Stop Evictions: Boeung Chhouk A community should not be evicted during the Covid-19 Pandemic

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Khan Russey Keo authorities forcibly evicted 20 households of Boeung Chhouk A community, located on Street 598, in Group III, Boeung Chhouk Village, Sangkat Kilometer 6, Khan Russey Keo, Phnom Penh, claiming that the land was to be used for public development. As of 4 August 2021, 11 of the 20 houses were demolished without compensation. The local authorities promised each of the households 500,000 Riel (approximately USD $125) which they have yet to receive.

Khan Russey Keo authorities invited all 20 households for a meeting on 28 August 2020, to discuss the compensation in the form of plots of land to be provided to the affected community members. According to a community representative, Khan Russey Keo authorities promised to provide each affected household a 4m by 15m plot of land located along O Veng Cannal in Khan Russey Keo. At the time, all 20 households accepted the offer, but they have yet to see these promised plots.

A community representative said that “It is difficult now because we did not receive proper compensation. For now, some families are living with their relatives, or renting houses and one family has nowhere to go so they are living here in a tent.”

In relation to the process of relocating this poor community, the Phnom Penh Municipality and all authorities should respect, protect and fulfill the rights of the people to adequate housing and an adequate standard of living. The United Nations “Guidelines on Evictions and Resettlement” should be implemented effectively by ensuring that a solution is reached using a participatory approach that involves the community. In addition, the authorities should resolve these issues in peaceful way by providing adequate and equitable compensation to the remaining families and to continue to support the families who have been relocated by providing public services such as water, electricity, roads, as well as employment opportunities or social protection if they are not able to find work.

 

 

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