What does electoral reform mean to youth?

On June 20th and 21st, CCHR hosted a workshop for youth to identify and discuss important issues related to electoral reform. The workshop introduced them to some key political analysts here in Cambodia and enabled them, in small groups, to discuss the issues that are most important to them: the voter list; the role of media during the elections, the National Election Committee (NEC), the rights and freedoms of voters during the elections, and election transparency.

A total of 42 youth participants, almost half of them women, attended the event, from different youth groups and institutions, including representatives from the Cambodian Indigenous Youth Association (CIYA), the Young Women’s Leadership Network (YWLN), Politikoffee, Cambodian Young Women’s Empowerment Network (CYWEN), the Harpswell Foundation, Change Maker, the Wildlife Project, the U.S. Ambassador’s Youth Council and the Research and Analysis Network. The discussions and outcomes of the workshop have been summarized in an Outcome Report, which you can read here, but some of the most important recommendations that youth have with regards to election reform have been highlighted in this video:

The topics raised by the Workshop participants highlight many of the problems that continue to hinder Cambodia’s democratic development and to contribute to the violation of the right to participate in political life protected under domestic and international law. What is most clear from the workshop is that electoral reform is an issue of relevance to Cambodia’s youth, who are becoming increasingly involved in democratic change in Cambodia. We sincerely hope that all stakeholders start to listen to these voices and incorporate their recommendations. The recommendations put forth by the participants, which are listed in the Outcome Report, provide some clear steps that could be undertaken by the RGC, political parties and the NEC itself as part of a process of electoral reform.

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