space should be more open for young people to engage so that they will be able to learn more. The freedom of thinking, expressing and participating in the political process should not be suppressed. Their free thinking will help Cambodia innovate to get ready for the fast-changing future. 

It's Time to Reduce the Anarchy of Alcohol Drinking in Cambodia

Written by: Chea Sameang, a graduate with a Bachelor's degree in International Relations from Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia Edited by: Heng Kimkong, a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Cambodia Development Center and a Ph.D. Candidate in Education at The University of Queensland, Australia. Photo Credit:  Reece Ferguson The consumption of alcohol seems prevalent in Cambodian society due to the wave of globalization and integration and the lack of state regulations. Even though people understand that alcoholism causes physical and emotional health problems, alcohol use becomes a normal practice for people to relax, enjoy, and relieve their stress or unhappiness. According to the Straits Times, “Cambodia's drinking habits are on the upswing. On average, Cambodians drank 6.1 liters of alcohol a year”. The rising consumption of alcohol in Cambodia has brought about many problems.  For example, the death toll linked to alcohol consumption has increased in recent years. Research by the Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health showed that the increasing alcohol consumption use is associated with numerous public health issues, including the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases. In the first half of 2015 alone, there were 2,500 alcohol-related traffic accidents. However, based on my observation, alcohol use does not only affect our health and cause traffic accidents. Oftentimes, when people become alcoholics, they tend to use violence at home and commit other crimes such as rapes. The lack of legal regulations limiting who and at what age people can purchase and consume alcohol is an unresolved issue. Based on a report by the Asia Foundation, in Cambodia, “there is little regulation of the alcohol industry including the advertising of alcohol products and very few” even though there are increasing complaints from civil society groups. Even though some provincial governors have called to pull out alcohol advertising on billboards, it seems just a temporary action to get people’s attention. There is no master plan or long-term plan to address this issue. In fact, government regulations that limit alcohol sales or advertising are largely absent. Thus, if all these issues remain unresolved, and Cambodian youth are drowned in alcohol overuse, how can they help develop their nation? As they are young bamboos that represent the hope of Cambodia, it is important to find ways to address the anarchy of alcohol drinking among young people. The  Causes and Impacts of Alcohol Excessive Use  Alcohol has been found to cause many forms of cancer, ischaemic heart diseases, and strokes. It is also one of the main causes of rapes and domestic violence. However, the draft law is still on the table, not yet passed, and the ideas of banning alcohol use for people under a certain age seem far from achievable anytime soon. I believe there are at least three factors that contribute to the prevalent consumption of alcohol in Cambodia.  First, it is a cultural factor. Elders and youth still think that drinking alcohol is just normal and it is a culture when they want to relax from trauma or stress from work, beers or wines are the first sign they want to taste in order to reduce stress and anxiety they face even they deeply know it would also affect their health and waste their money and times when they over drink. As reported in VOA, one Cambodian man said, “I feel anxious without alcohol”, and “It has become a normal part of my life already”. Even though he knew the impact of alcohol use and had a crash once, he continued to drink and drive.  Second, the lack of law enforcement is another factor contributing to the prevalent use of alcohol. In 2015 a draft law that controls alcohol use and bans youth under 21 to purchase and drink alcohol was sent to the Ministry of the Interior by the Ministry of Health, but it has been ignored since. Thus, when there is no law or rule that would allow people to obey, then they will have much freedom to enjoy what they are already habituated to doing without fear or worry. In 2018, KhmerTimes reported that “around 2,500 traffic incidents are caused by excessive alcohol consumption” each year. Third, it is a social factor. Everywhere alcohol is advertised, and people can drink alcohol anywhere and whenever they want. There are no restrictions to how alcohol can be advertised as well as when and where it should be advertised. Some people are proud to show on Facebook about their parties at KTV, restaurants with many bottles of beer or wine on the table. In 2015, the World Health Organisation reported that “more than one-tenth of Cambodians aged between 8-17 admitted to having consumed alcohol, while 82 percent of Cambodians aged between 18-32 said that they consume alcoholic beverages on a regular basis”.  Moreover, parents enjoy drinking in front of their children and sometimes push them to taste it without explaining to their children that alcohol consumption may lead to significant effects on their health and finances as they will spend a lot of money on alcohol when they become addicted to it.  In many cases, husbands hit their wives after drinking alcohol in front of their kids. A report by the Asia Foundation showed that “Alcohol abuse increases women’s vulnerability to violence which one in five ever-partnered women reported experiencing physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.”  What Can We Do? It is unrealistic to ban alcohol use, so I do believe that if Cambodia introduces a law that manages alcohol advertisement and regulates who can or cannot drink or purchase alcohol, things will get better. However, the prevention of alcohol-related problems requires a comprehensive approach, combining information and awareness programs and treatment services with preventive policies adopted at local and national levels.  Even though the government has no plan to adopt the draft law yet, I do hope the law will be adopted soon. It is important to increase the tax on alcohol and introduce legislation that regulates alcohol use so that alcohol-related problems including domestic violence, deaths, and health problems can be reduced. Nevertheless, transforming or changing people’s behavior regarding alcohol use cannot be done overnight. Therefore, we need legislation, vision, and commitment to achieve this aim. Although some provincial governors have recently tried to take action to ban all alcohol advertising on public billboards it was not the long-term proactive solution. To make it legal, the government should take more serious action to ban all billboards of alcohol advertisements across all the 25 provinces, and reduce all alcohol advertising through social media, radio, TV, and movies, including music videos, by calling all media to stop promoting gifts from alcohol purchases.  Moreover, other stakeholders have a vital role to play. Parents must take strong action to reduce their drinking and educate their children by promoting more ideas about the impact of alcohol on their studies, health, finance, and future. Social influencers, schools principals, and teachers must collaborate with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international NGOs to conduct more awareness-raising campaigns about the impact of alcohol on the study, work, and life. They also need to promote more #SocietyWithoutAlcohol campaigns to spread the message widely. As for those who are already addicted to alcohol, each of them can also practice the ideas of reducing alcohol use in their daily life. They can seek support from organizations that work to help people reduce or stop alcoholism.  Without strong precedents to pass and implement the law on alcohol, Cambodia will enter into a state of misery caused by rampant alcoholism. The nation by definition would descend into anarchy. Mass looting, criminality, and violence would consume communities. Therefore, we all must take action to stop the excessive use of alcohol and to restore the dignity and beauty of the nation by practicing the minimal consumption of alcohol for special occasions and or health benefits.  "A society without rampant alcohol use is a society with a bright future."

Why Cambodia's Affordable Housing Policy Needs Adjustments

Written by: Yen Sreyleap, a Training Officer at a Non-governmental Organization  Edited by: Sao Phal Niseiy, Editor-in-Chief at The Cambodianess and Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Thmey Thmey News (Photo Credit: WorldBridge Homes Facebook Page )   The 2013 consensus shows that the Cambodian population reached 14.5 million, and the number of families increased by around 3.2 million. And many people have migrated to look for job opportunities in construction, tourism, and industries in Phnom Penh and big cities along the borders, leading to a rapid increase in new settlements. However, the 2014 Socio-Economic Survey indicates that with the median household income, people in Phnom Penh need to spend between 33 to 53 years to get a house with a size between 36 to 48 square meters. And more importantly, the market has largely focused on providing high-end housing supplies, especially in Phnom Penh and other big cities. It means the access to affordable housing has become limited.   Theoretically, the royal government of Cambodia has a principal role in guaranteeing the right to an adequate living standard, including proper housing. However, the government alone won't make this happen, and it requires the alternative, which is to offer a platform and legal framework to assist private companies in constructing more affordable houses for low- and medium-income people. Consequently, the National Policy on Incentive and Establishment of the National Program for Development of Affordable Housing was established in 2017.  This article will explain what this policy aims to achieve, the beneficiaries, the benefits of project developers, and the progress of the policy implementation.    What Is Affordable Housing Policy?  The Affordable Housing policy was adopted jointly by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction to improve the lives of low- and middle-income earners whose salary ranges between $200 to $400 per month.  The policy introduces a pilot project to address the housing problem facing people in Phnom Penh, cities, and major urban areas by encouraging developers to focus on low-cost housing development.  According to this policy, incentives provided to project developers include tax breaks and the facilitation of bureaucratic procedures, such as obtaining construction permits, business licenses, and other necessary documents. In addition, the project developers must align with some specific requirements to get their projects approved. Each project must contain more than 100 low-cost housing units with a price per unit between $15,000 to $30,000 or lower and with a location within 20 km of the capital or cities. Too, the project must comply with the minimum standard of affordable housing with buyers qualified to get a loan with low interest. Meanwhile, it also consists of community buildings and green spaces.   Is the Policy Good Enough? The policy highlights the anticipated outcomes and impacts with clear categories of the target group and specific phases of policy implementation. However, by scrutinizing it, it appears that the policy is broad and vague with some loopholes. Although it showcases the ambition of the government to promote rights to adequate housing, it doesn't outline a specific time frame of project implementation, and the number of houses, making it more arduous to evaluate whether there is a success or not.  Regarding the progress of the policy implementation, the number of projects remains minimal despite it being adopted for four years already. As of the end of 2020, there were only five affordable housing development projects containing a total of 8,331 units, according to the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction. This unsatisfactory result is likely due to these conditions: a shortage of policy dissemination to private companies; the offered incentives didn't meet the demands of the private sector, and the procedure of project approval is intricate.    What Should Be Improved?  By pointing out some loopholes in the previous part, I think there are four main points that the policymakers need to consider improving the policy. First, there should be a clear timeframe to achieve policy objectives. With the timeline in place, it would be more apparent to monitor and evaluate the success rate of the policy while attracting more private companies to take part. Introducing a clear timeframe means it can signal private companies, which seek to submit their proposal to the government, that the policy span has a deadline, and it also can create a more competitive environment for private companies.  Secondly, the government needs to work on enticing further participation from the project developers. The policymakers should consider conducting a small study to figure out possible obstacles for project developers and whether they should be given additional benefits. Third, the government should narrow down the scope of policy implementation as it is a pilot policy. By mentioning this, instead of applying it to the entire country, the policymakers should consider choosing some provinces or cities with large populations that require affordable housing for the policy.  Finally, policymakers should mull on giving a role to the technical group at the Department of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction at the provincial level to follow up and monitor the project implementation, including construction, sales, and leasing to guarantee that the beneficiaries are the target group. Moreover, it can be easier for project developers to report their challenges and progress and save resources on the national level. In addition, it can prove the transparency and accountability of the government to promote the rights to adequate housing within the policy. All in all, the affordable housing policy is put in practice at the right time to promote affordable housing when the number of populations in urban areas keeps rising even though there are some gaps, which need modification. If adjusted and implemented effectively, it can ensure that the housing markets will be more dynamic and diverse because it connects customers with the market supplies, which offer different prices and more choices.     *This blog is produced with the financial support from the European Union and The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency through Transparency International Cambodia and ActionAid Cambodia. Its contents do not reflect the views of any donors. 

Understanding the National Program for Development of Affordable Housing

Written by: Sork Sochetra, a 4th year student majoring in Global Affairs at The American University of Phnom Penh Edited by: Sao Phal Niseiy, Editor-in-Chief at The Cambodianess and Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Thmey Thmey News (Photo Credit: WorldBridge Homes Facebook Page )   The population growth and rapid urbanization have driven a higher demand for affordable housing among low and middle-income people across Cambodia. In response to the needs, the government, specifically the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction, decided to adopt the National Program for Development of Affordable Housing" in 2017.  This piece aims to examine the policy implementation and also to explore its strengths and flaws. Regarding the strengths, its policy framework sets out a full detail of the objectives, which assert how this policy would improve the welfare of people and ensure that low and middle-income people can have access to affordable houses. In addition, it also includes the implementation schemes, and the institutional arrangement responsible for the project. Moreover, the inclusion of green space also demonstrates the vitality of the project in promoting sustainability and improving the living condition of the buyers.  On the project implementation, the policy also requires developers to conduct a specific set of procedures. Noticeably, any project has to incorporate at most invisible 100 units -- each of which will cost between $15,000 to $30,000.  Besides, the policy requires housing project developers to connect with financial institutions which offer low-interest loans to purchasers.  Too, this policy, to a certain extent, can partially contribute to reducing the gap between rich and poor as it enables both groups to live alongside. Significantly, it also complies with economic and social development standards, which necessitate active cooperation from various stakeholders, especially between the private sector and the inter-ministerial committees to handle the project implementation.  However, there are some weaknesses in this affordable housing policy, which need to be reviewed and developed. Despite being adopted in 2017, this policy doesn't provide a specific timeline of the project implementation, and there has been no public announcement concerning the timeframe.  Therefore, I believe the government should add the timeline as it will also allow policymakers to understand the effectiveness of the policy. As stated above, the project underpins the green and sustainability concept. Nevertheless, there should be more guidance and information as this part remains unsettled. For instance, the policy only illustrates that the project has to use a maximum of 70% of total land to build houses, community buildings, and green space without providing concept guidance or model. In addition, the government should warrant that the inter-ministerial committees can obtain a skillset in coordinating the project, making sure that this will be effective.  As seen, the ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction has already granted the inter-ministerial committees duties and responsibilities regarding the project implementation. Doing this demands more competent officials to take charge of providing consultation, reviewing proposals, examining financial feasibility, and other tasks. Arguably, this is one of the chief factors in improving the effectiveness of project implementation and evaluation procedures. Asides from this, if we look at the outcomes of the policy implementation, it remains lower than expected due to the lack of participation and cooperation from other stakeholders. As of now, only five projects have been delivered by private companies with 15,587 units in total.    In my opinion, to improve the effectiveness of policy implementation, the government has to actively support and engage with other stakeholders, especially housing project developers. Commonly, developers, agencies as well as private companies seek any projects that can guarantee more benefits. However, this is a challenge for policymakers. Most housing developers would want to invest in fancy housing projects with a price range of more than $30,000.  With this being the case, apart from tax exemption, the policymakers shall include other advantages, which private sectors or developers can receive after completing the projects.   To foster these active engagements, the government should organize open forums at least once a year. The relevant parties and stakeholders can take the opportunity to discuss the overall progress of the policy implementation, accomplishments, and challenges during the dialogues.  Other than that, the government should also introduce specific schedules of the forums since it can improve the feasibility and efficiency of the policy. Also, it will allow the general public to comprehend the importance of the policy.  Overall, the policy maps out a particular set of goals and frameworks to tackle the contemporary housing challenges facing middle and low-income populations. Despite higher anticipated results, the impact of the policy remains inadequate to the point that there is a lack of participation from the private sector and insufficient understanding and support from the general public. While the policy has feasible endowments to reduce the challenges, there are several ways that the government could dwindle the weaknesses by closely monitoring, actively engaging, and regularly updating the information concerning policy implementation.     *This blog is produced with the financial support from the European Union and The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency through Transparency International Cambodia and ActionAid Cambodia. Its contents do not reflect the views of any donors. 

Cambodia’s Electric Shortage: Its Impacts on Economy and Small Businesses

Written by: Kong Sreynou, a 3rd-year student majoring in International Studies at Institute of Foreign Languages, RUPP. Edited by: Heng Kimkong, a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Cambodia Development Center and a Ph.D. Candidate in Education at The University of Queensland, Australia. Photo Credit: Asia Times Cambodia has experienced steady economic growth over the last few decades, along with the boom of construction and investment. Within this context, the consumption of energy such as electricity has significantly increased. Although Cambodia has undergone rapid economic development, the infrastructure required for the energy sector is still limited to match the pace of development. With the increasing population and the expansion of key industries such as garment and tourism sectors, Cambodia’s electricity consumption increases. It was forecast that electricity consumption would grow at a rate of  9.4% annually. Meanwhile, Cambodia also encountered a shortage of electricity due to the drought in the dry season as well as the growing number of demands in electric usage. The shortage of electricity is harmful to public places, industries, or households. In 2019, the government had to reduce or cut off the electricity during the day in order to meet the demands at night. Electric scarcity has impacts on the economy and small businesses in many ways.  First, electric inefficiency can cripple the small businesses in the country as small business owners are believed to endure  the most from the electric shortage. Large parts of Cambodia have to suffer hours of electric outages, as the country’s supply of electricity could not meet the increasing demand. According to VOA Cambodia, Phnom Penh has been crippled by power outages up to 6 hours per day in some areas, and it is struggling to meet the high demand of the small business owners. Some small businesses such as Salons require ongoing electricity to run their business. For example,  Sokunthea, a salon owner in Phnom Penh, has experienced an ongoing electricity shortage, saying that, without electricity, she can’t blow-dry the hair of her guests after washing it. She further added that her customers would not be able to enter her shop since the weather is scorching hot. Without fans, her customers will get sweaty, and the make-up will slide off.  The electric outage undeniably offers difficulties for small business owners to pursue their small business since their income will be dropped. Plus, the price of Cambodia’s electricity is also regarded as among the most expensive in the region, according to the Open Development Cambodia (ODC). Thus, while  they cannot run their business smoothly to generate income, they have to pay their electricity fees at a high price. There are also growing numbers of new constructions, such as new apartment buildings, stores, and hotels, which do need electricity, adding burden to the already struggling sector. No doubt, without proper electric generation, small businesses will suffer, and many new buildings will be slowly constructed.  Second, the economic impact of regular power cuts could be huge. Big investments or private companies in or around the Phnom Penh city, especially within the industry and manufacturing sector such as garment factories, play vital roles in helping the Cambodian economy, yet they depend heavily on electricity to run their businesses. Since there is a shortage of supply of electricity, the firms from private companies and big investments will lose their interest in investing in our country. This is because they will have to buy expensive generators, which adds to their expenses. As stated by Cheat Khemera, Senior Officer at Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC), most garment factories are connected with state-run electricity supply, and therefore there would be great impacts if there is not enough electricity.  With the growing demands for the nation's electrification priorities, Cambodia has invested heavily in hydropower development with 60 possible sites, and an estimated supply of 10,000 MW, of which 50% is on the mainstream Mekong, 40% on its tributaries, and 10% in the southwest outside the Mekong basin. In addition, coal electric generation is also an attractive complement that can offset hydropower seasonality. According to the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) annual report in 2020, there are two coal-fired power plants in Cambodia. One of which is located in Tamar Sor commune, Botum Sakor district, Koh Kong province, and another one is situated in Trapaing Prasat district, Oddar Meanchey province. These two power sources, hydropower dam, and coal have promised massive gains in electricity generation capacity. Additionally, solar power has emerged as an energy source with considerable potential for Cambodia. To date,  Cambodia’s existing operational solar power stations include a 10-megawatt (MW) and a 5 MW solar farms in Bavet city, Svay Rieng province, an 80 MW solar station in Kampong Speu province, a 60 MW solar station in Kampong Chhnang province, and a 60 MW solar station in Battambang province’s Thmar Kol district. So far, the Royal Government of Cambodia has done its best by introducing policies and initiatives to address the inadequate electricity supply. It has laid out a few key policies on energy development. First, the Power Sector Strategy 1999-2016 was introduced to ensure  an adequate, reliable and secure electricity supply throughout the country at reasonable and affordable prices to facilitate investment in Cambodia and to drive economic development. This strategy has encouraged the exploration of environmentally friendly ways and socially acceptable energy resources to minimize environmental effects resulting from energy supply and use. Second, the Renewable Electricity Action Plan (REAP) 2002-2012 was implemented to offer cost-effective and reliable electricity through renewable energy technologies in rural areas. Third, the government introduced the Renewable Energy Development Program which aims to promote the production of power supply from various resources such as hydropower, wind and solar energy, biomass, biogas, biofuel, solid wastes and geothermal energy.  In short, the electricity shortage can threaten Cambodia’s economic growth. Small businesses will suffer the most from the outage of electricity which serves as a major barrier for them to run their business. Thinking of Cambodia's economy, key investors and private companies will lose their interest in investing in the country due to the scarcity of the power supply and the high price of electricity. Therefore, to address these issues, the government should consider using more solar energy to generate electricity. Solar energy could be used to provide additional energy capacity during the dry season rather than constructing dams that can create long-lasting environmental consequences affecting the health of the Mekong river and lives depending on it. The investment in solar energy to produce electricity should therefore be considered by the government because it offers a more sustainable and affordable source of energy.     

It’s Time to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Plastic to Save the World

Written by: Tea Sovanmony, a 3rd year student majoring in Global Affairs at The American University of Phnom Penh Edited by: Heng KimKong, a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Cambodia Development Center and a PhD Candidate in Education at The University of Queensland, Australia   (Photo Credit: "Collection of #1 PET plastic, accepted effective June 2012" by Department of Environmental Protection Recycling a is licensed under CC BY 2.0)   In the contemporary world, plastic has become one of the most essential contributions to human society. However, the use of plastic has also had a significant negative impact on human health and well-being as well as those of animals. Across the entire globe, there are increasing concerns about the increasing use of plastic, which has led to pollution and caused great harm to human life, wildlife, ocean creatures, and nature. Importantly, it has caused disruptions to the entire ecosystem. Thus, it is crucial that the world commits to applying the 3Rs principles of reduce, reuse and recycle to curb the excessive use of plastic to save our planet.  Whether you believe it or not, there is a connection between plastic used by people and the environmental world. According to nature, there is no waste material that does not decompose. However, in the case of plastic, it takes more than a hundred years for it to totally decompose. While plastic waste is dumped or flows into the ocean, it breaks up into small microbeads that are extremely harmful to all living things, including humans and animals, in the long term.  Human beings invented plastic to make life easier. However, this creation is and will always be considered unnatural to the ecosystem. In fact, plastic is less expensive, more affordable and more durable than paper bags, leading to its mass and endless production. Plastic has played an integral part in the production of water bottles, plastic wraps, plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic utensils, plastic cups and more. As people become comfortable using plastic and begin to use it indefinitely, it results in the uncontrollable use of single-use plastic. Consequently, the usage of plastic has become a major global problem. As 40% of all plastic that has been used is used just once, the National Geographic started to question whether it is Planet or Plastic? This campaign is then urged to raise international awareness of the consequences of single-use plastic.  The danger of plastic pollution  When tonnes of plastic are dumped into the ocean, it does not dissolve and remains in the water. This affects the ocean water and causes aquatic species to misunderstand plastic as their food. The effects of plastic on sea life are immense. For example, plastic waste causes the death of a million seabirds a year as seabirds would ingest plastic which  takes up room in their stomach, which sometimes causes starvation. For example, many seabirds have been found dead with their stomachs filled with plastic waste.  According to the United Nations, marine debris affects at least 800 species globally, with plastic accounting for up to 80% of the waste. Furthermore, plastic also polluted water when it was dumped into it, causing many problems to the environment in addition to making sea or ocean water look and smell bad. Therefore, plastic pollutes water and affects species in the ocean leading to their numerous deaths.  Plastic also hurts humans. Based on a research study by BreastCancer.org (2020), the leaching of plastic chemicals, including bisphenol A (BPA) from heating can cause human cancer. There are several more negative health impacts such as cardiovascular diseases, lung problems, cancer, and the weakened immune system. This is due to the toxicity of chemical elements including mercury, lead, and cadmium which are found in plastic. The cycle starts from the plastic garbage that humans throw away in front of their eyes into the street, which ends up in the ocean and breaks down into small tiny plastic beads. Those small particles are eaten by fish which will then be consumed by humans. Thus, humans are now eating plastic that they have dumped!  Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (3Rs) are the solution  According to Wendell Berry, an American environmental activist and novelist, “The Earth is what we all have in common”. Thus, individual contribution to the environment through the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle is a must. It takes no or little effort and cost in starting the actions for sustainability and a better planet  because planet Earth is a home to all human beings and other living things.  First, due to the high cost of recycling, it is good  to reduce the numbers of individual plastic consumption rather than totally relying on recycling, although recycling is another alternative. We can start with the reduction of plastic consumption by minimizing daily consumption like plastic straws, plastic utensils, plastic bags, and plastic cups. Since food delivery is popular in modern society, individuals should have their own portable utensils and metal straws that are easy to carry around. Therefore, in the case of Cambodia, in any order from delivery apps such as Nham24 and FoodPanda, we can request the restaurant to not include plastic utensils for us. This may be a bit uncomfortable for some people, it is one effective way to contribute to minimizing the numbers of daily plastic consumption. Each one of us should now consider using a metal bottle instead of a plastic cup to reduce the use of plastic. In addition to that, companies, schools, and other institutions are key actors that can help individuals to reduce plastic bottles by setting a water purifier refill in the office or school to let individuals fill up their fresh water in their metal bottles. The use of cotton or cloth bags for shopping products is also another good way to replace the use of single-use plastic bags. Moreover, for essential goods such as dishwasher soap, scrub, bodywash and shampoo, there are alternatives from several refill stores around Toul Tompong areas in Phnom Peng city that offer goods and services for customers to go and refill them. It is essential to save our planet and each of us has an important role to play.  Second, we need to adhere to the concept of reuse. The idea of reuse is extremely important to avoid the single use of plastic that tends to be dumped into the ocean or other water resources after use. We can apply this concept by reusing plastic that we have in our home multiple times and try to reuse it for other purposes before throwing it away. For example, the water bottle can be used to store new water or other liquid, or it can be used for gardening purposes. The bubble wrap that is received from delivery can be used to protect furniture and other glass products.  Thirdly, it is the concept of recycling which involves industrial or machinery processes. Every single-use plastic such as the cutlery, straws, and bags can be recycled in most advanced economic countries in Europe and America. Unfortunately, there may not be recycling companies in some middle income and low income countries. Cambodia is a case in point. To the best of my knowledge, single-use plastic is mainly used daily but there is no recycling process available  in the country. Regarding this issue, reasons for the unavailability of recycling processes are due to the high cost of investment and the requirements for highly skilled labor in the field. In spite of this, not all plastic can be recycled. According to SL Recycling, the types of plastic that are commonly recycled include  Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), and Polypropylene (PP). Thus, reducing the amount of plastic is still one of the most essential alternatives among the 3Rs of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.    The way forward Moving forward, human beings must come to realize that in some cases the use of plastic is not necessary, but we are just consumed by the idea of convenience without thinking of the consequences of excessive plastic use. Since the single use of plastic can have serious consequences for humanity and the environment, it should be minimized by individuals and inspired by society itself as well. Up until now, there has been very limited action toward sustainability, especially in countries that have a low literacy rate. Many people tend to think that environmental issues are not as important as political or social issues.  Thus, to achieve sustainability, it requires all of us to take action without procrastinating. It can start from youth who can introduce their parents and relatives to the concept of 3Rs. Youth themselves also have to practice the concept of 3Rs, and contribute to voluntary work related to environmental issues so that plastic  awareness can spread widely, and at the same time, they can learn  more about many important social issues through their working experience as volunteers. This type of knowledge is not available in school. Nevertheless, the Cambodian government needs to introduce and implement laws to curb the excessive use of plastic. It needs to find effective ways to educate the citizens and control their plastic consumption in an effective way. It is also important to attract foreign investment to develop Cambodia’ capacity to recycle plastic. The non-governmental organizations and international organizations also play a crucial role in making the world a better place for all. They must raise the public awareness of the impact of single-use plastic, offer financial support to low economic development countries to tackle their plastic crisis, and produce more informative videos to educate the masses about the risks of plastic pollution.  Together we can work toward a sustainable future in which we control the use of plastic by reducing, reusing and recycling it. We should not be complacent and let plastic control us and destroy our world.     *This blog is produced with the financial support from the European Union and The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency through Transparency International Cambodia and ActionAid Cambodia. Its contents do not reflect the views of any donors.  

Why Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations Theory Cannot Explain the Realities of Global Politics in Contemporary World?

Written by: Rada ROFEK, a 3rd year student in International Relations and Political Science at Paragon International University. Edited by: Heng Kimkong, a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Cambodia Development Center and a PhD Candidate in Education at The University of Queensland, Australia. Photo Credit: Chinese Dragons — Symbolism, Types, Culture, Legends, Art from China's Highlights  When the world entered the post-cold war era after 1989, many scholars put in their intellectual efforts to explain the future patterns of international relations and global politics. Unlike Francis Fukuyama’s “The End of History and The Last Man” which emphasize political ideologies as the main unit of analysis, Samuel Huntington in his renowned book “The Clash of Civilizations” gives an explanation on the future shape of world politics based on the notion of civilization. In brief, the book states that people’s religious and cultural identities will be the primary source of conflicts among different groups in the world after the cold war. This is due to his belief that different languages, traditions, cultures, histories, and religions tear people apart. Specifically, Huntington argued that "Western" culture and “Islamic” culture are the two most encompassing civilizations. He stressed that clash of civilizations is unavoidable since these two worlds could cause global conflicts. As the Muslim world is unified for a greater Islamic civilization, Huntington accused Islamic extremists of posing the biggest threat to global peace and predicted that the Muslim world will have a conflict with the West as they are trying to challenge Western dominance and oppose universal Western ideals. Correspondingly, Huntington’s idea seems to be accurate due to some historical events, especially the 9/11 and the start of the Middle East conflict at the beginning of the 21st century. As a result, more and more people started to debate the possibilities of the clash between the Western and Islamic world. However, a more critical review is needed to understand the reality of contemporary global politics.  In practice, Huntington’s theory seems to be very controversial, prompting many scholars to debate and critique his theory. First and foremost, the Clash of Civilizations theory is believed to go against one of the dominant schools of thought in international relations theory, that is, realism—the belief that global politics is always a field of conflict among states seeking to pursue their national interests. However, Huntington dissented from the realist approach by basing his analysis on alliances rather than national interests. Secondly, another weak point is that Huntington’s theory is overgeneralizing because using civilizations as units of analysis to analyze global politics is too enormous. On this note, the term “Civilization” is also not clearly identified. To give an instance, would the rise of Muslims in Western countries be considered as Islamic or Western Civilization? In addition to this, followers of  Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are monotheists who aggregately see themselves as the descendants of Prophet Abraham. They are birthed on the same geographic area in the Middle East and have co-existed for thousands of years, but the point is what makes Huntington to contemplate them as no longer one single civilization. While repeatedly citing Islamic Civilization as the main source of future conflicts, he disregarded historical designs, principles, and laws that the West promulgated in the last century, especially after World War II. Thirdly, Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations theory which values cultural interests appears to not be coherent with the reality of today's contemporary world politics. In the first place, to analyze this extensive issue, the realist approach is still realistic as generally seen in today’s time. States do not really pursue cultural but mostly national interest, and nation-states are still the most vital actors in global affairs. Thus, it is more practical to predict that a clash of interests can be identified as the main source of conflict rather than the clash of civilizations stated by Huntington. On a more important note, in this post-cold war period, there is no doubt that economy is the dominant factor in shaping international relations. In fact, strong states are trying their best to maintain their status quos and hegemonic power, while weak states are striving to develop their economies to play a more important role in world politics. Therefore, Huntington’s theory appears to partially accord with the reality of the present world. Last but not least, stating that cultural and religious identities are a primary source of future conflicts shows a sign of overgeneralization and incomplete analysis which is not entirely applicable for the multifaceted nature of global politics in today's contemporary world. Conflicts could arise due to various factors such as competing national interest, territorial disputes, ethnic clashes, conflicting values and ideologies, and racial and religious contradictions. By defining a single factor or a combination of these factors to be the dominant source of conflict is not sufficient to explain the current global politics. Furthermore, future conflicts can also be possible as a result of states fighting one another for the interest of their own people for example, to ensure access to renewable sources such as water. To conclude, Huntington’s theory of Clash of Civilizations is not only limited but potentially dangerous as it creates a sense of otherness and opens the door for prejudice and a new enemy existing in our minds. Therefore, as the world is at the peak of the globalization era, more interactions are expected.  Thus, instead of being frightened by Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations theory, people everywhere — regardless of their differences in culture and religion — need to learn how to live and work together with tolerance and peaceful co-existence in this complex and multicivilizational world.

Understanding the Path towards E-Governance in Cambodia 

Written by: Virak Kanhapich, a 3rd year student majoring in Global Affairs at The American University of Phnom Penh Edited by: Sao Phal Niseiy, Editor-in-Chief at The Cambodianess and Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Thmey Thmey News (Photo Credit: Ministry of Post and Telecommunications website)   Many governments across the globe have been committed to building e-governance, and Cambodia is one of them. After Cambodia obtained an official membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1999, it has made tremendous efforts to use information technology and embarked on enormous administrative reform to ensure that it could make the goals reality. Although the government has made tremendous efforts, little is known to the public on how effective and efficient it can be in delivering public services since the term is still relatively new.  Before moving on to the substance, I would like to draw attention to the definition of e-governance and its background in Cambodia. As defined by Business Jargons, e-governance refers to the integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into all governmental processes to simplify and enhance the efficiency of public services in response to the needs of the people.  In the Cambodian context, the government also acknowledges the advantages of e-government, and the adoption of this concept began in early 2000 with the introduction of the National ICT Development Authority (NiDA) and the Government Administration Information System (GAIS) project, which includes the unveiling of applications such as the Electronic Approval System (EAS), real estate registration system, resident and vehicle registration. However, the programs seemed to fall short in meeting their full potential due to the lack of transparency and accountability.  According to an analysis by Dr. Leewood Phu, who is a tech adviser for the Cambodian government and NiDA Board Member, the administrative system was an obstacle because there are many complicated administrative processes in all sectors, be they the government offices, departments, and ministry level. Other factors such as missing documents or unreasonably withheld or delayed documents contributed to inefficient adoption of the concept. However, with the government keeping e-governance a top priority, the future looks more promising. Currently, more and more public services in Cambodia are getting in line with the digital transformation. Some ministries have been able to make use of digital technology to serve people. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, in particular, has been able to effectively provide educational information and support its education policy implementation while receiving feedback from the public using social media platforms. On the other hand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has offered the ‘eVisa’ service, online information for visitors, consular services and information on doing business, making it more convenient for visitors and investors.  The Commerce Ministry also provides access to trade-related aspects online, including services, general information, trade, and investment information. Most importantly, as human interaction has been restrained during the COVID-19 pandemic, e-governance becomes even more critical in preventing the virus spread. As can be seen, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has unveiled the “Stop Covid” QR Code system, which records the locations of people who have been affected or potentially exposed to the virus. The application assists the authorities in carrying out contact tracing, enabling quarantine and treatment to be done effectively and instantly. Unquestionably, the adoption of e-governance is essential, but the complex nature of digital conversion can intimidate the aim to embrace technological integration into the governing system. But achieving it will bring much more notable benefits.   And with the introduction of e-governance, there can be more improvement in administrative efficiency and effectiveness because the system becomes more functional, sustainable and responsive, according to Mr Oum Chan Mono, a Senior Researcher at Cambodia Development Center.  It is worth taking Bangladesh as an example. Bangladeshi ministries have adopted the foundational work of the government flagship program known as a2i, which focuses on simplifying public services given to the people. With the scheme, the Digital Service Accelerator was introduced to assist the country’s version of the integrated ‘stack’ of digital identification, services and payment platform. That allows the South Asian country to save more than $8 billion over the last 10 years through an incredible reduction of the time, cost and number of visits required to access public services. It is noteworthy that electronic services could save up to 70 percent of transaction costs in traditional government settings, according to the Institution for Electronic Government.  Another success story that we should take into account is Estonia who achieved the successful implementation of e-government. In 2000, the same year when Cambodia began to manifest interest in e-governance, very few Estonians understood the benefits of the concept, and only a small number of one-third Estonians were using the internet or had digital literacy. But the country could manage to put in place the e-governance system to date. A study by Mr. Sun Kim, a lecturer for the faculty of Social Sciences and International Relations, indicates that owing to the Estonian government’s objective of digitalization, the country relied on well-educated academics in computer technology and assured strong cooperation between the private and public sectors. Two decades later, digital public services have become considerably present, with 99 percent of the services available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This greatly benefits the people. While other countries have suffered from failures in delivering public services to people during the pandemic, Estonia has managed to avoid public setbacks with its well-organized and easily accessible online governing system.  With the above mentioned examples, without considering the accessibility and digital skills, the use of digital technology in governing systems offers immense benefits. In contrast, those without proper digital skills or access to such technology can also be left out or marginalized. Cambodia, whose significant number of people lack proper digital skills, is not exempt from that challenge. Both at the national and local level, the use and the delivery of public services is a struggle as it requires sufficient knowledge of digital literacy, infrastructure and competent manpower for the services to converge.  And as more than 70 percent of Cambodians live in rural areas, access to online services becomes a leading challenge. Therefore, the public institutions need to simplify the policy agendas and implementation strategies to effectively and efficiently communicate with all levels, according to a public policy analyst, Mr. Chheang Vannarith. He added it is crucial to understand that e-governance is not simply an installation of computers nor a collection of information; thus, there are several barriers to a high level of e-government in Cambodia.  So, where are we now? In this age of digital transformation, private sectors and the youth have played a crucial role as they are the main driving force of changes and most adaptive to digital usage. But in Cambodia, the overall digital adoption among established private firms is still limited.  Moreover, the country still has insufficient human resources in digital technology, and there are also lacking areas in terms of accessibility to electricity or the usage of digital devices. Therefore, the implementation of the digital transformation in the governing system will definitely be bumpy and arduous.  And the public sector has just begun embarking on the push of digital transformation. But the ongoing pandemic has also boosted the process. As can be seen, the government has taken a further step to accelerate the digitalization of governance to maintain public safety through a switch from traditional paper systems to new digital ones.  And if scrutinized closely, the country also has really made some progress in both e-government development and e-participation. In terms of e-government development, Cambodia graduated from the middle E-Government Development Index (EGDI) group to the high EGDI group in 2020, according to the United Nations E-Government Knowledgebase for 2020. In the E- Participation Index (EPI), given that its score is still below global and regional averages, Cambodia could move up 42 positions. One of the prominent examples to prove this improvement is the widespread use of Facebook by numerous government institutions and agencies in delivering information to the people.  Moreover, I also notice that the rise of digital literacy among young people is on its way. And through additional support, it can quickly gain more momentum and become promising for the digital switch in the country in years to come.  So what should be done more to accelerate the process?  So far, it is quite encouraging that the government recognizes the importance of this transformation. Minister of Economy and Finance HE Aun Pornmoniroth has already acknowledged that the successful construction of digital governance in Cambodia will allow the government to be more robust, pliable and accountable. But I still believe that more tangible actions need to make this goal a reality. First and foremost, it requires the government to build up a greater political commitment, take a leading role in promoting active involvement and engagement among different stakeholders and undertake concrete actions in facilitating e-government innovation and planning.  Furthermore, to mitigate the challenges and meet the needs of the people when it comes to the present digital gap, existing policies should be evaluated and adjusted, and it entails a change to the education system to foster digital skills for youngsters. Not only young people, the government should also pay more attention to supporting senior citizens to help them acquire and improve digital knowledge through different programs or initiatives at local levels. If Cambodia could ensure a sustainable push for raising digital literacy among people and policy reforms, the path towards e-governance can be smooth.   Because the outcome generated from embracing digital governance will be greatly beneficial and rewarding for Cambodians in the long run, it is still worth the drive even though the roads are rocky for now.     *This blog is produced with the financial support from the European Union and The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency through Transparency International Cambodia and ActionAid Cambodia. Its contents do not reflect the views of any donors.  

The Psychology of Climate Change: Why It Is Difficult to Act Collectively

Written by: Seak Por, 4th year student majoring in International Studies at The Royal University of Phnom Penh Edited by: Sao Phal Niseiy, Editor-in-Chief at The Cambodianess and Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Thmey Thmey News (Photo Credit: "Ermo" by Noel Feans is licensed under CC BY 2.0)   The Psychology of Climate Change: Why it is difficult to act collectively  The ‘boiling frog’ syndrome is possibly a good metaphor for how we have been dealing with climate change. When a threat is imminent, and destruction is right at the front of the door, resources and attention are pouring in from all directions. That is similar to the current battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not to regard this as a bad phenomenon, but a reminder that we should also not overlook or ignore the current ‘slowing boiling’ climate change issue that is silently tormenting human races.  Climate change refers to the changes in the climate patterns of the earth, particularly those that occur more rapidly than the natural process. Climate changes from time to time over the century. However, the change we refer to is the rapid changes from the mid to late 20th century onwards, which contributed to the increasing temperature, making it a crisis that requires an urgent solution.  What science tells us about climate change   Scientists have long reached a consensus on the reality of climate change: 1) the earth is getting warmer; in fact, the earth surface temperature has already risen about 1.18 degrees Celsius on average; 2) the most extensive​ proportion is due to human activities with the releasing of the greenhouse emission by individuals and industries, the deforestation and other activities. While 1 or 2 degrees Celsius might seem minimal to you, this is the average number, and some regions are experiencing worse than others. The impact of climate change is far beyond just being ‘warmer’. It negatively impacts the whole ecosystems, biodiversity, food security, the resource and more. The evidence of the impacts of climate change has also already been noticeable, including the warming ocean, the shrinking ice sheets, the retreating glacier, the rising of sea level, declining arctic sea ice and other extreme phenomena. The scientists have warned of the irreversible impacts and the threshold for a dangerous average global increase in temperature of 1.5 degrees Celsius.  What has the world been doing?  In response to climate change, governments across the globe have adopted two main approaches: “mitigation” or reducing the flow of greenhouse emissions and “adaptation” or learning and adapting to live with climate change.  We all know that climate change is a global issue and requires a global effort. One of the most prominent global efforts is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted in 1992, and currently, it has 197 parties. Another one, a legally binding international convention within the UNFCCC, is the Paris Climate Agreement adopted in Paris in 2015 with 191 parties. The ultimate objective of UNFCCC is "to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system."  On the other hand, the Paris Agreement aims to limit the collective greenhouse emission to well below 2 degrees Celsius and preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. Under the agreement, member states agree to cut down the emission based on their respective national plan known as the nationally determined contributions (NDC). The parties agreed to increase the level of their climate agreement by 2020, and the ambition will continue to be raised through a five-yearly cycle known as "global stocktake”, which works as a check-up mechanism for the agreement. The process will be starting in 2023. The state of net-zero emissions, which means the amount of greenhouse produced is equal to the amount withdrawn from the atmosphere, is expected to start between 2050 and 2100. What is the problem now? Even though global governments have made efforts to tackle climate change, the ultimate problem is we are running short of time while our current actions are not enough to reverse the trend.  The evidence is crystal clear. In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- the intergovernmental body of the UN -- published a Special Report on 1.5°C, which asserted the hazardous impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. According to the World Economic Forum, research of the modeling of the projection of planet temperature has found that under the current rate, the earth would likely cross the threshold for dangerous warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius between 2027 and 2042.  But, regardless of the scientific warning, the attention and actions taken by the individual and government to deal with climate change appear to be inadequate.   So why is it so difficult for everyone to act? There can be various aspects and discussions of why it is so hard for everyone, including individuals and governments, to act fast and hard enough to deal with this crisis. But psychological explanations can provide another layer of explanation from the individual perception and attitude aspects.  Firstly, at the individual level, the bystander effect comes into play in people's perception towards taking action. The bystander effect explains the influence of the presence of others on the willingness of each person to act. People are less likely to help a person if other people are surrounding them than when he or she is alone. It is because individuals tend to believe the others are inclined to offer help. Similarly, in the case of climate change, even though most people do believe in climate change, people are less likely to act hard enough because of the tendency to let others do it. Additionally, people might have a sense of fulfillment and contribution for small acts they have done, such as purchasing a few eco-labeled products and stop short to do more because of the tendency to let others do the "big" works. Secondly, for many people, climate change and its effects seem much distant for most people. The construal level theory of psychological distance proposed that people consider events and places that are psychologically distant from them as more abstract than the things that are psychologically close to them. Generally, given that climate change impacts have been here, there are few major and direct disruptions that many can associate with. Therefore, this psychological distance of the climate crisis demotivates people from acting hard enough.  Thirdly, acting for climate change requires behavioral change that is in contrast to human psychology. Status quo bias explains people prefer things to remain as it is as change can be scary. When associated with the psychological distance mentioned above, without huge motivation, behavioral changes are less likely in the face of status quo bias. From mitigation to adaptation approaches to climate change and from individual levels to firms, acting hard to tackle this problem requires both the changing in behavior and resources contributed to the change.  Additionally, acting to address climate change offers a long-term benefit, but it compromises the short-term benefits. For example, to act more responsibly, people need to sacrifice comfort in their present-day activities, including the use of fossil fuel. The temporal discounting concept explains the individual tendency to discount the rewards or benefits in the future and overvalue the current rewards or benefits.  This can be seen more often in governance and policy implementation. Given the short time in office under a democratic system, many governments have less incentive to act on climate change as the interventions can only yield results in the long run. It is far different from focusing on economic development or other works as these can provide more visible results quickly.  Lastly, at the international level, the well-known collective action problem can shed light on the lack of a strong willingness to tackle climate change. This crisis is a collective action problem in which all actors would be better off cooperating, but there has been the tendency to free-ride due as well as the conflicts of interests among states. Some regions are hit harder than others, and developing countries are the most vulnerable. Developed countries, while being least affected, have incentives to take further actions. In contrast, the developing countries with fewer resources are compelled to act more, compromising their economic interests. Like any collective action problem, climate change needs strong central actors to regulate.  So, what next?  All reasons I raised earlier provide some insights on one of the aspects to consider when planning or addressing climate change. Psychological aspects shape the behavior of every individual ranging from the leader of a country to the general public.  As we are working together to address climate change, it entails a behavioral change. One of the initiatives is promoting psychological understanding -- the human reward system and nature -- to encourage people to reduce their carbon footprint.  To ensure effective climate communication, the deployment of both methods: the top-down approach (scientists to the public) and the button-up approach (public to the government) is the most effective way to alter the public perception. We need to recognize that addressing climate change is not just the responsibility of the government but also every individual. By understanding these aspects, each of us will be capable of reevaluating our perceptions and responses to act more responsibly. Youths, meanwhile, continue to play a vital role in highlighting the impact and altering the perception of the decision makers.    *This blog is produced with the financial support from the European Union and The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency through Transparency International Cambodia and ActionAid Cambodia. Its contents do not reflect the views of any donors.