Improving Rights to Land

Improving Rights to Land, Pineeh Pinooh #2

Seven land dispute cases were shared by villagers during the workshop. Photo: Asisah Man/Oxfam

"While people enjoy their rights to land and natural resources, they must follow the rule of law”
H.E. Sou Serey
Deputy Governor, Preah Vihear province

Over one hundred participants from our sub-national provincial teams, including the Deputy Provincial Governor, police and armed forces officials, local NGOs and local communities came together in a workshop on “Improving Rights to Land and Natural Resources and Law Enforcement” in late November in Preah Vihear province.

The workshop was organized by the Cambodia Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Development and Partnership in Action (DPA), Building Community Voices (BCV) and Oxfam. The objective was to improve knowledge on land governance, increase collaboration between the authorities and communities in land conflict situations and provide a space for affected communities to raise their concerns over land conflict and seek a better way of working.

Land is the most important asset of the poor. It serves as their key means of meeting their food and income needs.

H.E. Sou Serey, Deputy Governor of Preah Vihear Province, said, “In Cambodia, there are laws and regulations supporting the rights to land and natural resources of local communities. While people enjoy their rights to land and natural resources, they must follow the rule of law.”

Speakers from the provincial court, specialized departments and lawyers shared information about the land dispute resolution mechanisms that have been slated for implementation at all levels and encouraged all disputing parties to register their complaints with the authorities so that the next steps can be effectively identified.

Seven existing cases relating to land and natural resources conflicts were reported by community representatives during the workshop and brought to the attention of the authorities for their intervention to reach a fair and just resolution. Even though none of those cases were settled during the workshop, it was a great move for all stakeholders to move on to the next actions based on their respective role, duties and authority.