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Mass Development Fuels Land Disputes in Cambodia

A recent Human Rights Watch’s report (2006) indicates that land grabbing and land disputes have been on the rise, and these cases have become more violent in Cambodia.

As such, the Cambodia Center for Human Rights (CCHR), who has received loads of complaints from people across the provinces, wants the government to take immediate measures to curb these problems.

In his letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen, CCHR's director Kem Sokha says that the government should take immediate actions to enforce anti-grabbing laws, which hopes to respect the rights of the economically disadvantaged people of Cambodia.

He says that private companies are increasingly violating laws that govern the Cambodian government's concession land decrees. “The law states that investment companies are only to have 10,000 hectares of economic concession land”, said Kem Sokha.

In practice, many of these companies are allowed to own more land than the law intended them to have, and as government spokesman Khieu Kanharith explains it, “economic developments are inevitable, because its purpose is to bring income back to the people.”