Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Land disputes increase: report

Land disputes increase: report

NGO Forum Executive Director Tek Vannara speaks about a report on the Kingdom’s land disputes yesterday in Phnom Penh.
NGO Forum Executive Director Tek Vannara speaks about a report on the Kingdom’s land disputes yesterday in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Land disputes increase: report

There were 56 new land disputes across the country last year, adding to 314 unresolved case at the end of 2015, a report issued yesterday by the NGO Forum on Cambodia says, marking the highest number of new cases since the group started monitoring in 2007.

The NGO Forum report was launched yesterday in Phnom Penh and shows that the closest to 2016’s bumper year for new disputes was 2012, when 46 new disputes were registered.

Last year’s figure is also a large leap from 2015, which saw only 23 cases. “This is because development activity around Phnom Penh has increased, and other areas where land has been given to foreign companies for agricultural purposes,”said Tek Vannara, the executive director of NGO Forum, which is a coalition of groups.

The report also says that only 58 pre-existing disputes were resolved in 2016, far lower than each of the preceding four years except for 2015, when only 21 cases were resolved. The low number of resolutions came even as the other 314 unresolved cases affected more than 54,000 households, and covered over a million hectares, it says.

Vong Kosal, NGO Forum’s land safety coordinator, said authorities had been slow in solving cases because they did not want to become involved in disputes. “The authorities do not have the will to solve the problem for the people,” Kosal said. “The land grabbers are powerful and rich, and the land disputes are political, so the solution is postponed.”

Am Sam Ath, head of monitoting at rights group Licadho, which is part of the NGO Forum, said the high new number of cases showed the urgency of dealing with land disputes. “They [the affected] need to earn a living, and when their land is being exploited they have no time to think about their jobs.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Textile industry minimum wage now $200

    The official minimum wage for workers in textile-related sectors including garment, footwear, and travel goods for 2023 was pegged at $198, with Prime Minister Hun Sen stepping in to add $2 to the total, making it $200 per month. The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training made the announcement