“People have a right for housing although their occupation is legal or illegal”. This is what Mr. Nhim Kim Eang, project coordinator of Human Rights Based Spatial Planning explained to people at Chrang Chamres1 and Chrang Chamres2 community based on the international covenant on civil and political rights during the distribution of Legal Advice Sheet and factsheets in August and September 2015 .
He said that, according to our research on legal tenure assessment to do household survey , the research found that, most people did not have occupancy document or land titling for those who were settling down in the community.. He added: moreover the location that the people were living it could be the state-owned land (Land reserved for road and river); furthermore, recently the national road No.5 was planned to expand so they would be faced to be relocated some day in the future. Concerned with the problem he explained based on land law of Cambodia that states that the people who occupied any land plot illegally they can’t claim compensation from the land or construction materials (i.e foundation…etc) on the state owned land although the government of Cambodia gave the adaptation on the International Covenant on Civil Political Rights so the government has obligation to guaranty that their people have enough houses. It means that the people shall not be forcefully evicted to homeless situation, even if their occupation is illegal. Finally, he said although the documents that were distributed that day had value as only for the information or document for improving knowledge but it was really significant for them to know their rights to settling down on the land and other conditions which was a foundation in addressing to local authorities once they confronted problems or any problems in the future.
Legal Advice Sheet is the part of Human Rights Based Spatial Planning Project in Cambodia funded by European Union and Czech Development Agency and implement by Samakum Teangtnaut and People in Need organization for promotion of tenure security for the most vulnerable and marginalized groups. All in all, Urban Settlement Officers and Project Coordinator of HRPSP distributed legal advice sheet and factsheets ten times to the four villages—village1, village 2, village 3 and village Khorin Sankat Chrang Chamres 1 and Chrang Chamres 2 which was the target areas In total, we distributed 1128 households, of which village 1 got 205, village 2 got 233, village 3 got 280, and village Khhor got 410 households.