Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Landmark report detailing life for indigenous peoples issued

Landmark report detailing life for indigenous peoples issued

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Indigenous people in Mondulkiri province celebrating International Day of Indigenous people in 2020. SUPPLIED

Landmark report detailing life for indigenous peoples issued

The ministries of Planning and Rural Development and the Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Alliance (CIPA) on November 4 jointly organised an online conference to announce their joint report on the demographic and socio-economic realities of the indigenous peoples in the country.

The report offers detailed information on the living conditions and specific challenges faced by indigenous Cambodians.

Minister of Planning Chhay Thorn said at the meeting that the purpose of the report was to use it as a basis for directing indigenous peoples’ development plans and focuses for research.

He said this was a great achievement that came from the excellent cooperative efforts between Cambodia’s state institutions, development partners and indigenous communities.

Thorn said the status of indigenous peoples in Cambodia is determined by their use of indigenous languages. There are 22 indigenous tribes in Cambodia with a total population of 183,831 people in 2013, or 1.25 per cent of Cambodia’s total population of around 16 million.

According to Thorn, only six of the 22 tribes have more than 10,000 members in them: Tampuan, Bunong, Kouy, Jaray and Prov. They account for 88 per cent of the indigenous population on their own.

“Currently, indigenous peoples live in the capital and across all provinces, but the vast majority of them actually live in just six provinces: Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Kratie, Stung Treng, Kampong Thom and Preah Vihear, which together had 92.4 per cent of all indigenous peoples living there in 2013,” he said.

Chea Chantum, secretary-general of the planning ministry’s General Secretariat for Population and Development, detailed some of the contents of the report.

“The report on the demographic and socio-economic status of indigenous peoples in Cambodia has five chapters – Chapter 1: Introduction, Chapter 2: Demographic Status, Chapter 3: Socio-Economic Situation; Chapter 4: Housing, Land and Collective Ownership; and Chapter 5: Conclusion,” he said.

According to Chantum, population and development issues are intertwined and supportive of each other.

Problems of demographic change and population dynamics have been persistent, such as the reproductive health challenges of adolescents and girls, the aging population, the relentless rise of migrants, and rapid urbanisation, with a labour-intensive but unskilled or low-skilled workforce and uncertain environment.

“These problems, if we don’t intervene timely or on target, will be a serious burden on the government and ultimately cause a crisis for society. But if we intervene properly and in time, it will turn out to be a great opportunity to boost the country’s economic growth and development and especially to take advantage of the demographic dividends that Cambodia is experiencing,” he said.

Pheap Sochea, acting executive director of Cambodia Indigenous People, also said this report is the only national data compiled in Cambodian history for supporting the development of indigenous peoples in Cambodia as of 2021.

“The report is based on scientific data and in line with our spirit, aspirations and needs, challenges in development and conservation and it accurately portrays the social, economic and cultural conditions indigenous people live under,” he said.

According to Sochea, the use of this national report will help promote national planning, policy formulation and the development of conservation projects to promote the economic, social and cultural development of indigenous peoples, which will be focused primarily on poverty reduction measures.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,