. សេរីភាពបញ្ចេញមតិគឺជាលក្ខណៈគ្រិៈនៃសិទ្ធិ We should live without fear( សូមបងប្អូនជាជាតិខ្មែរ សូមចូលរួមបោះឆ្នោតជ្រើសរើសមេឃុំ/សង្កាត់ នៅថ្ងៃទី ០៤ ខែ មិថុនា ឆ្នាំ២០១៧ អោយបានគ្រប់ៗគ្នា."

ព៍ត៌មានទាន់ហេតុការណ៍ៈ បាតុកម្មនៅមុខ សាលាក្រុងប៉ោយប៉ែតមានជ័យ ថ្ងៃទី ៣០ ខែ ឧសភា ឆ្នាំ២០១៧

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Freeze on Economic Land Concessions Must Now Be Followed by Positive Action and Existing Concessions Must Be Reviewed

Phnom Penh, 8 May 2012 — The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) welcomes the announcement by Prime Minister Hun Sen that there will be a moratorium on the granting of Economic Land Concessions (ELCs). In an order dated 7 May 2012, the Prime Minister called on public authorities to “temporarily postpone” the granting of ELCs to private companies. Civil society organizations and international human rights bodies have been asking the Cambodian authorities for several years to stop granting new land concessions, to review existing ones, and to ensure respect for relevant laws and regulations, including the 2001 Land Law, Sub-Decree 146 on Economic Land Concessions, and various human rights standards.[1] ADHOC hopes that this move by the government indicates that the demands of NGOs and human rights professionals are finally being met.
Conveniently, this announcement comes less than a month before the June 2012 commune elections, and during the visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, Surya Subedi, whose next report will focus on land issues. In addition, an “order” by the Prime Minister cannot strike out laws or sub-decrees, and is easily reversible. ADHOC is therefore concerned that this moratorium may just be a waiting period which cannot yet be regarded as genuine political will to stop the economic land concession policy. Civil society organizations will monitor implementation of the moratorium and remain ready to document violations.
Furthermore, given the serious human rights abuses related to ELCs, ADHOC asks the Cambodian government to review all existing ELCs and other land concessions, as well as mining concessions.[2] Those which have not been granted in accordance with the law or violate Cambodian citizens’ land and housing rights should be cancelled. Cambodian authorities must stop providing private companies with military police protection and facilitate satisfactory resolution of all cases of conflict between private companies and citizens.
Lastly, ADHOC asks Cambodian authorities to thoroughly and impartially investigate all human rights violations related to economic and other land concessions. These have been well documented by various civil society organizations, development partners and international human rights bodies.
Cambodian authorities are under legal obligation to protect citizens’ right to adequate housing, which entails a duty to engage in genuine, meaningful consultations with affected people prior to implementing projects; to explore feasible alternatives; to carry out social and environmental impact assessment studies, and to provide fair compensation to evicted citizens. This also entails, as demanded by several United Nations bodies, a duty to develop clear guidelines for evictions and resettlement and to adopt a proper binding framework which includes guarantees of due process and effective judicial remedies.
Even when a concession has been duly granted, relevant provisions of the Land Law and the Sub-Decree on Economic Land Concessions must be observed. They include a limit of 10,000 hectares per concession, protection of wildlife areas and national parks, and protection of the people’s livelihoods and cultural identities.
The current land policy is unsustainable both from a human rights and a development perspective, as it benefits only rich, well-connected individuals and disproportionately affects poor and vulnerable Cambodian citizens. What needs to be done to address this is clear. An announcement by the Prime Minister is not sufficient. Cambodian authorities must now demonstrate their will to address all land-related issues, which includes punishing local/mid-level officials who disregard the law and ending impunity through holding human rights violators to account, regardless of their rank or social standing.

For more information, please contact:
Mr. Ny Chakrya, Head of Monitoring Section at ADHOC: 011 274 959
Mr. Chan Soveth, Deputy Head of Monitoring Section: 016 667 373
Mr. Nicolas Agostini, Technical Assistant: 078 405 024

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