The European Union (EU) said this week that it has hired a pair of consultants to help the government design a system for compensating the thousands of families believed to have had their homes or farms illegally confiscated by the country’s private sugar plantations.
The E.U., which imports the vast majority of Cambodia’s sugar exports—and all of it duty free—has been in talks with the government for about a year hoping to convince the state to provide the families evicted by the plantations the compensation they deserve.
They soon differed on how many families deserved compensation, however, and realized as far back as February that they would need outside help.
The E.U. began advertising for two consultants in November and confirmed this week that they had been hired and would likely make their first visit to Cambodia next month. It has not yet responded to requests for additional information about who the consultants are.
According to a copy of the project’s terms of reference, the consultants will help the government assess valid claims of confiscated land and ensure redress.
“The end result should be the restoration of, at least, pre-project living standards and income levels for those found to have legitimate grievances,” it says.
Their work is expected to last about four months.