Reports

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This report is a continuation of STT’s previous study on the state of Phnom Penh’s urban poor settlements published in Read more
As of July 2023, Boeung Tamok or Boeung Kob Srov, a lake that was designated as public state property by Read more
The Identification of Poor Household Program is one of Cambodia's first social protection mechanisms. It allows individuals to access services Read more
Today, Cambodians use social media such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram, as well as other networks and applications for entertainment, Read more
A new research study by Sahmakum Teang Tnaut titled “COVID-19 and the help provided” assesses the Government’s actions during the Read more
23 February 2022 This report is an assessment of poverty in urban poor communities in Phnom Penh. This report has Read more
Urban poor women often lead the way towards the realization of land and housing rights for their communities. However, they Read more
COVID-19 has badly affected people's health and economies around the world. In Phnom Penh, Non-Standard Forms of Employment Workers (NSEWs) Read more
Boeung Tamok or Boeung Kobsrov is the largest natural lake in Phnom Penh, located on the northwest side of the Read more
The latest research paper Low-income rental housing in urban areas which was jointly published by the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Read more
Sorry, this entry is only available in Khmer. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in Read more
Eviction and Relocation Report
Impoverished Cambodian families continue to be evicted despite the Covid-19 pandemic making families vulnerable to sickness and extreme poverty. Following Read more
Sorry, this entry is only available in Khmer. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in Read more
Sorry, this entry is only available in Khmer. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in Read more
Sorry, this entry is only available in Khmer. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in Read more
Sorry, this entry is only available in Khmer. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in Read more
Introduction What is climate-smart design? Since more than three decade we know that human activities are affecting our climate. In Read more

THE PHNOM PENH SURVEY IN 2023: A Study on Urban Settlements in Phnom Penh

This report is a continuation of STT’s previous study on the state of Phnom Penh’s urban poor settlements published in 2017. It aims to update data on urban poor settlements, such as information on evictions, land titling, and socio-economic conditions. The survey was conducted in Phnom Penh from July 2022 to December of 2022 followed by data analysis and report formatting from January 2023 onwards. The report includes 191 settlements that are considered urban poor in the final analysis. These settlements represent 19,539 families, or 89,879 people, which equates to 3.94% of the total population of Phnom Penh.  STT also looked at secondary data, including NGO reports, government reports, academic papers, media articles and other open-source data. The report contains key findings:  

  • The number of urban poor settlements in the city has been declining from 277 in 2017 to 191 in 2023, with some locations being dissolved due to the conditions, they are no longer classified as urban poor settlements, while others have gone entirely, often due to eviction. Meanwhile, there is also an increase in communities receiving land titles. Namely, 19 communities claimed to have received land titles since 2017.  
  • A third of 191 settlements are likely to be located on state land while nearly two thirds of all settlements do not have written documentation indicating the status of the land they live on. This means that those settlements are facing risks of eviction and forced eviction because of a failure of the state in providing clarity and security of tenure to these settlements.  
  • Over a quarter of the 191 settlements are claiming to being pressured into forced evictions. At least 9 settlements were also forcibly evicted during Covid-19. A woman living in Banteay Sloek community behind Sovanna Supermarket and was forcibly evicted due to 7NG in Kandal Province on 11 July 2020. She said, “it is a cold-blooded eviction.” After the authorities came to demolish the community’s homes, they claimed that the community had already agreed to the relocation.
  • Access to drainage and ID Poor is still lacking in many settlements; however, connection to government public services such water, electricity and waste collection have improved since 2017.  
  • Finally, 26 of the 191 urban poor settlements are in debt. Some reported selling their homes due to loans. This is something that STT and other human rights organizations believe may have been done reluctantly. Falling into such debt traps has exposed settlement members to a variety of other potential human rights abuses such as land loss, homelessness, forced migration, debt bondage, child labor, and having less access to other basic needs. ” I can’t afford to pay until we sell the house,” said one interviewer.

You can find out more about our report, which can be accessed at 
You can download the report as a PDF file here! KhmerEnglish 

For further information please contact:  

Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut.
Signal: 089 666 013
Email: director@teangtnaut.org 
 

Mr. Ronan Kemp, Advisor at Sahmakum Teang Tnaut.
Signal: 081 262 799
Email: advisor@teantnaut.org 

FACTS AND FIGURES #48: Boeung Tamok: An update on the cutting of the lake

As of July 2023, Boeung Tamok or Boeung Kob Srov, a lake that was designated as public state property by Sub-Decree No. 20 on February 3, 2016 and had a total area of 3,239.7 hectares, has been transferred as private state property and handed over to private individuals and other institutions 70 times, covering a total area of 2,369.8913 hectares. This large number has made the cutting of the lake deviate from the master plan and the area of Boeung Tamok Lake is almost fully gone.

While the Law​ land​ and Law on Control, Usage and Management of State Asset state that public state property cannot be sold, exchanged, given, or conceded, the use of sub-decrees to convert public state land to private state land and hand it over to private individuals and other institutions seems to be ambiguous. The implementation of the law lacks transparency and does not provide any justification for the public.

According to the 2035 Master Plan of Phnom Penh Municipality, Boeung Tamok, was originally set to be preserved for about 2,140 hectares.

 

You can find out more about our report, which can be accessed at

You can download the report as a PDF file here! Khmer – English

For further information please contact:
Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut.
Signal
: 089 666 013
Email: director@teangtnaut.org  

Mrs. Prak Sotheary, Research Advocacy Advisor at Sahmakum Teang Tnaut.
Signal
: 012 464 500
Email: Advisor1@teantnaut.org

 

The Identification of Poor Household Program: ID poor Card on Demand for Poor Communities in Phnom Penh

The Identification of Poor Household Program is one of Cambodia’s first social protection mechanisms. It allows individuals to access services that provide the poor with public services and financial assistance. The report found that the authorities’ decision to provide ID-poor cards to some families was unclear, while some ID-poor cardholders had trouble using the card to receive free government services. Seventy-three percent of the 37 communities surveyed complained about the implementation of the Identification of Poor Households Program and the way the authorities implemented it. In addition, the communities interviewed articulated disappointment as they thought they should receive an ID Poor card:

A community member said: ID Poor cards are disseminated only to those who have friends or relatives. “Sometimes I feel frustrated with this procedure, and I always wonder why the ID poor card is given only to the rich and not to the poor.”

 

On the other hand, although some community members received ID-poor cards, some of them still have problems using the equity card services:

“Government officials who work in government hospitals are not able to talk or take care of me as the patient. They just give me the serum and leave me. They don’t seem to care much about the poor.” A Community member.

 

To find out more about this research report, please visit:

https://teangtnaut.org/report/?lang=en

You can download the report here! KhmerEnglish

For further information please contact:
Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut.
Signal
: 089 666 013
Email: director@teangtnaut.org  

Mrs. Prak Sotheary, Research Advocacy Advisor at Sahmakum Teang Tnaut.
Signal
: 012 464 500
Email: Advisor1@teantnaut.org  

FACTS AND FIGURES #47: Women in poor communities, social media, and threats

Today, Cambodians use social media such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram, as well as other networks and applications for entertainment, social networking, receiving and providing information, advertising, and for employment.  

Theuse of social media by women in poor communities is no different from that of other people. This Facts and Figures focuses on women activists or community representatives and their experience of using social media to advocate, seek and share information, manage data and ask for help during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. Information shared covered land issues, rights to land titles, infrastructure, drug use, and other topics relevant to their communities 

However, sharing information and the problems faced by these poor communities is prohibited by local authorities, which seriously affects the rights and freedoms of expression. 

 

“Around the twentieth of September 2018, while my community was celebrating World Habitat Day, I was called in and transported away from the community by the authorities for questioning regarding the celebration. When I arrived at the Sangkat office, those authorities, all of whom are men, threatened and accused me of celebrating World Habitat Day.  

Each of their actions exhibited threats, such as yelling and slamming the table. They yelled at me saying that all of my [Facebook] posts were wrong and that I should delete them as I made accusations against the government, and then slammed the table. They prohibited me from continuing any activities tarnishing the government’s reputation. They didn’t explain to me in a peaceful manner or offer any reasonable solutions. All their actions were nothing but violations of my rights and dignity.” 

Said Ming Chan 

You can find out more about our report, which can be accessed at https://teangtnaut.org/?lang=en  

You can download the report as a PDF file here! Khmer – English

For further information please contact:
Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut.
Signal
: 089 666 013
Email: director@teangtnaut.org  

Mrs. Prak Sotheary, Research Advocacy Advisor at Sahmakum Teang Tnaut.
Signal
: 012 464 500
Email: Advisor1@teantnaut.org  

FACTS AND FIGURES #46: COVID-19 and the help provided

A new research study by Sahmakum Teang Tnaut titled “COVID-19 and the help provided” assesses the Government’s actions during the COVID-19 pandemic and compares them to community requests for help. The research process consisted of interviews with 45 community members. On 28 April 2020, communities from around the country went to meet with Government officials to submit a joint request signed by 141 communities calling for help at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. Communities from around the country submitted five key requests to the Government in 2020, and this research measures the Government’s responses and actions. The 5 requests to the government are: Distribute preventative medical supplies to the most vulnerable; Ease or suspend debt to MFIs, banks, and private money-leaders; Rental suspension, and suspension of all taxes on sales; Stay at home payments; and Relocation and eviction issues.

This research finds that the Government did not respond to all the requests for help from communities. The Government reacted to help communities in some ways and did not react at all to other requests. The Government provided medical supplies to communities, offered payments, and enacted policies to reduce MFI debts. However, communities reported that the Government did not respond to requests to stop evicting communities even during a global pandemic. At least 11 communities from around Phnom Penh were evicted or issued with a notice to evict during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government did not suspend rental payments despite direct requests from 37 of the 45 communities that STT interviewed. The request was made because income for workers throughout communities had decreased or workers had lost their jobs. Many families who rented houses or areas to sell or do business had less income to pay rental fees.

Mrs. Lay Srey Met, representative of Prek Ta Kong 60m community, said:

“During the COVID-19 outbreak, my income went down because sales were not as good as before. Because there are so many difficulties in daily life. “I and all community members have submitted a request to the government, but we have not received any assistance or response from the government”

You can find out more in our report, which can be accessed at: https://teangtnaut.org/?lang=en

You can download the reports as PDF files here! Khmer – English

For further information please contact: 

Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut.

Tel: 089 666 013

Email: director@teangtnaut.org

Mrs. Prak Sotheary, Research Advocacy Advisor at Sahmakum Teang Tnaut.

Tel: 012 464 500

Email: advisor1@teangtnaut.org

 

POVERTY ASSESSMENT This new report shows that urban poor communities are facing issues that need to be addressed urgently.

23 February 2022

This report is an assessment of poverty in urban poor communities in Phnom Penh. This report has found many concerning trends with regards to land and tenure security, and access to food and public services, all of which should be addressed as a matter of urgency by local authorities, and the government. 958 households were selected for interviews for this study, which constitutes an insight into the situation of 42 urban poor communities around Phnom Penh.

One of the findings listed in this report is the worrying lack of family documentation for urban communities.  47% of respondents claimed not to have their family book at home. This is especially concerning as family books are crucial for being able to vote, or to be registered for ID poor. The ID poor system has itself been strongly criticised by community members:

‘Nearly two thirds (64%) of respondents expressed the need for further assessment to be carried out for ID Poor. Respondents stated that they believe the system has missed poor families who are eligible for ID Poor.’ (Poverty Assessment, STT) 

The absence of a family book or registration onto the ID poor system can cause risks regarding tenure security. A family book is necessary to obtain ID poor status. This is especially urgent as the report has also found that some families have faced forced evictions over the last five years. The study has found that almost 50 respondents have endured forced evictions during that timeframe.

While this report highlights ongoing issues related to evictions, the report delves deeper into the social intricacies of housing and shelter, access to healthcare, food, and electricity, family vulnerabilities, and debt. Poverty has continued to affect many urban communities throughout Phnom Penh, and this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Saran Soeung, the executive director of STT explains:

‘Urban poverty is mostly disregarded. There are many problems ranging from income insecurity, land tenure security, health care, children’s education, and sanitation. These problems seem to have been overlooked by relevant stakeholders. Communities are increasingly at risk of an extensive range of vulnerabilities.’ (Saran Soeung, Executive Director, STT)

Concerning the threat of evictions, local authorities and the government need to facilitate dialogue between urban poor communities and potential evictees. This report has shown that victims of forced evictions are typically faced with threats, intimidation, and humiliation. There needs to be community consultations, transparency, and ongoing dialogue with relevant government institutions when a big development project has the potential to cause displacement and eviction.

You can download the reports as PDF files here! Khmer – English

For further information please contact: 

Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut.

Tel: 089 666 013

Email: director@teangtnaut.org

Mrs. Prak Sotheary, Research Advocacy Advisor at Sahmakum Teang Tnaut.

Tel: 012 464 500

Email: advisor1@teangtnaut.org

Facts and Figures #45 Urban Poor Women’s Stories COVID-19 Edition

Urban poor women often lead the way towards the realization of land and housing rights for their communities. However, they face many challenges largely because they are women, a situation which has been exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This research is a continuation of the 2019 Urban Poor Women’s Stories and aims to assess the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women living in urban poor communities. Interviews were conducted with twelve women, from eight urban poor communities in Phnom Penh, facing the threat of eviction.

This report illustrates that urban poor women have faced intensified effects as a result of COVID-19, largely due to their status as women. Traditional gender roles effectively confine women to their respective homes and communities, exposing them not only to a greater risk of contracting the virus, but also to various challenges which affect their mental health. As urban poor women are primarily responsible for the everyday needs of the household, COVID-19 has increased the burden on them, and amplified their vulnerabilities. Majority of the respondents have had significant impacts on their physical and mental health as a result of food insecurity, inadequate living conditions and loss of income, which have further exacerbated their existing fears on their land tenure insecurity.

In order to build back better from the socio-economic consequences which have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic in Cambodia, social protection mechanisms and land titling should be prioritized in order to ensure the most vulnerable and marginalized populations in society are not further impoverished.

 

Noted: For those who would like a hard copy of this report, please register using the link. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1wCYA8_rJyXHbmalw2UhAouBRbeKrFUuqEBoaAlqbvMo/viewform?edit_requested=true

You can download the reports as PDF files here! KhmerEnglish
STT will prepare it for you. Thanks!

Living Condition of Non-Standard Forms of Employment Workers

COVID-19 has badly affected people’s health and economies around the world. In Phnom Penh, Non-Standard Forms of Employment Workers (NSEWs) are some of the worst affected. STT’s latest report shows that more than 70% of NSEWs lost more than half their income. However, the government has established a cash funding program which is helping people during COVID-19. But, the government should continue to provide support and to expand the support to reach more NSEWs to ensure everyone in need of support, receives relief from the effects of COVID-19.

 

 

 

You can find more information through www.teangtnaut.org

Note: For those who want to have a hard copy of this report, you can register using the link https://forms.gle/t5haVV96W7giW5me9. STT will prepare it for you.

You can download the reports as PDF files here! Khmer – English

Boeung Tamok or Boeung Kobsrov

Boeung Tamok or Boeung Kobsrov is the largest natural lake in Phnom Penh, located on the northwest side of the city, along the Win-Win Boulevard. The lake covers a total area of 3239.7 hectares, spanning 2 Khans, 6 Sangkats and 25 Phums. The lake boundary was officially demarcated in 2016, when the Royal Government of Cambodia declared Boeung Tamok Lake as state public property, consisting of a total area of 3239.7 hectares. This was later revised at least 17 times. Surrounding the lake, there are around 300 families and 1,000 people, many of whom earn a living through fishing, aquaculture farming, and home-based businesses. Most of the families live in poorly constructed, dilapidated housing, with around 30% of families living in makeshift shelters. In addition to human habitation, Boeung Tamok is also home to a vibrant and diverse ecosystem of birds and fish.

 

 

 

 

 

You can download the reports as PDF files here! Khmer – English

Contact for more information:
Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
Email: director@teangtnaut.org

Ms. Athina Wilson, Program Advisor of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
E-mail: advisor@teangtnaut.org

Press Release: A study found that the right to housing of factory workers in urban areas remains a serious challenge

The latest research paper Low-income rental housing in urban areas which was jointly published by the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU), Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL), Federation Union of Free and Independent (FUFI), and Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) found that many factory workers do not yet have access to adequate and affordable rental housing. The report also found that landlords often violate the law by increasing rental payments following factory workers receiving pay increases. 

CATU’s President Yang Sophorn provided the following: 

This research shows that factory workers, who are likely to be in rental housing because they often immigrate for work, are not receiving houses that are safe. Many respondents have been the victims of crime in their own rooms or on the streets nearby, whereas others live in small rooms with multiple people and no fire escapes or functioning locks.

Nearly a quarter of all factory workers experienced a crime near their rental houses, with one in ten experiencing crime inside their homes. Shared bathrooms without locks or lights, unlit streets and lack of fire escapes meant that factory workers are often unsafe in their own homes.

The research also found that factory workers were more likely to experience harassment from landlords when they did not have a written contract. Factory workers without written contracts experienced five times more violations, including verbal and physical threats, from their landlords, as opposed to factory workers with written rental contracts. 91% of the 150 factory workers who were interviewed did not have a written contract. 

Head of Programmes of CENTRAL, Khun Tharo noted that: 

The law for rent management was approved in 2015. This finding clearly shows the importance of a written contract as providing some protections against violations of the law. Writing of contracts doesn’t stop all violations, but the Government should require that landlords write up contracts for all renters, in order to ensure the rights of renters are protected.”

Even with the current laws in place, more than 20% of factory workers still suffered after their wage increases were followed by rent increases, which is illegal. Factory workers felt frustration as their hard-earned salary increases often ended up in the hands of landlords. This appears to be illegal under The Law on the Special Lease, but a lack of Government enforcement has meant that this practice has continued unabated. 

President of FUFI Soy Chanthou said that:

“Most workers are not satisfied with the $2 salary increase due to two factors: workers work in uncomfortable environments and the $5 rent increase, following the salary increase, is more than double the pay raise the worker has gained. In addition, we have never seen any relevant institutions come down to interview the workers’ feelings about the aforementioned. Some workers said that they do not want to receive a $ 2 wage increase because it’s less than the $5 rent increase. As a result, the salary increase has just caused more expenses to the workers.”

The report advocates for improved dissemination and enforcement of the law, minimum safety requirements for all housing, a requirement for written contracts for all rental agreements, and the provision of street lighting across the city to ensure factory workers are not exploited and are provided with houses that are safe to live in. 

You can download the reports as PDF files here! Khmer – English

 

 

For more information, please contact: 

  1. Ms. Yang Sophorn, President of CATU, 012 880 039 
  2. Mr. Khun Tharo, Head of Programmes of CENTRAL, 093 556 671
  3. Mr. Soy Chanthou, President of FUFI, 070 705 566
  4. Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of STT, 089 666 013

Suspend development projects destroying the Tompoun/Cheung Ek wetlands

New report reveals human rights abuses and environmental devastation as private developments threaten to flood Phnom Penh

27 July 2020

Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), Cambodia Youth Network (CYN), Equitable Cambodia (EC), Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)

More than one million people across Phnom Penh are facing the risk of increased flooding and over one thousand more families are at risk of evictions, loss of income and food insecurity as the ING City project and other unsustainable developments destroy the Tompoun/Cheung Ek wetlands in the capital’s south.

The research report, Smoke on the Water: A human rights and social impact assessment of the destruction of the Tompoun/Cheung Ek wetlands, has found that millions of Cambodians will likely be affected by the destruction of the Tompoun/Cheung Ek wetlands by ING Holdings and other private corporations including Chip Mong, AEON Mall, Orkide Villa, and Borey Peng Huoth. Human rights and environmental groups surveyed 469 families living in or using the wetlands area and its rivers. The resulting report sheds light on the potentially devastating impacts of destroying 1,500 hectares of wetlands that sustain local communities and play a vital role in Phnom Penh’s waste management and flood prevention.

“I think it must affect the poor people who grow vegetables and fish on the lake as we depend on the lake for our daily living.” – Community member from wetlands, May, 2020  

Without these wetlands, more than a million people in Phnom Penh will endure increased flooding. For communities downstream, the rampant private developments will result in widespread loss of livelihoods and could see more than one thousand families forced out of their homes. Large swathes of the wetlands that were previously public property, or met the criteria to be considered public property, have now been allocated to development groups because of Governmental decrees between 2017 and 2019. As a result, what was once at least 1,500 hectares of wetlands is now slated to be reduced to a mere 107 hectares in size. These wetlands serve two vital public services: alleviating flooding from Phnom Penh by storing all the city’s rainwater, and partly treating the city’s wastewater before it reaches fish stocks in the Bassac River. The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has planned to provide an expensive wastewater treatment plant that will treat less than 2% of the wastewater currently entering the wetlands on a daily basis.

Human Rights

Fundamental human rights such as the rights to adequate housing, social security, work, food, education, participation in social affairs, water and health are all under threat due to the ING City project and other developments on the wetlands. Flooding and loss of livelihoods are already widely reported across the communities surveyed. Many families reported that their primary income was based on planting crops on the wetlands, or by fishing in the area, which they will not be able to do once the wetlands are destroyed. Additionally, the right to adequate housing may be compromised as eviction is a very real possibility for the hundreds of households without land titles. Many of these families are suffering from widespread indebtedness, lack of access to the ID Poor program and an almost complete lack of community consultation by the private companies leading the development.

“The Government has the responsibility to ensure that it protects the people from human rights abuses. This report is designed to highlight the risks so that the Government can take action where appropriate now.” – Soeung Saran (STT)

Environmental degradation

Over 90% of the wetlands will be destroyed and the Bassac and Mekong rivers polluted because of these developments. Aquatic crops planted on the lake surface currently treat the capital’s wastewater before it exits the wetlands into the Bassac River. Should the wetlands be lost, wastewater will either enter the Bassac River, the Mekong River, or both, untreated, posing serious risks to fish populations and communities that depend on the river for water and food. The wetlands are home to a host of wildlife, including several threatened species. The destruction of these wetlands will put these animals, and the broader biodiversity of this area, at serious risk.

“Fish may die, birds may die, and this will of course affect other animals and humans. It is not clear what mitigations are in place to protect against this unrepairable environmental damage. Gov’t needs to ensure the laws are respected and strong environmental and social safeguards are in place. More research and public participation is required for projects like this as it will affect millions of citizen and the future of the Phnom Penh City” – Eang Vuthy (EC)

The report also finds that much of the sand used to infill the wetlands area is being dredged from the Mekong and Bassac rivers. The amount of sand required to fill in the wetlands is estimated conservatively to be 77,000,000m3, or more than 100 million tonnes. Sand dredging from the nearby rivers poses a significant risk to the environment and local populations living nearby.

Please see the websites of LICADHO, CYN, EC and STT for the full research report.

You can download the reports as PDF files here! Khmer – English

 

For media contact:


  • Am Sam Ath, Deputy Director of Monitoring of LICADHO.

Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) calls for an end to all evictions during the Covid-19 pandemic and releases new research Evictions and Relocations

 

Impoverished Cambodian families continue to be evicted despite the Covid-19 pandemic making families vulnerable to sickness and extreme poverty. Following ongoing evictions over the past three months, STT is releasing its latest report Evictions and Relocations, which examines the process of eviction and relocation in Phnom Penh up until 2019 from a human rights perspective.

Mr Soeung Saran, the Executive Director of STT, has called for an end to all evictions during the current Covid-19 pandemic:

The world is suffering because of the current pandemic and the poor people of Cambodia are some of the worst hit. Many poor families have lost jobs and have greatly decreased incomes because of Covid-19. STT calls upon the Government to show compassion and cease all evictions until the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects have completely ended. After the pandemic has ended, we ask the Government to respect the human rights of its people and to always provide consultation before evictions take place.”

The report found that most evictions were not conducted in line with human rights principles and standards outlined by the United Nations. In many cases, authorities failed to provide a reasonable notice time to communities before evictions. Other communities were targeted with violence or intimidation before or during their evictions. Overwhelmingly, evicted community respondents reported that they wanted more consultation with authorities before they were forced to leave their homes. Many respondent families were also frustrated that they were evicted on the grounds that they lived in an area illegally, but later found out that the same area or similar areas nearby were leased to a private company.

The following evictions that occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrate that the Government is continuing to evict families against human rights norms and against the explicit requests of urban poor and rural poor communities. These evictions occurred after STT’s report was finalised.

On 20 June 2020, authorities brought bulldozers to Boeung Chhouk A community. Although some community members had been consulted, 13 households had no consultation with authorities before bulldozers arrived at their homes. They were only provided with 15 days’ notice that they would be evicted, well short of the 90 days that human rights guidelines on eviction require.

On 11 June 2020, around 100 families were forcibly evicted from their houses on Boeung Tamok lake by police and Khan Prek Pnov authorities. After receiving letters to evict early in 2019, the authorities arrived in the morning without notice or consultation and began tearing down their homes. Some families’ houses were burnt down; others were demolished by chainsaws. Families from the community were aware that they were living on the lake without permission of the local authorities but said that they had nowhere else they could go. Families had primarily moved to the area to earn a living by fishing.

On 24 April 2020, authorities brought a bulldozer to a site in Boeung Samrong, where 18 families live. Families claim they have owned the land since 1979. The authorities argue that the families are claiming land that is state property, but the families say they have yet to be consulted on the situation. One farmer told STT that the “state has brought violence to us, not the other way round.”

While the report also finds some positive trends recently, such as the use of Circular 03, a directive aimed at resolving land conflicts through consultation, other evidence suggests “relocate or else” tactics are being adopted to intimidate communities into self-eviction. In some evictions, police told community members that if they did not self-evict, the police would not be responsible for the damage caused to their property.

The report recommends the Government work towards a more equitable application of the Land Law (2001), especially as it relates to state public land. Around 70% of the evictions studied had been carried out on the grounds that communities were living illegally on public property. The contradictory practice of evicting communities from public property but allowing other groups, such as companies and private individuals, to develop the same area has created a feeling of injustice among urban poor communities.

Evictions are a traumatising experience and the Covid-19 pandemic presents even greater risks to evicted families, many of whom have reported reduced incomes and job loss as major problems they are facing because of the pandemic. Eviction from their homes will only worsen their situations and could force many families into greater poverty. The Government must take action to cease all evictions during the Covid-19 pandemic and endeavour to consult with communities after the Covid-19 pandemic has ended.

You can download the reports as PDF files here! Khmer – English

 

For further information please contact:

Contact for more information:
Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
Email: director@teangtnaut.org
Mr. Isaac Daniels, Research and Advocacy Adviser of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
E-mail: advisor1@teangtnaut.org

 

 

 

THE LAST LAKES

Since 2003, developers of satellites city and gated housing communities have poured sand into the wetlands and lakes, completely in-filling over 60% of Phnom Penh’s lakes and more than 40% of Phnom Penh’s major wetland areas.

Livelihoods based on the lakes and wetlands are being eroded, with thousands of families evicted or facing the threat of it as the development projects continue to threaten houses and jobs.

The environmental implications of these trends are not yet fully known, but predictions look dire, as flooding, environmental pollution and degradation of fishing breeding grounds is expected.

This Facts & Figures provides a look at the current situation on the last key lakes and wetlands and outlines the consequences of what might happen if they are destroyed. The report finds that lakes and wetlands are in the public interest and their preservation must be taken seriously and prioritised for Phnom Penh to become an inclusive and environmentally friendly city.

You can download the reports as PDF files here! Khmer – English

Contact for more information:
Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
Email: director@teangtnaut.org
Tel: 089 666 013
Mr. Isaac Daniels, Research and Advocacy Adviser of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
E-mail: advisor1@teangtnaut.org

 

Handbook for Urban Poor Communities on Waste Management

Waste management continues to be a challenge for urban poor communities in Phnom Penh and other cities in Cambodia. Our linear economy revolves around a system of make, take, and dispose and is generating more and more waste each year. Although we should be moving away from this linear economy to a more circular one we must not ignore the fact that those at the base of the pyramid have not been provided adequate services to manage the “dispose” aspect of our linear economy.

More than one third of urban poor communities in Phnom Penh still do not receive adequate municipal waste management services. This leads to issues in a variety of areas including public health, resource management, and local waterways. Government and Non-Government actors are aware of the issues, but more can be done.

This handbook was designed not as a presentation of research or a solution for every waste management issue, but as a tool for urban poor communities in Phnom Penh. It aims to educate about waste management issues, provide a framework for communities to advocate for themselves within the system in place, and inform them on useful tips and skills for community-based waste management. With this handbook, hopefully, the challenge of waste management will become a little bit easier to overcome.

You can download the reports as PDF files here! Khmer – English

Contact for more information:
Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
Email: director@teangtnaut.org
Tel: 089 666 013
Mr. Isaac Daniels, Program Adviser of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
E-mail: advisor1@teangtnaut.org

URBAN POOR WOMEN’S STORIES

Urban poor women often lead the way towards the realisation of land and housing rights for their communities. However, they face many challenges each day, as poor people, mothers, wives, grandmas, workers and students, largely because they are women. This research attempts to uncover some of the issues that everyday urban poor women face in their lives. The report finishes with recommendations that are taken from the women themselves. Read More

Climate Smart Design Guidelines

Introduction
What is climate-smart design?

Since more than three decade we know that human activities are affecting our climate. In the past century, the average temperature on our planet has increased by almost 1°C. It is envisaged that temperature could rise up to 3°C until 2050 if we continue like now. This increase of global temperature is called global warming or climate change. The main cause of global warming is the increased emission of so-called greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and others air pollutants. Human activities such as burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas are increasing the amount of carbon. For example, fossil fuels are burned in power plants to generate electricity. Other causes for climate change are deforestation, more agriculture activities and much more.

Scientist have found out that higher global temperatures will lead to more extreme weather events and higher sea levels. The arctic sea ice is also shrinking and coral riffs are disappearing. Many ecosystems are in danger. In Cambodia the impact of global warming can be felt already today by more flooding events and longer droughts. This is affecting the livelihood of millions of people worldwide. If temperature rises above 2°C, our planet might become uninhabitable.

Therefore, we have to do something against climate change. We have to become climate-smart! What does climate-smart means? Climate-smart means on the one hand that we have to mitigate our impact on the environment and reduce the carbon emission of human activities. On the other hand, we know that changes are happening like for example more flooding. So we have to adapt to these changes. All this together is called becoming climate-smart.

The aim for this climate-smart design handbook is be a guide for urban poor communities to become more climate-smart. It shall help all organization’s and actors working to improve the infrastructure of these communities to do climate-smart improvements. This handbook was developed within the context of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)’s Alternative Urban Housing and Planning (AHUP) Programme with the support of Misereor Germany.

You can download full report as PDF files here: English

អភិបាលកិច្ចទីក្រុង៖ ការគ្រប់គ្រងកាកសំណល់នៅក្នុងរាជធានីភ្នំពេញ

ថ្ងៃទី២៩ ខែមករា ឆ្នាំ២០១៩

រាជធានីភ្នំពេញជាទីក្រុងជួបប្រទះនឹងបញ្ហាកាកសំណល់។ ចាប់តាំងពីឆ្នាំ២០០១ ក្រុមហ៊ុនស៊ិនទ្រីជាក្រុមហ៊ុនដំបូងដែលទទួលខុសត្រូវក្នុងការប្រមូលកាកសំណល់ក្នុងទីក្រុង។ ចាប់តាំងពីពេលនោះមក មានការទម្លាក់ការទទួលខុសត្រូវឱ្យគ្នាទៅវិញទៅមករវាងអាជ្ញាធរ និងក្រុមហ៊ុនស៊ីនទ្រីចំពោះបញ្ហាកាកសំណល់ក្នុងទីក្រុង។

របាយការណ៍ស្រាវជ្រាវចុងក្រោយរបស់អង្គការសមាគមធាងត្នោតស្តីអំពី អភិបាលកិច្ចទីក្រុង៖ ការគ្រប់គ្រងកាកសំណល់ (ឆ្នាំ២០១៩) ផ្តោតលើអភិបាលកិច្ចនៃការគ្រប់គ្រងកាកសំណល់នៅក្នុងរាជធានីភ្នំពេញ ជាពិសេសការសង្កេតមើលការប្រមូលកាកសំណល់របស់ស៊ីនទ្រីពីលំនៅឋានរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ។

ផ្ទុយពីគោលការណ៍របស់អង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិស្តីពី​ អភិបាលកិច្ចល្អ ការស្រាវជ្រាវមើលទៅការគ្រប់គ្រងកាកសំណល់តាមទស្សនរបស់សហគមន៍ក្រីក្រ ដែលរកឃើញបញ្ហាសំខាន់ៗ ដូចជា ក្នុងចំណោមសហគមន៍៩៩ (៣៥.៧%)​ នៃសហគមន៍២៧៧ក្នុងរាជធានីភ្នំពេញ នៅតែមិនទាន់បានទទួលការគ្រប់គ្រងកាកសំណល់ ខុសពីសហគមន៍ជិតខានទទួលបានការគ្រប់គ្រងកាកសំណល់បានល្អ។ សហគមន៍ខ្លះរស់នៅក្នុងកន្លែងដែលមានសំរាមច្រើន ឬរងផលប៉ះពាល់ដោយសារសំរាមនៅជុំវិញសហគមន៍របស់ពួកគេ រួមទាំងហានិភ័យដោយសារអគ្គីភ័យ និងជំងឺដែលប៉ះពាល់ដល់ការរស់នៅប្រចាំថ្ងៃផងដែរ។

ពួកគេ (អាជ្ញាធរ) មិនយកចិត្តដាក់នឹងពួកយើងទេ។ ពួកគេមិនខ្វល់ពីបញ្ហានៅក្នុងសហគមន៍នេះដែរ (សម្រង់សំដី៖ សមាជិកនៃសហគមន៍ក្រីក្រ)

ផ្លូវតូចចង្អៀតគឺជាមូលហេតុដែលសហគមន៍មិនបានទទួលការគ្រប់គ្រងកាកសំណល់ និងមានអំណះអំណាងច្បាស់លាស់ក្នុងការស្រាវជ្រាវនេះ។ ទោះជាយ៉ាងណាក៏ដោយ​ រទេះសំរាមគួរតែអាចរុញចេញចូលក្នុងផ្លូវតូចៗ ដែលរថយន្តដឹកទំនិញមិនអាចចូលទៅក្នុងសហគមន៍ជាច្រើន ហើយការបែងចែករទេះដាក់សំរាមមិនស្មើភាពគ្នានៅទូទាំងទីក្រុង អាចជាមូលហេតុដែលសហគមន៍ជាច្រើនមិនទទួលបានសេវាប្រមូលសំរាម។ ជារឿយៗ មន្រ្តីសង្កាត់ពុំបានដឹងអំពីកង្វះខាតសេវាគ្រប់គ្រងកាកសំណល់នៅក្នុងសង្កាត់របស់ពួកគេ ដែលជាការខ្វះចន្លោះរវាងអាជ្ញាធរនិងសាធារណជនចំពោះបញ្ហានេះ។ សហគមន៍ចំនួន ៨ ធ្លាប់រាយការណ៍បញ្ហាដល់អាជ្ញាធរមូលដ្ឋានអំពីបញ្ហាកាកសំណល់ ប៉ុន្តែមិនបានទទួលការឆ្លើយតបនោះទេ។

តម្លាភាពកំពុងខ្វះខាតយ៉ាងខ្លាំងក្នុងដំណើរការគ្រប់គ្រងកាកសំណល់ ដោយកិច្ចសន្យាមិនអាចស្វែងរកបានជាសាធារណៈ និងមិនមានការប្រកួតប្រជែងជាមួយក្រុមហ៊ុនស៊ីនទ្រី នៅក្នុងការចុះកិច្ចសន្យាគ្រប់គ្រងកាកសំណល់ទីក្រុង។

ជាចុងក្រោយ ការស្លាប់របស់កម្មករស៊ីនទ្រីចំនួន ១៤ នាក់ក្នុងរយៈពេល ៤ ឆ្នាំចុងក្រោយនេះ ក្នុងកំឡុងពេលធ្វើការ គឺជាចំណុចខ្មៅដ៏រសើបមួយចំពោះសមត្ថភាពរបស់ក្រុមហ៊ុន ក្នុងការរក្សាសុវត្ថិភាពសម្រាប់កម្មកររបស់ខ្លួន ការត្រួតពិនិត្យកម្មករ និងប្រាកដចំពោះបរិស្ថានការងារដែលបានកំណត់ ក្រោមច្បាប់ការងារកម្ពុជា១៩៩៧។ ដោយមិនមានសម្លៀកបំពាក់ការការពារ ឬការកំណត់សុវត្ថិភាពផ្តល់ជូនកម្មករចំពោះបញ្ហាស្លាប់ របាយការណ៍នេះបានរកឃើញថា ស៊ីនទ្រីមិនបានបំពេញកាតព្វកិច្ចផ្លូវច្បាប់របស់ខ្លួន ដើម្បីធានាសុវត្ថិភាពដល់កម្មកររបស់ខ្លួនដោយសារមិនផ្តល់សុវត្ថិភាពសមា្ភរៈ ដូចជាសម្លៀកបំពាក់ការងារការពារ ឬកាត់បន្ថយគ្រោះថ្នាក់នៅកន្លែងធ្វើការ។

ដូចដែលផ្ដល់អនុសាសន៍ជាក់លាក់ចំពោះអាជ្ញាធរ ស៊ីនទ្រី និងសហគមន៍ក្រីក្រ របាយការណ៍បង្ហាញពីអភិបាលកិច្ចទីក្រុងមិនទាន់គ្រ​ប់គ្រាន់ក្នុងការគ្រប់គ្រងកាកសំណល់ទេ។​ កង្វះតម្លាភាព សមធម៌គណនេយ្យភាព ការឆ្លើយតប និងការគោរពចំពោះជីវិតរបស់កម្មករស៊ីនទ្រី នាំឱ្យមានការសន្និដ្ឋានចុងក្រោយថា ការគ្រប់គ្រងកាកសំណល់នៅមានកម្រិត នៅក្នុងរាជធានីភ្នំពេញ។

អង្គការសមាគមធាងត្នោត ជាអង្គការក្រៅរដ្ឋាភិបាលក្នុងស្រុក ដែលមានទីតាំងនៅរាជធានីភ្នំពេញដើម្បីផ្តល់ជំនួយបច្ចេកទេសដល់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋសហគមន៍ក្រីក្រក្នុងការសាងសង់លំនៅឋាន និងជំរុញឱ្យមានការជជែកពិភាក្សាតាមរយៈការស្រាវជ្រាវផ្អែកលើភស្តុតាងស្តីពីបញ្ហានានានៅក្នុងទីក្រុង។

លោកអ្នកអាចទាញយករបាយការណ៍នៅទីនេះ៖ ភាសាខ្មែរ​ | ភាសាអង់គ្លេស

សំរាប់ព័ត៌មានបន្ថែមសូមទំនាក់ទំនង៖
លោក សឿង សារ៉ន នាយកប្រតិបត្តិនៃអង្គការសមាគមធាងត្នោត
អ៊ីមែល៖ director@teangtnaut.org
លេខទូរស័ព្ទ៖ ០៨៩ ៦៦៦ ០១៣
លោក Isaac Daniels ទីប្រឹក្សាកម្មវិធីនៃអង្គការសមាគមធាងត្នោត
អ៊ីមែល៖ advisor@teangtnaut.org
លេខទូរស័ព្ទ៖ ០១៧ ៧៤៤​ ១៨៧

FACTS AND FIGURES #36: Public Streets and Sidewalks

STT’s latest research, ‘Facts & Figures #36: Public Streets and Sidewalks’ maps the streets, sidewalks and open public spaces of Phnom Penh to create a picture of a city lacking in inclusivity. This research applies the indicator 11.7.1 of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, which focuses on inclusive cities, to Phnom Penh and discusses its results.

STT researchers found that streets, sidewalk and open public space within the city accounted for a dismal 16.36% of total space within the city.  Streets and sidewalks make up 14.26%, which is not bad when compared to Bangkok (15.9%) and Manila (15.2%) but is significantly below Singapore (21.6%). The 2.10% of open public space in Phnom Penh, such as parks, places to exercise, and places for civic participation, is well below the international standard of 10% and most open public space is found in the inner khans of Daun Penh and Chamkar Mon.

You can download the reports as PDF files here! KhmerEnglish

Contact for more information:
Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
Email: director@teangtnaut.org
Tel: 089 666 013
Mr. Isaac Daniels, Program Adviser of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
E-mail: advisor@teangtnaut.org

THE PHNOM PENH SURVEY: A Study on Urban Poor Settlement in Phnom Penh

This report aims to add to the body of research and information on urban poor settlements in Phnom Penh. There have been several major studies that have been conducted on the urban poor and their dwellings in Phnom Penh’s inner and outer Khans. Using various methods, these studies have collected data on urban poor settlements and families, information on evictions and threat of eviction, land titling, and land categorization as well as general socio-economic conditions.

The number of Urban Poor Settlements has been decreasing from 410 in 2009 to 340 in 2014 and 277 in this 2018. Settlements have decreased for a variety of reasons, including development and eviction to elsewhere, and Phnom Penh’s current 277 urban poor settlements still face many challenges especially as the majority of them don’t have land titles, documentation for land titles, or access to land rights information. Further, nearly half of all urban poor settlements are located on or near canals, lakes, or rivers, which are state public land and can not be privately owned. Thus, many communities are susceptible to eviction and live with tenure insecurity as a daily fear.

You can download full report as PDF files here: Khmer | English

Contact for more information:
Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
Email: director@teangtnaut.org
Tel: 089 666 013
Mr. Isaac Daniels, Program Adviser of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
E-mail: advisor@teangtnaut.org

FACTS and FIGURES #34: A report on traffic issues in Phnom Penh from 2014 to 2017

As Phnom Penh city continues to grow, so too does the volume of traffic on its roads. Urban development typically brings more people to the city, where employment opportunities are greater than those in rural areas. Unfortunately, infrastructure has failed to keep pace with the rising population in Cambodia’s capital, and it is having a significant impact on road congestion, traffic accidents, and driver frustration. Ultimately, “congested roads are a strain on the environment, the economy and the overall quality of life”.

Phnom Penh’s traffic congestion has no single explanation. The rapid increase in population goes some way to explaining the growth in traffic issues, but ultimately it is a multifaceted problem that stems from the public, authorities, and infrastructure quality alike.

The purpose of this research is to determine how severe issues related to traffic in Phnom Penh are. In collecting and categorizing reports made to Urban Voice Cambodia (UVC)ii between 2014 and 2016, and by utilizing the data and research conducted by STT during 2017, figures on traffic jams, accidents, and road conditions can be understood, and possible solutions considered.

You can download in Khmer and English

Contact for more information:
Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
Email: director@teangtnaut.org
Tel: 089 666 013
Mr. Isaac Daniels, Program Adviser of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
E-mail: advisor@teangtnaut.org

Facts and Figures #32 : Monitoring Community Activities In Phnom Penh

June 22, 2017,

Phnom Penh is a rapidly growing city in Cambodia that has seen a massive surge in investment in recent years.1 With a current estimated population of 2.2 million in Phnom Penh,2 and forecast average annual increase of 2.2% between 2017 and 2025,3 infrastructural, housing, and retail development have become a focal point for Cambodia’s capital city.

Development can bring a wealth of benefits to a city and its people, including greater employment opportunities in both old and new sectors, increased productivity, innovation, improved education and healthcare, and larger incomes. However, development – such as that witnessed in Phnom Penh – often encroaches on, or completely builds on top of, current residential areas.4 Especially in the short to medium term, Phnom Penh’s urban poor often suffer from development where they lack the security of land titles, and the chances of receiving sufficient compensation in the face of eviction are negligible.

You can also find the report in PDF here: EnglishKhmer

Contact for more information:
Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
E-mail: director@teangtnaut.org
Tel : (+855) 89 666 013

THE PHNOM PENH SURVEY: A Study on Urban Poor Settlements in Phnom Penh

In the decades after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, former residents, refugees, internally
displaced persons (IDPs) and rural migrants repopulated a Phnom Penh that had been deserted since
1975. The Vietnamese-backed government at the time allowed people to occupy buildings on a “firstcome
first-served basis” with people in the new civil service taking central locations near their ministries
and the police and military snatching up the best housing. Latecomers and the poor then began to
create the many low-income settlements in the city starting in the late 1980s. People mainly settled in
the center of the city, on rooftops, roadsides, along riverbanks, close to main markets and by the train
station. Phnom Penh has continued to grow since then, with 7 Khans (districts) expanded to 8 Khans in
2009 and to 9 Khans in 2011. In 2013 Phnom Penh’s 4 inner Khans include Doun Penh, Chamkarmon, Toul
Kork and 7 Makara while the 5 outer Khans are Meanchey, Russey Keo, Sensok, Dangkor and Porsenchey.
Approximately 1.6 million people lived in these 9 Khans of the city by 2013, and the Municipality of
Phnom Penh (MPP) estimates up to a quarter of the city’s residents to be poor.

You can find the report here.

Contact for more information:
Mr. Sao Kosal Acting Executive Director and Technical Programme Manager
E-mail: tpm@teangtnaut.org
Tel : (+855) 17 555 887

Ms. Jessica Sercombe (Eng) STT Program Advisor
E-mail: advisor@teangtnaut.org
Tel : (+855) 11 836 514

Fact and Figures #30: Profiling the 13 Boeung Tompun Lake Communities as They Face the Threat of Forced Eviction

Forced eviction in the name of development and beautification is common in Cambodia. In 2011, Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) identified 77 eviction sites from the past two decades in Phnom Penh alone. Due to ongoing development in the area, residents of the 13 Boeung Tompun communities have either faced eviction, or are fearful of eviction and the impact that this will have on their livelihoods. STT has monitored these communities since 2010, facilitating community meetings, producing maps, and conducting small scale-upgrading (i.e. replacing tin sheet walls and roofs with wood or concrete). 13 communities reside in Boeung Tompun, each of which face potential eviction as development encroaches on their land, and could threaten future security. This threat comes from the activities of ING Holdings, which has been developing on the land since 2012.

Fact and Figures #30: Profiling the 13 Boeung Tompun Lake Communities as They Face the Threat of Forced Eviction

You can also find the report in PDF here.

Contact for more information:
Mr. Soeung Saran, Executive Director of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
Email: director@teangtnaut.org
Tel: 089 666 013