Coalition Calls on UN Expert to Investigate Claims of State-Backed Land Grabs in Cambodia

A global coalition of grassroots groups of small food producers and food sovereignty advocates has called on a United Nations expert to probe allegations of state-perpetrated land grabs in Cambodia ahead of an upcoming review of the human rights situation in the country.

In a statement issued over the weekend, the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) urged the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia Rhona Smith to investigate after more than 1,000 people from around the country gathered to submit their land dispute claims to various government agencies in the capital Phnom Penh on Nov. 6, but were blocked by authorities.

“We are enraged that people were denied their rights to freely express, assemble, and raise their grievances to the government,” PCFS’ global chairperson Sylvia Mallari said of the gathering’s organizers, who were led by PCFS member group Coalition of Cambodian Farmers Community (CCFC).

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