Make Phnom Penh an Eviction Free Zone!
Over the past two decades, over ten percent of the Phnom Penh’s population has been displaced, often for poorer futures. These World Habitat Days, join us in calling on Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema to end forced evictions and declare Phnom Penh an Eviction Free Zone . The last day to sign the petition is November 1 2011.
Over ten percent of Phnom Penh’s inhabitants have been displaced in the past two decades. As land prices have soared, 150,000 people have found themselves without home, many of them coerced and intimidated into leaving, others traumatised by having watched their homes and belongings destroyed by excavators.
While residents have been forcibly evicted, rich and powerful indviduals and companies have taken their land.
In January 2009, Dey Krohorm community was violently evicted by the 7NG company. Today, their land is a football pitch administered by the company.
The ongoing eviction of the residents of Boeung Kak lake is another case in point. Backed by Chinese company Inner Mongolian Erdos Hongjun Investment Company and headed by leading Cambodian People’s Party senator Lao Meng Khin, Shukaku Inc. has for the past three years literally flooded thousands of families out of their homes by filling in the lake around which they used to live.
The residents of Boeung Kak are not only victims of a land grab. In March 2011 the Inspection Panel of the World Bank issued a report stating that the poor design of a Bank-supported land titling project had contributed to the forced eviction the Boeung Kak Lake residents. The Bank has since suspended all funding to Cambodia.
Now, some 1,000 families remain in Boeung Kak. Led by a courageous group of women, they continue fighting for their right to stay in the face of threats and intimidation.
The Petition to Make Phnom Penh an Eviction Free Zone is an effort to support the Boeung Kak community. In addition, it is an acknowledgment that over a hundred other communities in Phnom Penh are also under threat of eviction. Without local and global action, they too will lose their land and homes.
Communities in Phnom Penh have already rallied around the message of the petition, which was originally devised by the Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF). Together with IAI, we are now calling on international actors to sign the petition in solidarity with the communities, thus also putting further pressure on Municipality of Phnom Penh to act.
Following a successful World Habitat Day solidarity event on Oct. 22, we plan to deliver the petition on Tuesday, Nov. 2. The date has been chosen immediately following the conclusion of the 2011 World Habitat Days to coincide with the general global campaign and thus gain from its momentum, and because Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 are national holidays in Cambodia.
The last day to sign the petition is hence Nov. 1
The Petition can be signed by clicking here