Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry revises safe village-commune policy

Ministry revises safe village-commune policy

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng chairs an inter-ministerial meeting on the safe village-commune-district policy. Heng Chivoan

Ministry revises safe village-commune policy

An inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on January 8 revised the framework of the so-called safe village-commune policy and renamed it the safe village-commune-district policy.

The revision was made in response to concerns citizens have raised about the spread of illegal drugs to rural areas

The safe village-commune policy was introduced by the government in August 2010.

It had five main goals: reduce robbery; reduce drug production, distribution and use; prevent prostitution or human trafficking; eliminate domestic violence; and eliminate gangsters, gambling or illegal use of weapons.

The new safe village-commune-district policy has eight main goals:

No theft or robbery; no drug offences; no pornography, prostitution, human trafficking, domestic violence or gangsters; maintaining good hygiene and environment; responding in timely fashion to disasters and all communicable diseases and epidemics; providing quality and transparent administrative and public services; resolving disputes outside the judicial system with efficiency; and no traffic accidents.

Sar Kheng said the policy has been implemented for 10 years and has received widespread support, especially from all ministries, sub-national administrative institutions and the public.

The revised policy is to be included in the strategic plans of each ministry and institution.

“We decided to include districts [into the policy framework] because the provinces also have districts, same as in Phnom Penh. The policy is clearly written, without using the words prevent, eliminate or reduce,” Sar Kheng said.

He explained that the clarification of terms used in the policy was to end any ambiguity.

Therefore, the revised terms of “no theft and robbery” or “no drug offences” are used.

Am Sam Ath, deputy director for rights group Licadho, supports the revised policy, saying it helps to build harmonious, secure and safe living environments for local communities.

But in practice, he said some local officials fail to follow the policy.

“People have raised some issues, such as drug offences that are spreading like an ‘epidemic’ to the rural areas, and ongoing gambling and theft,” he said.

According to Sam Ath, some civil society organisations complain that when they gather for community work, local authorities constantly monitor them.

Sam Ath urged the authorities to spend time on protecting the safety and security of the people instead, such as combating drug crimes more effectively by following the revised policy’s guidelines.

“For the policy to work effectively, [we need] full participation from local officials and for the people to trust the policy and cooperate in its implementation,” he said.

According to the policy draft seen by The Post on January 10, the safe village-commune-district policy aims to continue strengthening security and social order, improving sanitation and the environment, reducing the risk of disasters and communicable diseases, as well as encouraging people to solve disputes outside the judicial system.

All aspects of the policy are meant to facilitate socio-economic development of local communities and to accelerate the reduction of poverty.

The policy also aims to build inclusive measures by increasing cooperation among authorities, the private sector, stakeholders and people across the country.


  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be