Economic Land Concession
Causes Poverty in Cambodia Today
By MEY Sopheadkei, 2010
Cambodia had a deep suffering during Pol Pot regime and cold war in the country and even though the cold war ended over a decade, Cambodia still faces many problems within harms people and makes people live in poverty. Now that cause is economic land concession. There are a lot of economic land concession in the whole Cambodia that Cambodia government grant the state public land to the private company to run the business in which it has to be removed people residences to the new area which in that new area has nothing such as infrastructure or school for education for young children and has many factors cause poverty in those new area especially in Phnom Penh. It is a place that the government needs to urbanize the city and do the privatization economic land concession.
To develop the country, Cambodia government needs to make new policy about economic land concession in order to make this action to be legal and official; the Cambodia government create the Sub-degree on Economic Land Concession instead of grabbing people land illegally.
Actually, when the Sub-degree on Economic Land Concession was passed, in that time the removing people residences also started in which all people who live in the economic land concession area have to live without dwelling, market, school, electricity, running water and so on. They meet a lot of demand for living or survival in their daily lives. This economic land concession is not harmful only one place, but it also harm to all sectors of the country.
There is little doubt that the appropriation of land in Cambodia has been a very positive development for the powerful individuals and private companies who have acquired prime real estate at little or no cost – as well as government officials who profited from the transactions. When the government privatizes the state property (land) in the whole country it makes many conflicts around the country because it grabs the citizens’ land which they lived since sometimes 1979 on that land.
There is little evidence, however, that ordinary Cambodians are benefiting from the mass confiscation of their land which the government seize for privatization. On the contrary, those who are displaced are explicitly excluded from any benefits, and instead find themselves facing loss of income, poor health, lack of education and other dire consequences that are directly opposed to the government’s public commitment to development, expressed through targets such as the “Millennium Development Goals” (MDG); especially they have no piece of land for settling their resident after the government remove their house in order to live in the new place. We can say that they lose their land without exchange or equal exchange in the proper way. Those people always think it is good for nothing to leave their land.
The statistics, which have become more alarming year by year, speak for themselves.
In the 13 provinces in which LICADHO works – roughly half the country – more than a quarter of a million people have been affected by land-grabbing and forced evictions since 2003.
In the capital, Phnom Penh, 133,000 people – more than 10% of its population – are believed to have been evicted since 1990.1
In 2008, according to Amnesty International, a further 150,000 Cambodians were at risk of forced relocation nationwide.2
As of 2004, it was estimated that 20-30% of landowners held 70% of the country’s land, while the poorest 40% occupied only 10%; in the countryside, 45% of families were landless or near landless.3
There is no sign of the Cambodian authorities slowing down the pace of land grabbing and forced evictions, usually committed in flagrant contravention of their own laws. Economic Land Concessions continue to be granted in unlawful secrecy, concealed from the public, and sometimes in sizes far exceeding the legal limit of 10,000 hectares which is no more land for cultivation in which the government claim that more Cambodians are farmer and live depend on doing agriculture.
Referring to recent Articles on the Filling Boeng Kak Lake, Cambodia Daily, Wednesday and Thursday 2007, “we are deeply concern about natural resource management in Cambodia. It is absolutely wrong, and dangerous for surrounding residents, once the company could proceed in its construction before the Environmental Impact Assessment has not been released.” If we look deeper and deeper into the state public property, the government should clarify and manage it properly according to the country’s status of development. More importantly, the agreement on filling the lake violated both 2001 Land Law, which states that “lakes are state public property and cannot be sold”, and Article 8 of the 1996 Law on Environmental Protection and Natural Resource Management, which reads:
1 Land and Housing Rights in Cambodia – A Parallel Report, Land and Housing Working Group, April 2009, available at http://www.cohre.org/store/attachments/Land%20and%20Housing%20Rights% 20in%20 Cambodia %20(final).pdf
2 Rights Razed – Forced Evictions in Cambodia, Amnesty International, February 2008, available at
3 A Fair Share for Women: Cambodia Gender Assessment, World Bank, April 2004, available at
“The natural resources of the Kingdom of Cambodia, which include land, water, airspace, air shall be conserved, developed, and managed and used in a rational and sustainable manner”.
On the other word, the government privatize the economic land concession allows the poverty in the country spread out into the country and also makes the society disorder because of the land conflict between people and local authority in which it can not develop the country because the people live in lower income status. Actually, citizens are the pillar for developing the country, but when the people live in poverty how they produce energy into the products and help Cambodia develop.
To clear understand on the economic land concession causes poverty in Cambodia, of course, in Phnom Penh, we need to know the key issues which will be detailed below.
In this topic, we will discuss many main points which relevant to the cause of removing people resident, effect of the removing people resident and the solution with the some cases in Phnom Penh.
How can we take action to prevent poverty from removing citizens’ residences because of Economic Land Concession in Cambodia?
Why do those removing citizens’ residents happen?
What are the key impacts of removing citizens’ resident?
What are the best solutions to deal with this matter?
As we know Cambodia is the place for using economic land concession in which the Cambodia privatize the state public land. Especially, Cambodia government wishes to urbanize the city and develop the modernization of the city by using Economic Land Concession way to the private sector. However, this kind of development will have bad effect to citizens who live around that area such as poor infrastructure and no market or electricity, so the government has to pay intention on this issue as soon as possible in order to prevent the poverty in the country.
2. Objective of Research
The poverty which causes from the economic land concession, nowadays, becomes the critical thought among the other issues in Cambodia which cause poverty.
To analyze the topic more understandable, we have to select the real reason to find out the cause of poverty from the economic land concession, dig out the major effect of the economic land concession, want to seek out the poverty issue which make the Cambodia society disorder by economic land concession, and more analyze the element why removing citizens’ resident makes poverty in the sense or mean of development. Furthermore, we also apt to seek the solution for poverty reduction because of economic land concession.
3. Goal of Research
To conduct the research on this topic perfectly “Economic Land Concession Causes Poverty in Cambodia, we need to choose the major elements including the causes and effect of economic land concession in which the government decide to remove the citizens’ resident. Moreover, we would like to seek the solution of economic land concession which causes poverty in the privatized area. Also, we would like to specify in an area in Phnom Penh such Boeng Kok Lake which is the place mostly impact to the citizens from the privatization on economic land concession. Absolutely, we also need to know the way which the Ministry of Land Management Urban, and Construction prepare the land for the government do the privatization which causes the poverty by that local people have full right to protect and own their land.
To seek the truth that what have happened around Boeng Kok Lake, people scrim for help while the government claims that the people who live around Boeng Kok Lake have to remove their dwellings because that land belongs to the stat public land; and, simplify the Cambodia government action to the removing citizens’ residents in which this removing causes the poverty.
4. Methodology of Research
For this, we use the second data research including books, internet, newspapers, TV, radio and so on for help to seek more information in order to complete this topic. All these equipments as the methodology of research provide the good document and information related to the topic. Actually, it is a bit hard to do research because this issue just happens and just some organizations or people who know this issue, so according to this we sometimes lack of information or time to make it perfect. Of course, we would go a lot of information or documents through this methodology which also help this topic become more important.
In order to complete this task, we need to spend time as follow, for first week, we find out and surf the internet relevant to the documents through varies website and including books, newspapers, and second week, we collect all data and start set up the specific source to the topic; the third week, after the teacher correct the topic, we prepare documents and make the assignment papers plan to submit to instructor as well as prepare for the presentation. Also, start writing the book.
This research paper is studied only the Boeng Kok Lack citizens were removed, and cause them live in poverty in another area and how to find the best solution for taking step to help those people to live in better condition by reducing the poverty status.
5. History Background
Everything always changes its values and meaning while the human beings try to develop the natural resource into the useful thing or the things which human beings can use it for their purposes. Actually, Boeng Kok Lake is a place which has been being developed and there are many actions by the government in order to grab that land to do the privatization. So, Cambodia now come across a number of issues during this time with its own people who are removed the resident. On the other hand, Cambodia government wishes to make economic concession land to the privatization to urbanize the city. As we know since 2001 Cambodia parliament has adopted the new law to implement the land in Cambodia as a whole and after, in December 2005, Cambodia government has adopted Sub-degree on Economic Land Concessions. Of course, Cambodia government aims to start invest the state public land into the privatization or foreign company in order to develop the country.
From the beginning of two adopted and Cambodia government started to force for state public land, so the poor Cambodians involved this problems through economic land concession because the government did not issue the land certificate to the people who have their own lands and lived since 1979 after Khmer Rouge died. Through Economic Land Concession Cambodia government grant investor companies in Cambodia such as abuse to move, encroachment, grabbing land, shooting and so on.
There is no better place than Boeng Kok Lake which situated near the city center and it will be a place being developed in the near future, so the people around there are forced to remove their houses. Sometimes, they are in charge of living on the state public land in which the government needs to develop or privatize while they lived over a few decades by issuing the land certificate by local authority in their village.
Until now, Cambodia government perspective is that to improve the agriculture sector, so Cambodia government needs to implement land policy more efficiently and effectiveness by granting the land concession to private company by establishment two laws such as new land law in 2001 and sub-degree on economic land concession to instead of old land law 1997.
Economic Land Concessions continue to be established illegally – in fact, not a single one has been completed in accordance with the relevant laws – and perversely have been used to steal land from the poor rather than provide it to them. The Cambodian military continues to be involved in evictions, in contravention of the law, as well as heavily implicated in land grabbing for their own benefit. The Cambodian courts continue to act on behalf of rich and powerful interests, ignoring the evidence, the Land Law and other relevant legislation, enforcing eviction where ownership remains undecided and imprisoning those who dare to protest. And to underline the fact that these evictions are really about grabbing valuable land rather than actual development.
Even though, the Cambodia government sees the bad impact of economic land concession, the government still continues to issue this kind of land to the private company without rational thinking or taking any actions to exchange the equal price to the citizens’ property. People suffer from this kind of issue day by day and live hopeless in their lives. They did not know what to do to survive daily.
Economic Land Concession
Causes Poverty in Cambodia Today
I. The Causes of Removing people resident.
To understand about the causes of removing people residence in which we need to look on the key causes of economic land concession in the sense of development intensive. The government needs to develop the country by doing the privatization to the private company in the area around Boeng Kok Lake and some where else around Phnom Penh city in which the private company recognizes that it is the best place to invest for gaining money.
To more understand about land conflict and economic land concession we also should know about Cambodia government land policy or land reforming. Land policy will focus on land distribution, land management and land administration. The core program of the land reform consists of the development of a national land policy, improved management of the national land stock, commencement of systematic land registration, tax reform, the establishment of a legal framework to enforce property rights, the provincial, municipal and national master plans and zoning and the development of rural housing. In long term, the Royal Government of Cambodia will resolve the problem through the adoption and enforcement of a new law and the implementation of the national systematic land registration that will secure land tenure, provide a basis for reduction in land ownership conflicts and facilitate land management, natural resource monitoring and state property protection.
Moreover, Boeng Koke will be dramatically changed from useless land into useful land by concession to private company to a different developer in which 90 hectares in size as economic land concession and 80 hectares will be filled in. They leave only 10 hectares for lake scale. When the economic land concession started to issue by the government, the citizen’s residences have to be removed or force to remove by arm force.
The Cambodia government goal is to develop the country by invest economic land concession to the private company is the best way and other reason relating to agriculture and industrial activities, Cambodia government expect that most Cambodia people lives base on the farms and market exchange, so that Cambodia agriculture and industrial sector more and more prosperous to serve the Cambodian living. Mean that economic land concession or social land concession that government granted to private companies, can boom the both agricultural and industrial sectors.
On the other hand, Cambodia government wishes the privatization sectors help it to develop the country. When the private companies fill in the Boeng Kok Lake already, they will build big and high buildings and roads in which the people who wish to use the road; have to pay taxes directly instead of government use the state money.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006 By Erik Wasson and Kay Kimsong THE CAMBODIA DAILY said:
“An estimated 4,000 residents will be displaced from their homes near Phnom Penh's Boeng Kak Lake as part of a massive redevelopment of the area, which will require the filling in of all but 10 hectares of the currently 90-hectare lake.”
“In 2005, Russei Keo district bureau chief of land management Hen Bakkong said that 200 hectares of the lake had been bought by RCAF Commander-in-Chief Ke Kim Yan. Ke Kim Yan denied the charge at the time. Boeng Kak, meanwhile, will be dramatically altered by the concession to a different developer. Currently it is 90 hectares in size, but 80 hectares will be filled in, leaving only a 10-hectare lake, Pa Socheatvong said.
In total, the approved plan covers 133 hectares of land and will leave the current lakeside backpacker district, and other lakeside homes, far from the shore. "Now the lake is filthy, it will become clean for recreation," the deputy governor said. The filling-in of Boeng Kak will not cause flooding in Phnom Penh, he said. "This is not the place where water collects.
It is actually very shallow," he added. According to a signed map of the project on display in Pa Socheatvong's office, the entire western, northern and eastern shores of the future Boeng Kak Lake will be given over to parkland ringed by "high class resident" housing. The governor would not reveal the exact name of the area's developer or give contact information for it but claimed it was a Cambodian firm. "There are 4,000 people living there. Some live on state land so it is easy to solve. Others live on private land so it is more difficult," he said of Boeng Kak's residents. To offer locals an example of one possible solution, City Hall officials took residents living near Boeng Kak lake on Tuesday to tour social housing being set up by the Phanimex company in the former Borei Keila sports complex.
A total of 1,776 families at Borei Keila will move into new apartments on the site of their former homes beginning in October. "We just show them one of many style solutions for squatter communities," Deputy Municipal Governor Mann Chhoeun said. Chhay Thirith, chief of Boeng Kak's Srash Chak commune, said he liked the idea of having on-site housing as part of the redevelopment, rather than being relocated to the outskirts of the city. "We are poor people, we don't want to move from our place like Sambok Chap," said resident Pheng Pirany, referring to the forced eviction of 1,200 residents and thousands more renters from Tonle Bassac commune in May and June to Dangkao district.
Not all Boeng Kak residents are happy with the proposal, however. "We want compensation for our homes, between $15,000 and $30, 000," said Yin Soeung Khem, 47, a motorbike taxi driver. "We do not want to live all together in one building like at a hospital."
When the citizens are removed to live in the another area, there are no market, school, electricity and water supply, and poor infrastructure, and far health care center in which it is so difficult for them to survive in the new place. The government needs to develop the country in the purpose of helping people to live in the standard status but when the government do like this, it seems the force people to die as soon as possible in the status of poverty.
I-1. No Market
After removing their residence, people have to live in another new area in which has no market for them to exchange their products. As we know when there is no market, there is no product and when there is no product, there is no money, so how do they live without money? People can sell their products at the market and people go to buy things at the market for consumption in daily life. Those people, who live around Boeng Kok land, are not farmer who cultivate rice for living, but they are vendors. They live by selling products for exchange of living.
The government does not build market at the new area which the removing people will go to live there and does not think of their previous careers. It absolutely forces people die before death. When they produce goods for supporting family’s status, they do not know where to sell their products. Being vendors always say that they can not live without market and market is a place for surviving them on this earth.
I-2. No School
To develop the country we need human resource, but when there is no school for young people to expand knowledge how we develop the country. Human being is a component of society in which it is important should be educated to be good and moral. When the society is full with uneducated people, it could be disorder because they have no skills to earn money for living.
School is a place for getting skills and life-skills which help people to be useful in society and it plays key role in the function of educating the young. More than this, education is serious target of the government strategy for reducing country poverty by educating people to have skills. When the government set up the policy of reduction poverty by give the opportunity to both boys and girls to go to schools and then adopted the another policy is economic land concession in which government grant some piece of land around 1000 hectare or 90 hectare to the private company to develop the country. By economic land concession oppose the reduction policy in which government and private company force people to remove their residences to live in the new area without any school.
Most children who had attended schools at their old village, they have to quit school while they live in the new area. Actually, they sometimes are being forced to work for support family because families have no home just cottage when the rain pours. The children have no choices and they are forced to be an ignorant and illiterate people in the village. When ignorance and illiteracy happen, they can not emerge from poverty. They will do or act according to their greed and desire without knowing it is good or bad.
I-3. No Electricity and Water Supply
The other important things for the people who live around Boeng Kok Lake or other area in which impact from the economic land concession or social land concession is that they will lose this two things electricity and running water or clean water automatically. They live with effect of bad environment and in that time they will be ill and go to see the doctor while they have no income by selling goods at no market.
Without the electricity and running water, we are considered living in the poverty. When they want to use products or they want to produce goods by using electricity in order to earn income, they have no opportunity, so they struggle to live according to their destiny and they also have no choice in living.
Government and private company have a lot of contract about spreading electricity to the rural area and spread until the remote area, when the people who are forced to remove the homes to live in the new area without power using. Why does the government think about this or government grab their land for privatization by using the word state public land only?
I-4. Poor Infrastructure
To reduce poverty, government tries to build new infrastructure around the whole country and it is the way in which the government want to access all kinds of products to that area or when the people in that area produce goods such as vegetables, rice or crop that they are easy to transport those things to the market. While they have no market and poor infrastructure, they live with nothing to make a living. We can say that infrastructure is the people’s blood string in which people can live depend on blood, but when the blood string is poor and the blood can not run properly, the people will dire automatically.
After they are removed their residence and compensated with some money, it is not fair for them because their whole houses are built by cement when the houses are removed, the houses will be damaged. Most people always say this time is like Khmer Rouge regime and the government evacuate people from proper area the difficult one which make people not sanctified to live in which after Khmer Rouge controlled Phnom Penh City, people were evacuated to the remote area and lived with nothing there.
I-5. Far Health Care Center
The government did not prepare land and build market, school or good infrastructure for people who will be removed to in the area that the government chooses for them. Even the health care center which the government used to say that the remote area should have a health care center, but now nothing for the people who are removed their house by the government and to live in the area which is not health care center. What they said is nothing; they acted for only good looking. The government only expects the benefit from the economic land concession without thinking of its own people suffer.
II. The Effect of Removing People Resident
The effect of removing people residence, nowadays, happens everywhere both in rural and urban area because the government land reforming and land concession policy in order to urbanize and privatize to the private company to develop the country. The government just sees the modernization of the country, but they do not think of the impact on people when they have no dwellings.
The land concession that the Cambodia government provides to alien companies not proper the standard of living of people, it just serves the private profit and a group of people who work for it. Whereas people who live on that land, they get the impact of forcing dwellings. Everyday the representative of the village go the some organizations calling for help in this matter which government treat them badly in grant the people’s land the only one or two private company in order to serve only just a group of people benefits. What are the actors affecting by removing people residence? We will discuss directly to the specific actors such as individual, family, society and the whole country.
From one to another time of grabbing citizens’ land or providing state public land to the private company, the first impact is about the individual owner of the land. It mean that the land owner always face with the local authority power and government arms force when they protect their land for the police. Sometimes the people are fought with the police pole and more than this they are arrested and take to jail.
The government has no policy about removing people residences. They just only have the land policy and land reforming by the way that they use the police to force people to remove their house. Most people, who live on the land concession, are always in charge of living on the state public land illegally. The citizens have the conflict with the police when the police go to remove their house and then they meet other problems such no market, school, health care center, especially with the bad environment and so on.
Because of wanting to keep their land, everyone try hard to face with the government until the police arrest them, fight them, and force them to leave with compensation. To answer with the citizens’ need, the government sometimes creates the soft attitude with the people. Therefore, the citizens force themselves to take the compensation in order to comfort the government’s mind. If they do not take it, the government grabs their land by force with nothing.
When the people go to live at the compensating area in which the government offers them, they lose everything because they have no choice. Their children have no school to study and the vendors have no place to sell their products. It impacts mostly on children because they do not go to school and have no knowledge to survive themselves in the near future.
After we know the impact on the individual, we also know that the family will be impacted because individual refers to the member of a family. When the citizens lived at a place in which the government accuse it the state public land, they had house, school for children, market for selling, and of course, all their properties and all their belongings. If their houses were built of cement, it leaves nothing. The houses will be destroyed and the family members will meet difficult circumstances in sleeping, cooking and so on. I can not go to work or do any thing for family’s income because the conflict happens and they worry much about losing the piece of land and houses, so family’s income crisis emerge among the citizens living.
Because family income is not enough for guarantee the family’s living, some members of the some families go away to earn money to support the family at other provinces or towns. Then the family also loses the happiness and the solidarity of the family also runs away. When the family remove to another location, it is very difficult for the family’s members because they are difficult to transport their property. The citizens have the psychological ill (mental ill) in their lives. Cambodia economic land concession impact on the human right which the citizens have right to locate the residence in right place in the country.
We can not consider that this kind of this development will guarantee the family’s love or values. What they used to have, now they lose everything even the small income that they earn everyday. They have to start to build their house again and sometimes they do not have enough to build even a small cottage for temporary shelter.
From day to another, people live in suffering in Cambodia society because of poverty in which government goal is to develop the country by do the privatization as economic land concession to private company. After the individual and family have the strong impact from the economic land concession, the whole Cambodia society also impacts from this government policy. People who impact from the area of economic land concession never live happily because they worry of losing their land and they go to ask for help from national and international organizations. When they are busy with land conflict with local authority, their work will postpone for a while.
Moreover, after they move to the new area which the governments provide them, their children can not attend school. They will be ignorant and illiteracy and in the future they will not become the Cambodia human resource to help Cambodia government to develop the country and sometimes they become thieves, robbers, gangsters, beggars that make the society disorder. They also become useless people.
Ensure that all new economic land concession, including those that do not exceed1,000 hectares, comply fully with provision of the Land Law and Sub-Degree on Economic Land Concession. In particular, ensure that public consultations and genuine environmental and social impact assessments are conducted prior to granting concessions, with the effective participation of local populations.
Review all existing economic land concession for compliance with the Land Law, Sub-Degree on Economic Land Concessions and concession contracts, and ensure they do not encroach upon land possessed and used by communities, including forests areas.
Cancel economic land concession that do not comply with the provisions of the Land Law and Sub-Degree on Economic Land Concession, and reduce concessions that exceed 1,000 hectares. The law framework enforcement and the law promulgated signed by the king and enforced by Cambodia authorities should be fitted to what the laws said, if not to do so the law implementation relating land law and sub-degree cited the land concession not exceed more than 10,000 hectares to the private company can not effect to all circumstances at all.
The Cambodia government’s policies and practices on land management should contribute positively to the development of the country; they are swelling the ranks of the landless, unemployed and the poverty-stricken. The Cambodia authorities seem chronically able or willing to respect their own laws, sub-degrees and regulations, and instead are facilitating an orgy of land grabbing by powerful individuals and companies. The associated human right abuses are the most widespread seen in the modern Cambodia, ranging from forced evictions and property destruction to assault, illegal arrest and detention, and even murder shall protect from the government through land agents or local authorities in order to ensure the rights of people more effectiveness.
As we know numerous communities currently live in constant fear of eviction, of losing their home and livelihoods and sinking into the lowest levels of poverty should be intervene from the government or local agents as soon as possible they need help government relating to land issues, do not lift them more concerns or fears from the government that lease the land to private. If government still keeps silent means that the government has less capable in implementing its duty in terms of protecting the citizens’ interest.
Moreover, government need to show the responsibility to people whenever they face problems in terms of land encroachment, or grabbing etc, they will ever be unable to live unless the government protect them and ensure their right. The solution should be taken measure from the government immediately without waiting long procedure because land that state plans to grant is the state’s project or private company’s project that had passed by the state’s decision before the notice to private company.
The government behaves the poor communities are incapable of involvement in development, that is why government has represented before those citizens when the government is necessary to lease the land to private, guaranteeing that without confiscate, if they do not , should be fair compensate as free market process. Cambodia communities are fully able to effectively manage their own land, and even enter into innovative partnership with big business to bring income and development.
If the government is truly concerned for alleviation of poverty then it needs to take immediate action and working in partnership with its citizens and with the support from the international communities. It is the time for Cambodia government to face up with the reality of development in Cambodia rather than keep silent and the government have to start measure the problems while the people conduct the demonstration.
After we look for the Cambodia government for help these problems, we are also looking for national and international organizations for helping our dangerous and impact people with the economic land concession law and sub-degree on economic land concession. However, the community members and non-governmental organizations raising concerns about the impacts of economic land concession in which have faced restrictions on their freedom of movement and assembly and also have pressure from companies and local authorities.
The majority voice of national and international organizations can be effective procedure to counter to private or negotiate with government fast and confidentially, especially, when people want to discuss land issues or their own losing land with local authorities, it can balance between villagers and authorities.
Most people in Cambodia, now they would like to go the NGOs more than go to local authorities, calling for help. They think NGOs take action faster and effectively than local authorities. To solve this economic land concession issue is required the national and international organizations to participate because those natural persons also have more skill and high knowledge to distinguish the problems with diverse option to reach the solution.
As a result, NGOs are the key actors after the government to involve with economic land concessions in Cambodia more efficiency and effectiveness as a whole and that is why NGOs assist the granting of economic land concessions affected poor people as Cambodia is a developing country.
After we can see the useful positions of both organizations, both institutions should work together in the purpose of helping Cambodia citizens in the economic land concession issues in which it is the Cambodia government policy in doing the privatizations of the state public lands into the private companies in the purpose of developing the country.
For a last few years, Cambodia has enjoyed the rapid economic growth and a reduction in overall levels of poverty, but the benefits of this growth have not been shared equitably among Cambodia citizens. Disparities in income and access to opportunities have increased, particularly both in urban and rural areas. As we know all above factors are the causes of poverty in Cambodia. If the Cambodia government still continues to grant state public land concession to the private company as the behavior in the realm of economic land concession have had disastrous effects on the poor, it may lead to the part of make Cambodia a failed nation with widespread civil disorder.
Even though, Cambodia government know the state budget income is from the part of economic land concession, it still causes to another sector that government wishes to reduce is poverty policy reduction. When the citizens are removed to another area in which causes them to live no home, electricity, market, especially, they have no income for survival that they used to get.
Land and natural resources in Cambodia must be managed for the benefit of all Cambodians, in accordance with the law and Cambodia government commitments under international human right treaties and special protection is required both rural and urban area for the land and traditional ways of life of indigenous communities.
Because of land concession that Cambodia still has conflict between citizens and authorities or citizens and private companies, in which Cambodians are evacuated from one place to another by force or compensation. While the Cambodia land has rapid price in the market, Cambodia government issues the land policy to the private companies to occupy the state public land.
Development is a people centered process that encompasses economic, social and cultural well-being. It must benefit the population as a whole, and people must be involved in decision-making about their lands and livelihoods. The participation of affected communities would assist in sharing the benefits of Cambodia’s land and natural resources, and reducing the negative impact of economic land concession on Cambodia society.
All in all, economic land concession mostly impact poor Cambodians in which they are removed to live in the place without market, school, infrastructure and electricity and clean water, so in order to rid up with these problems Cambodia government has to build those things for those people to guarantee their living in the near future. Moreover, they should be protected from the right to life, shelter and getting all sharing natural resources from the government. The government should not think only the benefits of a group or individuals. The Cambodia should implement the land and share the benefits to all Cambodian.
The following recommendation are proposed to address the negative impact of the economic land concession, respect and uphold the rights of Cambodia citizens, and promote the equitable and stainable use of Cambodia land and natural resources both urban and rural areas. We know it is right for the government urbanizes the city’s size, but the government also has to implement of legal framework include:
Ø Ensure that all new economic land concession, including those that do not exceed 1,000 hectares, comply fully with the provision of the Land Law and Sub-degree on Economic Land Concession. In particular, ensure that public consultations and genuine environment and social impact assessments are conducted prior to granting concessions, and with the effective participation of local population.
Ø Review all existing economic land concession for compliance with the land law, sub-degree on economic land concession and concession contracts, and ensure they do not encroach upon land possessed and used by communities including forest areas and lakes.
Ø Cancel economic land concession that do not comply with the provision of the land law and sub-degree on economic land concession, and reduce concession that exceeds 10,000 hectares.
Ø Assist indigenous communities do demarcate their traditional lands for registration, and provide preliminary recognition of this land pending the registration of indigenous communities as legal entities and of collective title.
Ø Publish information on all economic land concessions granted and proposals under consideration, including concessions not exceeding 1,000 hectares. Information should include location, size, use and status of concession, and compliances with the requirements of the Sub-degree on Economic Land Concessions. This information should be made available at all local levels.
Ø The government has to develop that area first before removing citizens to live and ensure that the citizens will get a lot of benefits from that development.
Ø Assist families in rural communities to register their interests as the land in the Land Law and the people who live on the state public land should be shared or given the another official land.
1. HARMFUL EFFECTS OF ECONOMIC LAND CONCESSION ON POOR CAMBODIA, A LICADHO Briefing Paper, November 2005.
2. LAND GRABBING AND POVERTY IN CAMBODIA: THE MYTH OF DEVELOPMENT, A LICADHO Report, May 2009.
3. Dey Krahorm Community Land Case Explained, LICADHO/ LICADHO Canada, January 2008.
4. Land Law of Cambodia 2001.
5. Sub-degree on Economic Land Concession of Cambodia 2005
6. Land Reform in Cambodia, Sovann SAR, Cambodia, H.E. Sar Sovann Director General / Project Director, LASSP General of the General Department of Cadastre and Geography (GDCG) Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC), Phnom Penh, CAMBODIA Tel. +855 12 255123 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
7. Declaration of the Royal Government on Land Policy, Royal Government N°. 27, July 1, 2009,
8. 2004 International Monetary Fund, Cambodia: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Progress Report, October 2004 IMF Country Report No. 04/333,
9. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN CAMBODIA, NGO Forum on Cambodia, April 2006
10. OHCHR, Economic land concessions in Cambodia A human rights perspective, June 2007;
11. OHCHR, A human rights perspective on Economic and other land Concession in Cambodia, February, 2007