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Right to Information Draft Law for Finalisation

Phnom Penh: The Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Justice have agreed to finalise the discussions on the draft law about access to information, which will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval. In a meeting between the two ministries, the provisions on inter-regulation and the final point of the draft were higlighted. They have also agreed for the finalisation and prepare a report for review before submitting to the council of ministers for approval.

Spokesman of the Ministry of Information, Meas Sophoan, told EAC News that the Ministry of Information team is preparing various supporting documents with the draft submitted to the Minister for review. He says, "We have now finished the technical level. So, there is still some work to be done, and according to the commitment of the Ministry of Information, we will try to expedite the preparation of relevant documents to submit the draft law in accordance with legal procedures as soon as possible."

President of the Union of Journalists Federation of Cambodia, Huy Vannak, says that this is a good news to promoting journalism and access to information in Cambodia. However, he stresses that it will take more time for the media and the public to become aware of the law. Vannak emphasises, "I think this still has a lot to do with building trust between spokespersons and journalists, and another thing is that journalists who receive money from foreign countries are a challenge. Some things may be right, but because of journalists receiving money from abroad, that is still a problem for the kingdom. So, I think it takes more time to legislate on this right to information."

The draft law on access to information has been drafted by the Ministry of Information since 2013 with the support of UNESCO. This law has nine chapters and 38 articles aiming to guarantee the right of citizens to access information in accordance with the country's constitution.

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