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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Article
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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Author: VOD

【此翻譯由企業責任資源中心提供】

“種植園繞開法律來囤積土地,使當地人陷入債務”,2019年12月13日

隨著與一家中國公司有關聯的五座甘蔗種植園平整了約兩萬公頃的林地和農田,柏威夏省(Preah Vihear province)的數千庫伊人(Kuy)正在失去生計,幾乎所有的村子都陷入債務。

在採訪25位當地居民和收集非政府組織研究調查的基礎上,VOD發現與中國廣東恆福糖業集團有限公司有關聯的五家公司繞開柬埔寨法律,囤積了大於單個實體獲批土地面積四倍的經濟特許用地。這些公司在開展環境影響評估之前,以及在未通知村民和提供補償的情況下,就夷平森林;它們平整的土地還過於靠近水道。

農業部長Veng Sokhon承認,甘蔗種植園存在一些“缺點”……

歐盟對徵用土地補償不到位和小部分土著民獲得集體土地權的情況表示了關注。

Chheb 區M'Lou Prey 2公社Preus Kaak村的村民估計,村里90%的村民都欠了債。

住在Preus Kaak村的60歲村民Iem Aon說,“在那些公司來這之前,我們可以打獵,用獵物換汽油、樹脂、蘭花、人參或糯米。”

柬埔寨促進及保衛人權聯盟(Licadho)的監測經理Am Sam Ath表示,在柏威夏和其他三個省經營的公司都在歐盟委員會免稅審核法律程序(EBA)的審查範圍之內。

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Author: VOD

【此翻译由企业责任资源中心提供】

“种植园绕开法律来囤积土地,使当地人陷入债务”,2019年12月13日

随着与一家中国公司有关联的五座甘蔗种植园平整了约两万公顷的林地和农田,柏威夏省(Preah Vihear province)的数千库伊人(Kuy)正在失去生计,几乎所有的村子都陷入债务。

在采访25位当地居民和收集非政府组织研究调查的基础上,VOD发现与中国广东恒福糖业集团有限公司有关联的五家公司绕开柬埔寨法律,囤积了大于单个实体获批土地面积四倍的经济特许用地。这些公司在开展环境影响评估之前,以及在未通知村民和提供补偿的情况下,就夷平森林;它们平整的土地还过于靠近水道。

农业部长Veng Sokhon承认,甘蔗种植园存在一些“缺点”……

欧盟对征用土地补偿不到位和小部分土著民获得集体土地权的情况表示了关注。

Chheb 区M’Lou Prey 2公社Preus Kaak村的村民估计,村里90%的村民都欠了债。

住在Preus Kaak村的60岁村民Iem Aon说,“在那些公司来这之前,我们可以打猎,用猎物换汽油、树脂、兰花、人参或糯米。”

柬埔寨促进及保卫人权联盟(Licadho)的监测经理Am Sam Ath表示,在柏威夏和其他三个省经营的公司都在欧盟委员会免税审核法律程序(EBA)的审查范围之内。

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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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Article
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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Article
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.

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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

“柬埔寨:柏威夏省受中国公司甘蔗用地特许权影响的社区向联合国工商业与人权工作组提交相关信息”,2017年8月29日

柬埔寨柏威夏省受中国公司甘蔗用地特许权影响的社区……向联合国工商业与人权工作组提交了有关这些公司侵犯他们权利的信息……

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。 

提交的报告指出,“地方当局的腐败,柬埔寨政府的疏忽和公司采取的应对措施使得负面影响更加严重。”受影响的社区要求柬埔寨政府立即撤销恒福糖业集团在柏威夏省的五项经济用地特许权……

社区敦促联合国工商业与人权工作组立即联系柬埔寨和中国政府以及恒福糖业集团及其子公司……满足他们的要求。

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说明:企业责任资源中心曾就同样的控诉联系该公司,但公司未作答复。请点此阅读详情。

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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

“柬埔寨:柏威夏省受中國公司甘蔗用地特許權影響的社區向聯合國工商業與人權工作組提交相關信息”,2017年8月29日

柬埔寨柏威夏省受中國公司甘蔗用地特許權影響的社區……向聯合國工商業與人權工作組提交了有關這些公司侵犯他們權利的信息……

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。

提交的報告指出,“地方當局的腐敗,柬埔寨政府的疏忽和公司採取的應對措施使得負面影響更加嚴重。”受影響的社區要求柬埔寨政府立即撤銷恆福糖業集團在柏威夏省的五項經濟用地特許權……

社區敦促聯合國工商業與人權工作組立即聯繫柬埔寨和中國政府以及恆福糖業集團及其子公司……滿足他們的要求。

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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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Article
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