Land Issues

Flash News
Areng Valley community representative arrested, jailed

October 7, 2015 This morning, Areng Valley community representative and CPP commune councilor Vein Vorn was arrested on charges relating to his activism and sent to Koh Kong provincial prison.

He has been at the forefront of Areng Valley community’s campaign to stop the controversial development of a hydroelectric dam by the Pheapimex group – headed by ruling party senator Lao Meng King – and their Chinese partner Sinohydro. He now faces charges under Article 98 of the Forestry Law and 533 of the Criminal Code for leading the construction of a small communal meeting space built by the Areng Valley community to support their activism. About 40 community members are currently outside the court protesting his arrest.

Three activists from NGO Mother Nature, who were also active in protesting the hydrodam, have been in detention since August 17 for their role in an ongoing campaign to end alleged illegal sand dredging in Koh Kong.

Related Material:

Photo Album Communities from Across Cambodia Celebrate World Habitat Day in Phnom Penh

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.

Statement ADHOC, CLEC and LICADHO call for the immediate release of 17 activists and observers in Koh Kong

September 2, 2015audio available

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.

Video On Stony Ground: The Struggle to Survive in a Cambodian Social Land Concession

June 24, 2015audio available

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.

Report On Stony Ground: A Look into Social Land Concessions

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.

Statement LICADHO Opens up its Land Concessions Data, Urges Full Transparency from the Government

March 30, 2015audio available

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.

Article Cambodian Women on the Front Line: Six Stories of Resistance

March 13, 2015audio available

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.

Statement Renewed Surge in Land Disputes Must be Addressed Not Denied

February 19, 2015audio available

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.

Statement Civil Society Groups Condemn Use of Visa Denial to Curb Activism

February 17, 2015audio available

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.

Article Spotlight on the 19: Ly Seav Minh

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.

Audio Book "Good Wives": Four Women Land Activists Tell Their Stories

January 8, 2015audio available

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.

Photo Album Marching for International Human Rights Day 2014

December 15, 2014

To celebrate International Human Rights Day (IHRD) this year, 600 monks marched alongside land activists, associations, unions, rural and urban residents, and NGOs, on six national roads towards Phnom Penh from December 5 to December 10. This year’s IHRD theme was “Respecting Human Rights Leads to Peace!” For the first time, indigenous communities in Ratanakiri province participated in IHRD by organizing their own march on National Road 7, which began on December 4.

Report “Good Wives”: Women Land Campaigners and the Impact of Human Rights Activism

November 23, 2014

To mark the start of the global campaign, 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, LICADHO has published a report exploring how the lives of women campaigners are changed by their activism. It reveals the high price women pay, suffering not only serious economic and emotional impacts but also often domestic violence and family breakdown.

Photo Album Four Supporters of Boeung Kak 7 Arrested Outside Phnom Penh Court

November 12, 2014

On the morning of Tuesday, November 11, approximately 50 representatives from several land communities gathered outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to protest the detention of seven Boeung Kak Lake activists who had been arrested the day before while protesting outside Phnom Penh City Hall against the alleged failure of city authorities to deal with the issue of flooding around the site of the former lake.

Over 100 riot police and security guards violently broke up the protest in front of the court and arrested three additional land activists and one monk.

Video Yet Another Violent Dispersal of Land Protesters near the Prime Minister's Home

October 21, 2014audio available

On October 20, 2014, security guards in Phnom Penh were once again captured senselessly beating peaceful land protesters. About 80 villagers from Preah Vihear province had come to Phnom Penh to ask for assistance from national institutions, to help resolve their land dispute which has affected over 200 families. However, shortly after noon, the villagers were violently dispersed by the guards while military police and police officers stood by near the Prime Minister's home.

The violence left a total of 18 people injured. Several of them, including an 18 year-old boy, suffered head wounds.