Boeung Kak Land Titles Mark a Positive Development for Housing Rights in Cambodia
Phnom Penh, December 12, 2011 - Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF) and Bridges Across Borders Cambodia (BABC) sincerely welcomed the delivery of the first batch of land titles to residents of Boeung Kak Lake on Saturday.
Land titles were reportedly distributed to 254 Boeung Kak households by Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema on September 10th, coinciding with International Human Rights Day.
We recognize that the Royal Cambodian Government took a significant positive step towards resolving one of the country’s most contentious land disputes when Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a sub-decree on August 11th that returns 12.44 hectares of land - previously granted to Shukaku Inc. - to its rightful owners. The distribution of the first batch of land titles marked another significant milestone and it deserves our recognition.
“When the authorities take action to protect people’s right to property and adequate housing, we are very happy to acknowledge it,” said Sia Phearum, Secretariat Director for HRTF. “The Prime Minister’s sub-decree was a courageous decision and we are pleased to see the authorities beginning to implement it,” he added.
“This means that these families will now be able to go on with their lives without fear of losing their homes. It means that they will be able to contribute to and benefit from the development of the country,” said Eang Vuthy, Program Manager of BABC. “We hope that the authorities will give all the remaining families this security,” he added.
HRTF and BABC remain concerned about the Boeung Kak families who have been excluded from the entitlements granted under the sub-decree. We urge the authorities and the Shukaku Erdos Hung Jun Property Development company to include those who want to remain onsite in the 12.44 hectare zone or negotiate an alternative agreement with them that fully respects their rights.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Sia Phearum, HRTF Secretariat Director - 012 852 325
Mr. Eang Vuthy, BABC Program Manager - 012 791 700