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Report: Land Policy of the Government Affects Most Vulnerable People

By: The Mirror - editor: Norbert Klein Posted: September-29-2009 in
The Mirror - editor: Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 632 - Monday, 28.9.2009

"According to a 81-page report issued on Monday last week [21.9.2009 - “Untitled: Tenure Insecurity and Inequality in the Cambodian Land Sector”], most vulnerable communities countrywide still encounter land ownership insecurity and forced evictions, even though a project has been implemented for seven years, spending millions of dollars to reform the land ownership sector.

"This report was made by a trio of national and international housing rights organizations, and it said that a Land Management and Administration Project was created in 2002 with funds from international donors, including from the World Bank, with the goal to create a 'transparent and efficient land administration system' within five years. This 81-page report recognized that this project has issued land titles covering more than one million plots countrywide. But it said that there is little success in several sections.

"This reported said, 'Though this project has achieved significant success in some places, it has not improved land ownership security in Cambodian society, resulting in an increasing number of vulnerable people as a result of evictions. In general, vulnerable people who have the right to demand their land are not accepted to receive land ownerships and to participate in procedures to address disputes, resulting in a reduced efficiency of programs to alleviate poverty and to increase social stability.

"Some major shortages shown in the report are that the land titling system of the Land Management and Administration Project reserves areas where 'disputes are likely' or 'where there is no clear situation,' or [in one example] it excluded 10 families among thousands of families by not providing land titles according to the 2001 Land Law of the Kingdom of Cambodia. More than 4,000 families living in the area around the Boeng Kak lake in Phnom Penh cannot apply to ask for ownership documents for their land, because that lake is located in an 'area for development.' The report expressed also concern over the low level of protection of land ownerships of ethnic minority people, saying that procedures to address disputes in the Land Management and Administration Project do not provide just, efficient, and non-biased solutions for disputes.

"The director of Bridges Across Borders, that is involved in this report, Mr. David Pred, said, 'If this system does not include vulnerable people, the advantages of the ownership will be affected by obstacles, and according to our experience with the Land Management and Administration Project, most goals of the provision of land ownership cannot be achieved if there is no rule of law and no procedures to settle disputes based on the intention to protect citizens' rights.'

"The executive director of the Community Legal Education Center, Mr. Yeng Virak, said, 'Actually the land titling program of the Land Management and Administration Project was not implemented in areas facing obstacles like at the Boeng Kak lake region, at Group 78, and at the Dey Krahom region in Phnom Penh.'

"The Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction, Mr. Im Chhun Lim, could not be reached for comment on Sunday, but a Phnom Penh Deputy Governor, Mr. Mann Chhoeun, denied the content of the report, claiming that mechanisms to solve disputes at district and provincial levels have been implemented successfully. He told Phnom Penh Post, 'Both institutions [the Ministry of Land Management and the Municipality?] have helped to establish adequate actions. Therefore, there will be improvements, and this will respond more effectively to the needs of people.'" Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #13, 28.9.2009

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user avatar Anonymous


awsome topic, just bookmarked your article for future referrence

user avatar Anonymous

"marked for further reference"

Thanks - though we make reviews Monday to Saturday on a daily basis, we try to select content which is of more than just a day-to-day interest. As you may see, we add often references from the Internet (the underlined "links") to provide background or further leads to the original article. Good to know that this is appreciated.

And for Sundays, we try to look into the wider context, or related dynamics.

Norbert Klein


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