Report on Empowerment Workshop on legal documents and its relevance law to inter-ethnic groups and local authorities

Project: Decreasing Statelessness

Date: August 17, 2015

Place: Kampong Chhnang Province

Project Officer: Phom Ravy

Overview

As part of MIRO’s Statelessness project, MIRO staff went on a three days trip to the Kampong Chnang Province from 16th August through to the 18th August to conduct an empowerment workshop for mix the ethnic group and local authority. The purpose is to awareness Vietnamese and Khmer Krom minorities as well the local authority are equipped with knowledge of the relevant national law and human rights, and know how to apply for nationality or citizenship as well as other identification papers.

Participants

Mr. Sourn Buthmao, the Director of MIRO, Mr. Noun Sovanarith, the Vice Director of MIRO, and Mr. Phom Ravy, the project officer lead the workshop, and assist by the provincial staff Mr. Toth Kimsroy. As well we had invited 2 speakers, Mr. RIN Ratha, Chief of police administration post of Phsar Chhnang, and another one is Mr. CHHEAM Sovannara, Chief of police administration post of Ksam and also Mr. Rattana, KDK. There were 53 participants1 participated in this workshop (33male and 20 female) including 5 local authorities from difference location: Ksam, Phsar Chhnang, and Chhnok Trou.

Activities

A week before the workshop day coming, the provincial staff Mr. Toth Kim Sroy had invited the local authorities as well the mix of ethnic groups, Khmer Krom and Vietnamese(CPs) to participate in the workshop and he had invited local authorities to being a speaker in the workshop as well. In the workshop days, in the first section after registration Mr. Sourn Butmao had opened the workshop with the important speech of warm welcome to the participants as well let them  know about the purpose of the workshop. After that Mr. Noun Sovanarith, the Vice Director started to present about MIRO’s work and its projects to the participants by spending almost 20 minutes. After Mr. Sovanrith presented about MIRO and the projects people can get to know more about MIRO. Then Mr. Phom Ravy, the project officer started with the section of “Introduction about the lesson (Statelessness and related laws and conventions)”. By spending almost 30 minutes, Ravy explained a lot about definition of Statelessness, number of Statelessness around the world, report of UNHRC about statelessness, and national law, regulation and international convention about Statelessness. As well after explanation with the definition and lesson, Ravy had asked many questions to the participants about the lesson to make sure that all participants understanding well about the lesson that he explained. Mr. Butmoa had added something more about the lesson that Ravy presented to the participants to make sure all participants understand well. After the break with refreshment with 15 minutes, the new section about the legal documents presented by Mr. Cheam Sovannara, the Chief of police administration post of Ksam. Spending by 20 minutes explained to the participantsabout definition of legal documents and how to process the legal documents there were so many questions from the participants. Mr. Taing Rith, the long-term Vietnamese mentioned the question to Mr. Cheam Sovannara that “He was born in Cambodia before Pol Pot regime, and his ancestors were also lived in Cambodia, so why he can’t get Khmer Citizenship, Why Cambodia Government does not accept them as Khmer Citizen? And why their children can’t get the birth certificate even they were born in Cambodia? ”. With a well respond, Mr. Cheam Sovannara reply all questions in gentle way, by explained to all participants all questions as well about his roles in the area that he control and some of how to get Khmer Citizens. After that Mr. Mr. RIN Ratha, Chief of police administration post of Phsar Chhnang started the section about the important of legal documents and the procedure to process. Spending almost 20 minutes to explain about important of Khmer ID card, family book, resident book, immigration paper, birth certificate, married certificate. It was very interesting section, many questions from raised after Mr. RIN Ratha’s presentation, one of Vietnamese participants asked that “He have a family book, and residents book, but it was some broke because of wet, so if it is still can use? And if he can change to the new one? Mr. RIN Ratha responded that, it is very important document, it is the main document, and people can go to ask the local authority to make a new one by bring the old one to insure. After answer with many questions, Mr. RIN Ratha suggested to the residents to keep all legal documents in the safe place with carefully because it is very important document for the living life in Cambodia.

Ravy started the new section about Law on Nationality after Mr. RIN Ratha’s presentation. With Law on Nationality, Ravy started with the nationality from birth. Ravy explained article by article in the ordinary word to make sure that participants can understandwell. Word by words participants had focused a lot to the lesson, and they found it is very important section. Ravy had mentioned again and again about the definition, condition and procedure to get the nationality from birth because to make sure that participants can understand. As his effective method to  make sure residents understand well, Ravy allowed participants to ask questions and then Ravy asked the questions to participants to answers by giving some small gift for the right answer. After break times for lunch, in the afternoon section, Ravy went on with his second session about Nationality by Married and General Conditions of Naturalization. Spending for more than 1 hours to complete the explanation point by and point and article by articles slowly to make sure that participants can follow the point. After Ravy explained, Mr. Butmao had added more about lesson to make sure that people can understand well. Ravy had asked many questions to the participants after he finished the explanation to make sure participants can get what he explain. Spending the full afternoon with Law on Nationality and procedure to get Khmer Citizenship, participants could lean so many things, many questions and answer about Khmer ID card and Birth Certificate had been done, and the end of the section Ravy suggested to the participants to complete all legal document to being a legal immigration. After spending the whole day in workshop, all mix participants and local authorities can understand the related law and their rights, and having these rights enforced; law and human rights, and know how to apply for nationality or citizenship as well as other identification papers with the with the law and regulation regarding to Human Rights.

Challenge of workshop

During our workshop on “An empowerment workshop for mix the ethnic group and local authority” there were some challenges within some Vietnamese participants couldn’t understand Khmer well and even couldn’t reading Khmer. One more thing is that, because of this season is the rainy season, so the flooding happen that we have to go to the training place by boat and it is no secure. Noted that because of we can’t rent the place to conduct out workshop so we use the Primary school that under the managing of MIRO to conduct workshop. For renting the place to conduct workshop we have to complete many requirements from the Kampong Chhnang Provincial Police Administration, so we decided to use our resource to make the workshop can process well.

Conclusion

Our workshop in Kampong Chhang Province on “An empowerment workshop for mix the ethnic group and local authority” had been completed well. The mix ethnic group and local authorities can understand well about the related law and their rights, and having these rights enforced; law and human rights, and know how to apply for nationality or citizenship as well as other identification papers with the with the law and regulation regarding to Human Rights. As well they look so happy after the workshop because they could had a chance to ask directly to the local authorities in their commune and they can get the direct answer as well.

It was a successful workshop for MIRO in this first workshop for the project.

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