Forced Relocation in Cambodia

Authored by: Jessie Connell , Mark Grimsditch

The Handbook of Contemporary Cambodia

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138831186
eBook ISBN: 9781315736709
Adobe ISBN: 9781317567837


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Forced community relocations have increased in Cambodia over the past 15 years in order to make way for public infrastructure projects, urban beautification, private development and land speculation (NGO Forum on Cambodia 2014). Although Cambodia has a land registration program, which has issued titles to several million households, weak dispute resolution mechanisms and exclusions from the system leave many exposed to chronic tenure insecurity (Grimsditch et al. 2012). This is exacerbated by limited transparency and accountability in urban planning decisions. NGOs play important roles in publicizing and documenting the poor treatment of displaced people and the absence of clear legal protections and processes. 1 Relocations are not only an “urban” phenomenon, but are inherently bound up in Cambodia’s uneven economic development, efforts to attract foreign and private investment, and ongoing struggles over natural resources, private land ownership, and enjoyment of public space (Springer 2015).

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