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What?

The Community Trainings and Hearings Project is a resolution driven Project which seeks to empower marginalized rural and urban communities involved in land conflicts throughout Cambodia. Through Community Training, CCHR provides trusted community activists with training on land law, human rights and advocacy. Community Training is conducted before Community Hearings – public forums where the entire community is invited to address their concerns to invited guest speakers who generally include parliamentarians, members of the local authority and alleged perpetrators.

The Project is based on the premise that communities should be empowered to drive the changes they want to see and to achieve the resolutions they see as necessary in the cases that affect their lives. Through Community Training, CCHR seeks to provide sufficient knowledge of key issues to trusted members of communities affected by land conflicts. The Project has at its heart a desire to achieve openness and transparency in Cambodia, the Community Hearings provide members of the target communities with a rare experience of a democratic process and a rare opportunity to directly address elected and other officials.

Why?

In recent years the global increase in land prices has given rise to widespread and systematic violations of land rights in Cambodia. Since 1990, in Phnom Penh alone 133,000 people - 11% of the city’s population - have been evicted while in 2009, at least 26 evictions displaced approximately 27,000 people in what the European Parliament has described as a brutal policy of land-grabbing.  The mass evictions have facilitated the wide scale transfer of land from poor and marginalized groups to a small political and economic elite. In 2008 it was estimated that 40% of Cambodia’s poor occupy 10% of the land area of the country while a single company, owned by the wife of a CPP senator, owns 7.4% .The endemic violations of land rights are facilitated and often furthered by a judiciary which is open to political and economic influence.

By empowering communities, CCHR seeks to ensure that they are capable of peacefully resisting violations of their human rights – whether by preventing an eviction from going ahead or by ensuring that they are compensated fairly as required by the land law of Cambodia. The Community Hearing provides communities with a dispute resolution mechanism that is alternative to the courts which so often side with the same political and economic elite that are invariably behind evictions.

How?

The Project aims to develop the capacity of marginalized and vulnerable rural and urban committees so they are able to advocate and defend their rights through:

  • The transfer of skills and knowledge to marginalised urban and rural groups facing the prospect of eviction, loss of livelihoods and/or human rights violations
  • The creation of safe public space for the resolution of land conflicts and human rights violations
  • Advocating for policy and structural changes to provide land security and tenure for vulnerable and marginalized  groups

Who?

The Project target beneficiaries are marginalized rural and urban communities throughout the Kingdom of Cambodia who are involved in land conflicts or who are facing the prospect of eviction.

 

 
 
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