Land IssuesDocument Joint Open Letter: Seeking Clarification Regarding Sand Exports
October 31, 2016
We, the undersigned civil society organizations, write to His Excellency Mr. Suy Sem, the Minister of Mines and Energy, to request clarification regarding sand exported overseas by Cambodia from 2007 to 2015. A Ministry spokesman has been quoted as saying that Cambodia’s global sand exports amounted to just over 17 million tons between 2007 and 2015. However, the only official export data issued to date by the Cambodian government in relation to sand exports, from the Ministry of Commerce, only discloses sand exports to Singapore for the same period, totaling about 2.8 million tons. The Cambodian government is yet to explain to which other countries it is exporting sand to, or at what price this sand is being sold for.
September 19, 2016 This morning, Boeung Kak Lake representatives Tep Vanny, Bo Chhorvy, Kong Chantha and Heng Mom were found guilty of obstruction of a public official with aggravating circumstances and insult relating to a November 2011 protest.
Judge Ly Sokleng sentenced all four women to six months' imprisonment after a three-hour hearing at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Tep Vanny was sent back to pre-trial detention in CC2 prison – where she has now been for nearly five weeks – for separate charges relating to a protest held by Boeung Kak Lake community in 2013 in front of the Prime Minister's house. No special enforcement order was issued so Bo Chhorvy and Kong Chantha – as well as Heng Mom, who was tried in absentia – were not arrested as their sentence will not be enforced until all appeals are exhausted. None of the evidence presented at the trial sufficiently proved the guilt of the four women.
About 30 community members and supporters from other land communities and civil society groups gathered outside the court during the trial.
December 17, 2015
To celebrate International Human Rights Day (IHRD), about 10,000 people from rural and urban communities participated in 20 marches and events across the country from December 6 to December 10. These were organized by the informal network Friends of December 10th, which includes youth, land communities, associations, farmers, monks, and NGOs. On December 10, groups peacefully marched from various locations in Phnom Penh toward the Ministry of Justice to demand that the government resolve Cambodia’s land conflict epidemic; reform the judicial system and release human rights defenders and activists; raise the minimum wage and respect labour rights; end state-sponsored violence; and respect freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly. This year’s IHRD theme was ‘Justice’.
December 4, 2015
Thousands of Cambodians in 16 provinces will gather to celebrate the 67th International Human Rights Day (IHRD), culminating in a joint celebration in Phnom Penh on December 10. From December 6 onward, grassroots groups such as communities affected by land conflicts, youth networks, associations, and monks as well as unions and NGOs across the country will hold a series of celebrations under an overall theme of ‘Justice’.
November 20, 2015
Today marks the 26th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The Cambodian government ratified the CRC on October 15, 1992, thus guaranteeing the protection and promotion of the four main baskets of rights of children in Cambodia: “the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life.”
In the spirit of the CRC, the Child Protection Group (CPG) network, with support from LICADHO, is releasing a storybook video: “The Last Day of Lang Reng.” This fictional work voices the concerns of young Cambodians regarding the rapid deforestation and environmental destruction they see taking place across their country.
October 5, 2015
This morning, over 1,400 community members, monks and grassroots groups from across Cambodia gathered in Phnom Penh to celebrate the 30th World Habitat Day and to call on authorities to respect Cambodian people’s right to housing.
September 2, 2015
ADHOC, LICADHO and CLEC are outraged by the detention of 17 protestors, NGO staff and media workers in Koh Kong's provincial police station and call for their immediate release. The 17 were detained in the midst of a gathering calling for a solution to Chi Khor Krom community’s land conflict. The gathering involved 50 youths and land activists who had also participated in daily peaceful protests against the arrest and imprisonment of three activists from NGO Mother Nature since August 19.
June 24, 2015
In March 2003, the Cambodian government unveiled a potentially progressive land policy with the aim of transferring land to landless and poor Cambodians – Social Land Concessions (SLCs). LICADHO recently investigated a $13 million SLC project, called LASED, that was implemented by the Cambodian government with support from the World Bank and the German development agency GIZ. In direct contrast with the rosy conclusions reported by both agencies, LICADHO found that the project largely failed to benefit rural poor Cambodians.
June 24, 2015
In March 2003, the Cambodian government unveiled a potentially progressive policy with the aim of transferring land to landless and poor Cambodians – Social Land Concessions (SLCs). However, some of the first SLCs were implemented with a total disregard for the legal framework and failed miserably.
LICADHO recently investigated the Land Allocation for Social and Economic Development (LASED) project which was meant to prove that SLCs could contribute to reducing rural poverty by transferring land to landless Cambodians for residential and farming purposes.
March 30, 2015
The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) is today releasing to the public its land concession dataset and urges the government to follow suit by publicly disclosing details of all land concessions granted in Cambodia. The information released is the culmination of five years of investigation into this sector.
March 13, 2015
To celebrate International Women’s Day 2015 LICADHO, together with the Highlanders Association of Cambodia, organised a forum in Ban Lung, Ratanakiri for people affected by land grabbing. The forum was attended by over 100 representatives from eight different indigenous communities from within Ratanakiri and by land rights activists from other provinces around the country. The theme of the forum was the effect of land conflicts on women and the majority of the participants were women. The participants shared their experiences and ideas and many performed songs they had written telling the stories of their land disputes. We profile six of the women who attended the forum. Their stories illustrate the many hardships faced by women affected by land disputes as well as their remarkable spirit and resilience.
February 19, 2015
The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) strongly expresses its concern at the surge in land disputes documented by its offices in 2014, which resulted in a threefold increase in the number of families newly affected by land conflicts during that year when compared to the previous year.
February 17, 2015
We, the undersigned civil society groups, condemn the recent decision to deny a visa renewal for prominent environmental activist Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson. Mr Gonzalez-Davidson has been at the forefront of a campaign by local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Mother Nature, to halt the controversial development of a hydroelectric dam in Areng valley, Koh Kong province.
January 28, 2015
Ly Seav Minh is 23 years old and lives with her mother, father and brother in Toul Kork district, Phnom Penh. The family has lived on the land for 35 years and despite possessing evidence of their lengthy occupation of the land, they have been involved in a long-running land dispute with the municipality and the Khun Sea Company, to which the municipality sold the land in 2010. Originally six other families were involved in the dispute but all have now accepted compensation payments and moved away after facing consistent intimidation from the company.
January 8, 2015
This Khmer audio book contains two radio shows that were originally broadcast during the 2014 campaign, 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. The shows accompany the report "Good Wives": Women Land Campaigners and the Impact of Human Rights Activism, and include interviews with four female land activists who discuss how their lives have been changed by their activism and share their experiences of domestic violence and family breakdown.