Several hundred demonstrators yesterday marked World Habitat Day by gathering at the National Assembly to submit a petition calling on the government to halt forced evictions and guarantee housing rights.
In the document, representatives of more than 20 communities affected by land disputes in Phnom Penh and the provinces urged national institutions “to achieve universal development and stop using the court system to pressure the people”.
Demonstrators were intercepted by authorities before they could submit the petition at other government institutions, but officials representing the ministries of Interior, Land Management and Urban Planning as well as City Hall collected the document at the National Assembly.
Ouch Sotha, deputy secretary at the Ministry of Land Management, said he would forward the petition to leaders and seek a solution.
Wan-Hea Lee, Cambodia representative of the UNHCHR, yesterday echoed concerns voiced in the petition saying the threats of forced evictions “undermine basic notions of human rights, sustainable development and social justice”.