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US Official for Labor, Rights on Two-Day Visit

A press conference led by senior officials of the European Union on the controversial Draft Law on the Association and Non-Governmental Organization on Friday May 22, 2015. (Photo: Neou Vannarin/ VOA Khmer)

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Scott Busby, who heads the Bureau of Democracy, Human rights and Labor, is on a two-day trip to Cambodia.

Busby is scheduled to meet senior government officials and civil society leaders to discuss several issues, including the contentious draft NGO law, labor rights and other human rights-related topics.

The NGO law, a draft of which is expected to be released soon, is a leading concern for many pro-democracy and rights groups, who fear it could be used to silence government critics.

Busby is expected to meet with Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong on Tuesday, a ministry spokesman said. He will also meet with Tek Vannara, executive director at the NGO Forum, a coalition of organizations.

Tek Vannara told VOA Khmer he will reiterate calls from civil society organizations to have the latest version of the draft NGO law made public, so that NGOs can comment on it.

International diplomats, including US Ambassador William Todd, have called on the Ministry of Interior to release the draft for public comment, to no avail.