In the beginning of February this year the School of Law and Economic Science’s research department in Phnom Penh announced that 4th year students who is about to choose a topic for their thesis are not allowed to research and conduct deeper studies on 14 specific topics, these are:
- Drug problem in society
- The organization and the working of the Cambodian Red Cross
- The goal and the legal resolution of land dispute resolutions in Cambodia
- The resolution of land disputes by the authority in Cambodia
- The advantages of the stock market in Cambodia
- Prevention and resolution of work dispute in Cambodia
- Commercial and work dispute arbitrations in Cambodia
- The regularization of the stock market
- The publication of public stocks
- The evolution of the publication on the public sale of stocks by public companies in Cambodia
- Publicly traded companies
- First time printing and sale of publicly-owned stocks
- Registration of commercial companies
- Publication of information that could influence stocks.
Make whatever conclusions you’d like out of this but to me it’s very retrogressive not allowing young people in the academic world to research obvious problematic areas in their country. It might result in issues like these – present in Cambodia today – remains for a substantial period of time. It furthermore violates Article 66 of the Cambodian Constitution on academic freedom.