The National Assembly on June 12 approved a draft law on civil registry documents, statistics and identification, with a unanimous vote of 100/100.

The draft law will introduce clear rules and procedures in relation to civil registry documents and identification, in order to protect people’s right’s and enhance the quality of service provision.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng attended the ninth plenary session on behalf of the head of government. He noted that the law would have an impact on the day-to-lives of many people, particularly as it related to the registration of births.

He explained that there have been many sub decrees and adjustments made over the years relating to such registrations, which made it was possible that some members of the public – or even officials – may be unsure of the latest procedures.

“In addition, several of the provisions in the sub-decrees are incomplete, or unclear. The new law will clarify the regulations and procedures. This is an important step, in response to the rapid growth of the Kingdom,” he said.

He added that the draft also introduced the use of technology, in line with the government’s vision of establishing a digital society.

Kep Chuktema, the Chairman of the National Assembly’s Commission on Interior, National Defence and Civil Service Administration, said the draft law was drawn up to match and correspond with other laws such as the Civil Code, the law on complaints procedure concerning individuals and the laws on the code of civil procedure.

“The draft has been examined, debated and fine tuned, based on feedback and input from various ministries and institutions. In the end, the draft law was approved at a May 19 Council of Ministers plenary session, and then passed to the legislative body for approval,” he explained.

Comprised of 12 chapters and 182 articles, the draft law covers residents of the Kingdom, as well as Cambodian people who dwell overseas.

Yang Kim Eng, president of the People's Centre for Development and Peace, said that any draft laws that smoothed out the provision of public services should be celebrated.

“Although I have not yet examined it in detail, in my opinion, it is good if the law was drafted to make life easier for the public. Ideally, it will make it easier for people to obtain National ID cards or obtain civil registry documents, he added.

He suggested that people should be instructed on how to obtain an ID card as soon they turn 15.