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- Published on 16 January 2015
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Cambodia is transforming in remarkable ways. The country is at peace after decades of conflict, and a majority of Cambodians are optimistic about the future. However, important challenges remain. Parliamentary elections in 2008 were freer than any held in Cambodia. Yet political power remains unevenly spread, and opposition parties are disorganized, divided and subject to manipulation.
Cambodia has reduced HIV/AIDS infection by half and treated the majority of affected people. Yet maternal mortality remains high, infectious diseases are serious concerns and the health and education systems are underfunded. Each year, 250,000 young people enter the workforce, but not all find jobs. In each of these areas, U.S. assistance makes significant contributions to Cambodia's development.
Close to 200 Swedish organisations working to provide development assistance, information and to form public opinion on global issues have gathered under Forum Syd's umbrella. Collectively, their work is known as development cooperation. Members range from big popular movements with annual budgets measured in hundred of millions of Swedisk Kronor per year, to small local associations supported by the voluntary work of just a few dedicated individuals. Forum Syd is funding focus on the Tonle Sap program.
The International Republican Institute
IRI began working with political parties in Cambodia in 1992 in anticipation of United Nations-sponsored elections in May 1993. Since that time, IRI has assisted with political party strengthening and youth empowerment, conducted election monitoring, media and civil society development, public opinion research, and promoted legal reform.
National Council of Swedish Youth Organisations, LSU
LSU consists of 84 independent, democratic constructed, national youth organisations. We are a non-profit, non-political and non-religious organisation, consisting of and working for youth organisations. LSU is a meeting place for young people and youth organisations where they can acquire knowledge, contacts and experience.
Our work is divided into three areas: Organisation & leadership, Policy & advocacy and Global development. By providing trainings and conferences for young leaders, enable cooperation with other organisations (national or/and international) we ensure that young people are involved in decision-making, in Sweden and the world.
In an increasingly narrow operating environment for civil society, the people and natural resources of Cambodia are being put at greater risk of exploitation. The violation of basic rights—including freedom of the press; freedom of assembly, association, and expression; and the right to a fair trial—are persistent threats to the country's further democratic development. Despite this, our Cambodian partners play a vital role in monitoring, investigating, and reporting violations of these rights, like illegal land expropriation, and in advocating for justice and protection.
National Democratic Institute
After decades of conflict, Cambodia has made some progress in building democratic institutions and practices, particularly with a strong and vocal civil society that emerged after the country’s U.N.-administered peace process in the early 1990s. However, the long-standing dominance of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) over all aspects of society has limited transparency of government activities, stifled dissent, and suppressed free speech and access to information. Despite these constraints, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) made a surprisingly strong showing in the country’s 2013 National Assembly elections, winning enough seats to deny the CPP the legislative supermajority it previously enjoyed.