Forced Evictions Condemned by European Union

The European Parliament has condemned the January forced eviction of Phnom Penh’s Dey Krahorm community and urged the Cambodian government to comply with international standards and stop evictions.

In a letter sent to the Cambodian Ambassador to the EU, Saphoeun Sun, the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights expressed concern over the lack of legal protection from forced evictions and lack of proper financial compensation for evicted families.

“Cambodia has an obligation to refrain from, and protect against, forced evictions from home(s) and land…. I would like to call on the Cambodian Government to comply with international standards, to strengthen the legal framework …and to guarantee due compensation to those affected,” said the letter signed by Helene Flautre, chairman of the EU Committee on For-eign Affairs’ subcommittee.

“Cambodian civil society has raised concerns on the systematic forced evictions…as the populations affected have no opportunity for genuine participation and consultation beforehand,” the letter continued.

Since the violent evictions of more than 150 families in Dey Krahorm, community representatives and rights groups have been demanding that 7NG, the private developer that now controls the land, pay adequate compensation.

Shortly after the evictions 7NG withdrew their compensation offer of $20,000 in cash, and villagers could choose only to accept housing offered in Dangkao district on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, or walk away empty-handed.

7NG representative Chheang Bona could not be reached for comment.

According to Dey Krahorm representative Chan Vichet, most of the evicted families have accepted housing because it was their only option, but 28 families are still asking for cash compensation.

“I hope the company will give compensation for all families who demand it,” he said Monday.

Municipal Deputy Governor Mann Chhoeun said he was un-aware of the EU letter and could not comment on its content or the situation of the families without speaking to Municipal Governor Kep Chuktema. Kep Chuktema could not be reached for comment.

The violent evictions of Dey Krahorm sent chills through other communities living under the threat of forced eviction, such as Tonle Bassac commune’s Group 78, Tuol Kok’s Community B and approximately 4,000 families living in the Boeng Kak lake area.

At least 150,000 Cambodians live under threat of eviction, and more than 40,000 people have been evicted in Phnom Penh during the past decade, according to Amnesty International.




Related Stories

Latest News