Category Archives: Cambodia
To learn about the land and housing laws, and the strategies of the CSO in ensuring the access of resource rights among the sectors, the NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF) organized the Learning Visit on Land and Housing Rights in the Philippines on 26-28 July 2016. Representatives from Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), Focus on the Global South, Equitable Cambodia (EC), and Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), and ADHOC Cambodia also took part in the study tour.
Hosted by ANGOC, the first day focused on the Philippine land laws and the strategies and experiences of CSOs in pursuing their advocacies on agrarian reform and land use. While Philippines has many asset reform laws rooting to the Philippine Constitution of 1987, they are highly sectoral in approach; thus overlapping provisions and jurisdictions persist in the country resulting to resource conflicts among different sectors. Hence, the Philippine CSOs push for the passage of the National Land Use Act (NLUA) Bill. CSOs and advocacy groups who presented their advocacy experiences were The People’s Campaign for Agrarian Reform Network Incorporated (AR Now!), Center for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (CARRD), and Campaign for Land Use Policy Now! (CLUP Now!).
On the second day, Cambodian CSOs visited the Community Organizers Multiversity (COM) office to hear about the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA) as the main Philippine law on urban housing. They have also learned the initiatives COM conducts to ensure proper implementation of the said law. They have visited a site where an urban housing project is being implemented in Manggahan, Pasig City to learn the experiences and struggles of the Alliance of People’s Organization along Manggahan Floodway Pasig (APOAMF) in successfully fighting for their right to live within city through a near-city housing relocation site project which they, themselves, have developed and proposed to the Government.
Lastly, the Cambodian CSOs visited and learned from the Pastolan indigenous community in Hermosa, Bataan, who have successfully claimed their ancestral domain title with the support of the Philippine Association for Intercultural Development (PAFID). Visitors have also learned how the government and the indigenous community have sustained a harmonious relationship to one another in a dialogue with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
Star Kampuchea (SK), Analyzing Development Issues Centre (ADIC), and Cambodian Women Media Center (WMC), with support of Mekong Region Land Governance (MRLG), conducted a workshop on Collective Learning on Land Conflict Resolution in Cambodia on 26-27 May in Phnom Penh.
More than 100 participants from CSOs, private, and policy sectors joined in the discussion and knowledge exchange focusing on:
- Causes of Land Conflicts in Cambodia
- Land Conflict Resolution Mechanism
- Land governance World Café: What is for you the main concern on land governance? What is the priority to improve land governance?
- Storytelling on Land Conflict Resolutions
- Law Enforcement Related to Land Management in Cambodia
- Land Conflict Prevention
Bantheay Meanchey Province Deputy Governor H.E. Ly Sary encouraged for more future conduct of this kind of event with more participations of provincial governors to discuss ways to improve land governance in Cambodia.
As a protest against the detention of five human rights activists last 2 May 2016 under accused bribery charges for covering up a woman’s affair with a government official, various rights groups initiated the “Black Monday” campaign urging the public to wear black T-shirt every Monday and assemble in Phnom Penh starting 9 May 2016.
As the campaign is implemented, more activists are arrested and treated with oppression
ANGOC, together with Asia Democracy Network (AND) and more than 40 CSOs/NGOs support the statement on Working Together for Justice, Lasting Peace and Stability to appeal to the Royal Government of Cambodia to:
- promote, protect, and respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of Cambodian people enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenants to which Cambodia is a party;
- ensure Cambodian citizens are not arrested where their actions have not contravened law and where their actions are the expression of their rights;
- ensure there is no judicial harassment against Cambodian citizens who are working to protect people’s rights; and
- ensure there is space for democratic participation, advancement of human rights and development processes.
We are posting this news shared by Prey Lang Community Network (PLCPN).
Prey Lang Community Network (PLCPN) activist Phan Sopheah was attacked by an unknown group of people while camping in Bueng Char Region during their patrol in the Prey Lang Forest on 23-27 March 2016.
As part of PLCPN’s initiative on protecting the Prey Lang Forest, PLCPN visits four provinces surrounding the Prey Lang Forest (Kampong Thom, Preah Vihea, Kratie and Stung Trung) to monitor and suppress the illegal logging in the forest. During their 5-day patrol, PLCPN have confiscated illegally logged woods, 35 chainsaws, and other tools used for logging.
Sopheak was sent to a local clinic for quick treatment on the same day and is now safe. She is one of the young Prey Lang activists nominated to represent PLCN to receive an Equator Prize from UNDP in December 2015 in Paris.
Sopheak is already the third indigenous environmental activist attacked during the month of March. The other two were indigenous activists murdered in Honduras on 3 and 16 March 2016.
PLCPN calls for the following to Government:
- Fully investigate the attempted murder on Sopheak and bring those criminals to justice.
- Permanently criminalized all forms of timber trading, both legal and illegal, in the Prey Lang region.
- Stop all logging activities in the Prey Lang region.
- Conduct Investigations to determine who is involved in the logging business.
- Help to intervene and cooperate with PLCN to protect Prey Lang.
NGOF launched the report on Statistical Analysis of Land Disputes in Cambodia, 2014 on 22 September. The report launching workshop was to publicly disseminate the report results, present key findings, and to increase knowledge and understanding of land situations in order to bring all relevant stakeholders to pay attention on them and further spread out to call for intervention.
Around 60 participants from the National Assembly, Mondolkiri’s Deputy Governor, Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning and Construction, local authorities in Phnom Penh, development partners, local and international NGOs network/members and communities attended the launching.
The report aimed to provide evidences of land disputes in 2014. Findings include:
- that land disputes occurred in 2014 is lesser than the previous years;
- the highest rate of land disputes occur in Phnom Penh;
- economic land concessions (ELCs) are the major cause of land disputes;
- 14% of land disputes affect indigenous peoples;
- displacements affected 230 families; and
- 68 cases were resolved in 2014.
Moreover, NGOF Executive Director Dr. Tek Vannara mentioned that land disputes are the biggest challenges Cambodia face.
 As culled from the report [The NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF). (2015). Statistical Analysis of Land Disputes in Cambodia, 2014. Phnom Penh: NGOF.]
STAR Kampuchea in cooperation with NGOs, Forestry Administration of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Land, Urban Planning and Construction conducted the Provincial Forum on Land and Forestry Policies and Finding Solutions on 29 September 2015 in Pursat Province to address the land and forestry challenges in Krakor District.
Sub-national administration and national government institutions agreed on the following solutions:
- establish a land conflict resolution committee to resolve the conflicts involving 37 families, covering 69 hectares (ha) in community forestry lands;
- continue to demarcate community forestry lands to avoid land grabbing/conflicts;
- fast track the identification process of land registration; and
- to re-measure the 400-ha community forestry land.
We are posting this news shared by STAR Kampuchea.
STAR Kampuchea together with other International Land Coalition – National Engagement Strategy (ILC NES) members and relevant stakeholders conducted a consultative meeting on land and agriculture land use in Phnom Penh.
The meeting aimed to:
- discuss progress and challenges of land governance in Cambodia;
- discuss agricultural land use and management; and
- discuss progress and challenges of NES project and planning for 2016-2018
The meeting concluded with the following agreements:
- bring the draft law on Agricultural Land Use and Management for consultation; and
- develop NES Cambodia Plan for 2016-2018
The Svay Rieng Court arrested a military police officer on 30 June for grabbing 64 ha of lands from 51 families in Chantrea Commune, Chantrea District, and Svay Rieng Province.
STAR Kampuchea, provided legal assistance to these communities through lobbying the case to the Court, together with the community representatives.
STAR Kampuchea (SK) and Women’s Media Centre (WMC) jointly produced a video documentary on land governance issues in Svay Rieng and Banteay Meanchey provinces, entitled, The Voices of Land Grabbing Victims. The 20-minute video features stories of land grabbing, inland issues, and successes on claiming land rights in the communities.
The video will be available on SK’s website soon.
We are posting this update shared by Star Kampuchea.
Star Kampuchea conducted a Consultative workshop on land conflict resolution mechanisms in Cambodia last 30 July in Phnom Penh to:
- present the research findings on land conflict resolution mechanisms in Cambodia;
- promote the discussion, sharing, and learning between target communities and stakeholders on land conflict resolution mechanisms; and
- to plan for future actions.
Thirty-four representatives from different organizations including the Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning and Construction, GIZ, NGO Forum on Cambodia, Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), Rural Aid Organization (RAO), Green Vision, Women’s Media Center of Cambodia (WMC), attended the workshop.
Future plans include the conduct of a nationwide research on conflict resolution in Cambodia; and closer stakeholder collaborations on land issues.