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Cambodia: Conflicts continue between Preah Vihear villagers & Hengfu Sugar subsidiaries, as locals accuse companies of taking land without adequate compensations

"Tbeng Meanchey district is comprised of various villages, most of them inhabited by the Kuoy ethnic minority, who are engaged in small-scale farming and the collection of Non-Timber Forest Products…However, in 2011…two Chinese firms, Lan Feng and Roy Feng International [both subsidiaries of Chinese company Hengfu Sugar], were granted ELCs on villagers’ land…

Conflict exacerbated as the companies started to demarcate villagers’ land and community forests for the development of sugarcane plantations, clearing the area and cutting down valuable Resin trees. No measures were reported to be taken regarding an environmental or social impact assessment…All kind of resistance and mobilizations started, supported by local NGOs and Buddhist monks...In several occasions, villagers as well as NGO members and monks were temporarily held by the police and the company filed a lawsuit against the villagers for destroying their sugarcane. The villagers in turn, filed a lawsuit against the companies, demanding a compensation of 600,000$ for the destruction of their ancestral lands, community forests and farming lands…"

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Hengfu Sugar to respond to the allegations, the company did not respond]

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16 December 2019

Cambodia: Investigative report shows that sugar land economic concessions lead thousands of indigenous people lose their land and trap into debt

Author: Moniroth Morm, VOD

"Plantations Skirted Laws to Amass Land, Driving Locals Into Debt", 13 December 2019

Thousands of indigenous Kuy people in Preah Vihear province are losing their livelihoods — with almost entire villages falling into debt — as five sugar plantations linked to one Chinese company have cleared an estimated 20,000 hectares of forests and locals’ farmland.

Based on interviews with 25 local residents as well as input from NGO researchers and an investigation of the area, VOD has found that five companies linked to Guangdong, China’s Hengfu International Sugar, skirted Cambodian laws and permits to amass economic land concessions four times larger in total than allowed for a single entity; razed forests before producing an environmental impact assessment, notifying villagers or compensating those affected; and cleared land too close to waterways.

Agriculture Minister Veng Sokhon acknowledged there were “some shortcomings” surrounding the sugarcane plantations...

Inadequate to no compensation to displaced locals, and a small proportion of indigenous groups receiving collective land titles have also been highlighted by the E.U.

Residents of Preus Kaak village in Chheb district’s M’Lou Prey 2 commune estimated that 90 percent of the village was currently in debt.

“Before the companies’ arrival, we were able to hunt wild animals and sell them for petroleum, or liquid resin, dry resin, or orchids, or ginseng, or sticky rice,” said Iem Aon, 60, who lives in Preus Kaak...

Am Sam Ath, monitoring manager for human rights organization Licadho, said companies in Preah Vihear and three other provinces were included in the European Commission’s EBA rights compliance review.

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16 June 2019

Cambodia: Preah Vihear provincial court charges villagers and NGOs staffers over land disputes with a Chinese company

Author: Kimmarita Long, The Phnom Penh Post

"Court charges villagers over land dispute with Chinese firm", 14 June 2019

The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has placed more than 10 ethnic Kuoy villagers and an NGO official under court supervision on charges of collusion to detain and confine people illegally over a dispute with a Chinese-owned company.

Investigating Judge Chien Sros issued a letter informing the accused of the wrap-up of an investigation ...

The defendants, who had not received the letter until …, have called on the court to drop all charges against them, citing injustice and an abuse of their rights. The letters said Ponlok Khmer NGO officials Poek Sophorn and Lout Saing are placed under court supervision on charges of collusion in illegal detention and confinement. The letter said Pang Sev, Phon Rum, Phou Phen, Norm Thol, Hor Theany, They Hoeun, Yun Sorn, Sral Sokhy and their accomplices are also under court supervision, but on charges of illegal detention and confinement under Article 253 of the Criminal Code…

The case stemmed from a land dispute between the Chinese firm, Lan Feng, and the ethnic Kuoy community who accused the company of encroaching on their ancestral land after it was granted an economic land concession by the government in 2011 for rubber, acacia and sugarcane plantation…

Toch Kum, an older sister of ethnic Kuoy defendant Sral Sokhy, told … that the charges against her brother and other ethnic Kuoy villagers were unfair. She claimed the community rightfully own the land and had cultivated it for years…

Poek Sophorn, the Ponlok Khmer official who was charged along with the villagers, told … that he was surprised the court had just wrapped up its investigation…

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28 March 2019

Cambodia: A provincial court summonses 9 indigenous representatives and NGO staffers to appear before the court for questioning over charges of 'illegal confinement and detention'

Author: Savi Khorn, The Phnom Penh Post

"Kuoy villagers in court over alleged seizure of bulldozers", 28 March 2019

Four ethnic Kuoy villagers appeared in Preah Vihear provincial court … for allegedly seizing two bulldozers from a Chinese-owned company in a … dispute that saw a group of locals attempt to prevent the firm from clearing their rice fields...

A … court summons issued by Preah Vihear provincial court’s Investigating Judge Chean Sros ordered eight people to appear over three days for questioning over a charge of “illegal confinement and detention”.

An employee at the Ponlok Khmer NGO suspected of being an accomplice in the incident in Brame commune’s Bos Thom village in Tbeng Meanchey district was also called…

“I think [the court summons] is unfair for the indigenous minority group and the NGO employee who tried to protect their land. In return, they were sued by the company for confiscating the company’s bulldozers on their own land."

“The community had filed a complaint against the company for illegal land clearing, but the court never took action. But when the company or authorities filed a lawsuit against the people of the community, the court’s actions were very swift.”

Roeung Khan, deputy chief of the Brame commune indigenous community, asked the provincial court to drop the charges against the nine…

Provincial court spokeswoman Chum Kaniya declined to comment, saying she did not have enough information on the matter.

Tbeng Meanchey district governor Kong Sophorn said … that he could not respond to villagers’ questions…

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1 September 2017

Cambodia: Preah Vihear communities report human rights violations by Chinese sugar companies to UNWG on BHR

Author: Indigenous Voice of Asia

"Cambodia: Communities in Preah Vihear affected by sugarcane concessions of Chinese companies submit information to the UN Working Group on business and human rights," 29 August 2017

Communities in Preah Vihear province of Cambodia affected by sugarcane concessions of Chinese companies...submitted information on the violations of their human rights to the UN Working Group on business and human rights….

According to the information from the communities, five companies (Heng Nong, Heng Rui, Lan Feng, Heng You, and Rui Feng), which are subsidiaries of Hengfu Group Sugar Industry based in China, have economic land concessions of 42,422 hectares in area in Preah Vihear. …All five companies have allegedly failed to respect the human rights of the communities and destroyed their environment, economy and cultures.

“The corruption of local authorities and neglect by the Cambodian government and the companies in addressing our demands have exacerbated the impacts,” the submission reads.

The affected communities have demanded that the the Cambodian government immediately cancel all five concessions of Hengfu in Preah Vihear province….

The communities have thus urged the Working Group to communicate, without any delay, with the Cambodian and Chinese governments, Hengfu and its subsidiaries…to address their demands.


Note: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre previously approached the company on the same allegations but it did not respond. The story can be viewed here.

Heng Yue's contract can be viewed at openlandcontracts.org

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Author: Indigenous Voice of Asia

作者:亚洲土著人之声(Indigenous Voice of Asia),发表时间:2017年9月1日



根据社区方面的信息,中国恒福糖业集团(Hengfu Group Sugar Industry)的五家子公司(恒农、恒瑞、恒悦、岚峰和瑞峰)在柏威夏省总共获得了经营42422公顷土地的特许权。……五家公司涉嫌侵犯社区成员的人权,破坏当地的经济、环境和文化。 





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Author: Indigenous Voice of Asia

作者:亞洲土著人之聲(Indigenous Voice of Asia),發表時間:2017年9月1日



根據社區方面的信息,中國恆福糖業集團(Hengfu Group Sugar Industry)的五家子公司(恆農、恆瑞、恆悅、嵐峰和瑞峰)在柏威夏省總共獲得了經營42422公頃土地的特許權。 ……五家公司涉嫌侵犯社區成員的人權,破壞當地的經濟、環境和文化。




說明:企業責任資源中心曾就同樣的控訴聯繫該公司,但公司未作答复。請 點此 閱讀詳情。

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17 July 2017

Cambodia: New report on indigenous communities’ protracted struggle against Hengfu Sugar’s land grab in Preah Vihear province

Author: Community Network in Action (CNA), Ponlok Khmer, GRAIN, Cambodia Indigenous Youth Association (CIYA) and Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP)

"Cambodia: communities in protracted struggle against Chinese sugar companies’ land grab", 8 Jun 2017

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Hengfu Sugar again to respond to the new report, the company did not do so]

Tens of thousands of people have been affected by a 2011 land grab in the Cambodian province of Preah Vihear in which five Chinese-owned companies were granted land concessions totaling more than 40 thousand hectares. Families have lost the means to produce food and earn a living as the companies have converted rice fields, forests, pasture land, and streams into sugarcane fields. With the enclosure within the concessions of the sites of at least 19 ancient temples, Cambodia has also lost part of its cultural heritage. Affected communities have engaged in sustained resistance to the destruction of their livelihoods and culture. They have called for the concessions to be cancelled and the land returned to them since the arrival of the companies. So far, they have managed to slow but not stop the onslaught from the concessions – but they have not given up. This briefer exposes what the land grabs in Preah Vihear have entailed for communities over the past six years: human rights violations, lost livelihoods and cultural and ecological devastation…

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Company non-response
17 July 2017

Hengfu Sugar did not respond to June 2017 report on land rights issues re sugarcane plantations in Preah Vihear, Cambodia

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Author: CNA, Ponlok Khmer, GRAIN, CIYA and AIPP


數万人至今仍然受到2011年柬埔寨柏威夏省(Preah Vihear)侵占土地事件的影響。當年,五家中國公司被授予了總面積超過4萬公頃的土地特許權。由於公司將稻田、森林、牧場和溪流平整為甘蔗地,受影響的家庭無法生產糧食,生活無以為繼。隨著特許用地圈佔了至少19座古代寺廟,柬埔寨也因此喪失了部分文化遺產。受影響的社區不斷地抵制那些破壞他們生活和文化的行為。自公司抵達當地以來,社區要求撤銷土地特許權和歸還社區所有的土地。目前為止,社區雖然成功減緩了特許用地的開發,但無法阻止隨之而來的衝擊;然而,它們並沒有放棄。本簡報將曝光柏威夏省土地侵占事件在過去6年中給當地社區帶來的影響:人權受到侵犯,生活無以為繼,文化和生態遭到破壞。

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Author: CNA, Ponlok Khmer, GRAIN, CIYA and AIPP


数万人至今仍然受到2011年柬埔寨柏威夏省(Preah Vihear)侵占土地事件的影响。当年,五家中国公司被授予了总面积超过4万公顷的土地特许权。由于公司将稻田、森林、牧场和溪流平整为甘蔗地,受影响的家庭无法生产粮食,生活无以为继。随着特许用地圈占了至少19座古代寺庙,柬埔寨也因此丧失了部分文化遗产。受影响的社区不断地抵制那些破坏他们生活和文化的行为。自公司抵达当地以来,社区要求撤销土地特许权和归还社区所有的土地。目前为止,社区虽然成功减缓了特许用地的开发,但无法阻止随之而来的冲击;然而,它们并没有放弃。本简报将曝光柏威夏省土地侵占事件在过去6年中给当地社区带来的影响:人权受到侵犯,生活无以为继,文化和生态遭到破坏。

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