Continued threats are being made against the Venerable Loun Sovath by the national and local authorities and by the Buddhist “sangha”. Threatened with arrest and refused entry to his own pagoda and others around Phnom Penh, Loun Sovath is being forced to live in hiding as a result of trying to provide a voice for innocent people who are subjected to severe human rights abuses – in violation of his right to freedom of expression as enshrined in domestic and international law.
Recent moves to block certain websites reflects the inability of the Royal Government of Cambodia (the “RGC”) to accept any criticism, however constructive, and heralds the extension of government censorship to the Internet. These reported attempts at censorship confirm the RGC’s commitment to controlling new media just as it now controls traditional media.
"Main objectives and activities of the Project The Network Project seeks to empower and link Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to
promote and protect human rights through the following four steps:
Creation: The creation of a network that will naturally link
CBOs and communities through various initiatives in the project. Identification: Identifying and meeting with potential
network participants to outline the benefits of the network. Empowerment: Empowering the target beneficiaries through capacity building and the transfer of skills and knowledge. Participation: CBOs will be provided access to a small grant scheme to support training, public forums, marches and gatherings."
This factsheet provides an overview of CCHR’s key concerns and recommendations relating to the Law as per the latest draft of 25 March 2011, in addition to some background information relating to the rationale behind the Law and the consultation process to date.
( May-2011 / SAMAKUM TEANG TNAUT )
"Case Study: *1990 Wat Sarawan relocation:
In 1990-96, a joint project of the Municipality of Phnom Penh and the Irish NGO Concern relocated 570 families, most of them living in Wat Sarawan, to a site 15km from the city near the Kop Sreou dike. Reports show that despite spending nearly 1million US$, the project struggled with many of the typical problems associated with relocation including limited involvement of communities in decision making, planning and implementation. In 1999, it emerged that few of the original settlers remained on the land with many houses abandoned and infrastructure in poor condition through lack of maintenance and/or repeated flooding .The problems were further compounded in 2001 when 329 of the remaining families were relocated again."
( November-2010 / SAMAKUM TEANG TNAUT )
"Over the past ten years, 130,000 families living in Phnom Penh have been evicted and relocated to the outskirts of the city. While people of all ages have been moved to resettlement sites, many of those severely affected are children and young people. Being displaced is a traumatic experience, intimidation and violence sometimes accompany the process, but almost everyone affected endures mental stress and the physical impacts of being removed from their work, social environment, and community contacts. Living outside the city is harder. There are less jobs and opportunities to earn money, and the men are often forced to seek new work in new locations that separates them from the family. This makes the situation harder for women and children who find themselves alone in entirely new surroundings, often lacking basic access to clean water let alone electricity and other services such as schools, health centre and Wats. Young people often also have to leave their school and friends behind. Some never return to school forced instead to take up work to complement their family’s income.”
( 15-August-2010 / CCHR )
This Factsheet accompanied the launch the findings of a study into land conflicts in Cambodia on the Cambodian Human Rights Portal, www.sithi.org.
This research snapshot presents the findings of a recently completed study of garment factories in and around Phnom Penh, covering both the export and subcontracting sectors. The study, which was conducted
through face-to-face interviews, asked the managers of 66 factories a range of questions covering their business operations, factory level impacts during the downturn, response measures adopted, and perceptions of the future.
( December-2009 / SAMAKUM TEANG TNAUT )
"This survey reveals that the past ten years has seen a major shift of urban poor settlements from the inner to the outer Khans(districts) of Phnom Penh. The shift in the past 6 years has been particularly marked. Some commentators link this development to successful Government policies in poverty reduction. Others however highlight the displacement of over 100,000 residents since 2000 (source: Facts & Figures 11, published April 2009 by STT)."
( December-2009 / SAMAKUM TEANG TNAUT )
"In February 2007, the Municipality of Phnom Penh granted a 99-year lease to the private developer Shukaku
Inc. for 133 hectares of prime city-centre real estate in the capital’s Daun Penh district. The area included
Boeung Kok lake, one of the few remaining natural lakes in the city, and home to some 20,000 people.
Shukaku Inc. reportedly paid US$79 million for the land.
Soon after, the company poisoned the morning glory many of the residents were growing on the lake as their
livelihoods. In August 2008, the Government changed the status of the land from state public to state private
land. Adequate reasons for this change of status were not provided and the change in fact rendered the
Shukaku lease null and void. Within days filling of the lake began – using sand drawn up from the Mekong.
Residents were given three options: cash compensation of US$8500, a plot in Damnak Troyung relocation
site along with US$500 cash, or on-site re-development, but only after five years of temporary residence in
a relocation site. Despite intimidation and violence against them, the residents protested. They appealed
to to local courts, the government, the company, the Prime Minister, and even UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-Moon. Nothing worked. With increasingly flooded and uninhabitable homes, more and more residents
started succumbing to the pressure. In most cases, they left poorer futures having signed away land and
property worth tens of thousands of dollars for US$8000 and some transportation costs. This publication
documents some of the (former) residents stories."