As of the end of 2021, the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction had issued more than six million land titles. More than 500,000 other titles are planned for 2022, which will complete all of the estimated seven million required across the Kingdom.

According to a report by the ministry, 333,363 land titles were issued and 255,547 of them were handed to people in 2021 alone. Since the beginning of the process, a total of 6,415,311 titles had been issued, equal to 91.6 per cent of the total estimated seven million land plots.

The achievement surpassed the 90 per cent target set by the ministry for 2021.

The ministry told the land management department to continue their work of registering the more than 500,000 remaining land plots by making public announcements and registering the land to people, in order to complete it by year’s end.

The ministry also received 165 complaints of land disputes, of which 57 cases were successfully solved, 54 rejected for irrelevance, and 28 withdrawn by complainants.

From 2003 to 2021, a total of 9,126 complaints had been received through district land management committees, with 8,348 of the cases being concluded successfully.

Soeung Sen Karuna, spokesperson for rights group Adhoc, said land disputes in some areas had come about because the titles had taken a long time to be issued. Therefore, it would be best if the ministry could issue all land titles to the rightful owners and resolve long-standing disputes. This would reduce the costs being accrued year after year by those involved in disputes.

“Some blocks of land were granted to the people living on them by Prime Minister [Hun Sen], and some state land was to be given to the people. In some cases, these people have not yet received the titles that confirm their ownership,” he said.

Sen Karuna urged the ministry to speed up the issuance of titles, so that the people involved could begin to use the land to earn their livings.

Land management ministry spokesman Seng Loth could not be reached for comment on January 27.

Authorities in Kampong Speu province said on January 26 that they had always encouraged their officials to solve disputes and provide land to the people, in line with the prime minister’s instructions. However, state land that was encroached upon must be taken back, he said.