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Cambodia: CCHR's report shows impacts of land economic concession on communities and lack of law enforcement to safeguard land rights in three provinces

Author: Chheng Niem, The Phnom Penh Post, Published on: 29 December 2018

"Land dispute under spotlight", 25 December 2018

The Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) released a report … on the experiences of local communities across three provinces who suffered rights violations as a result of land disputes with companies operating in the Kingdom.

CCHR … conducted field visits to investigate land disputes with the three companies, Mitr Phol Sugar Company in Samrong district, Oddar Meanchey province; Socfin-KCD in Pech Chreada district, Mondulkiri province; and MDS Company in the MDS Thmor Da Special Economic Zone, Pursat province.

In its 37-page report, Preventing, Mitigating and Remedying Land-Related Rights Violations in the Kingdom of Cambodia: Seven Areas for Improvement, CCHR found that more than 800 families have been affected by Socfin-KCD,…

Most of the families that have been impacted are members of the Bunong indigenous community. At least 640 of them are currently involved in a land dispute resolution process… CCHR identified seven areas in which companies needed to better respect the rights of local communities…

Pech Chreada district governor Meul Soeun said … that the land disputes between villagers and Socfin-KCD had been resolved. While Oddar Meanchey provincial Department of Land Management director Kim Kea Vin also said that land disputes with Mitr Phol were resolved.

Ministry of Environment Secretary of State Neth Pheaktra criticised the report …, saying it did not represent the whole situation. He said all investment projects were conducted with environmental and social impact assessments (ESIA)…

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Related companies: MDS Thmorda SEZ Mitr Phol Socfin