Phnom Penh



Urban Poor Community Activists received Social Media Training

On June 20th, 2014, there are around eleven communities activists from the urban poor communities participated in the social media training on Khmer Unicode which organized by ICT project at Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT). The aim of the training was to Enable Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) and Community Activists to use best communications technology to report promptly; safely and accurately. The training session started at 8:00 am and finish at 5:00 pm.

The first session, the trainer presented about the basic computer which is cover about the definition of computer, type of computer and elements of computer. The second session, was to focus on the Khmer Unicode typing, both theory and practice. There were a lot of interaction during the training session especially, during practice activity. The training session was part of the social media training series, and the participants will be back again next month.IMG_0634 IMG_0637 IMG_0611 IMG_0612 IMG_0619 IMG_0621 IMG_0622 IMG_0632 IMG_0633

The 23 found guilty but released

On May 30, 2014 at 9am, Phnom Penh Municipal Court has announced the verdict to release the 23. Mr. Vorn Pov, Theng Savoeurn, Chan Puthisak and other were arrested in early January this year. The accused were found guilty but with suspended sentences.

There were over 300 protesters overjoyed the announcement. The community members, families and civil society organization will move to CC1 (Prey Sor prison) this afternoon to welcome the 21 who will walk free with a few hours.

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The hearing for the 23 continues while violence occurred outside the courthouse

At 8:00 am, May 20, 2014, over 300 peoples from land and housing affected communities, farmers and monks were gathering in front of Phnom Penh Municipal Court to call for justice and release Mr. Vorn Poa, Mr. Chan Puthisak, Mr. Teng Savouen, and others 18 victims who were arrested since early January 2014, while a number of Human Right observers from different NGOs monitored the case very closely.


While the hearing is ongoing at municipal court, the violence occurred outside the courthouse where the barricades and riots police blocked the rallied from moving forward to the courthouse. The security guards of the City Hall tried to push the protesters back and far from the barricades, with kicking the monks and protesters caused the situation tension between the protesters and polices. However, there were no serious violence after the protesters moved up together to protect the monks from being beaten from the security guards.

There were many polices with 3 Fire Trucks, blocking the road in front of the Municipal Court while the trial of the 23 was in the process.

The trial has started again at 2:00 pm and ended up at 4 pm. It will be continued to tomorrow at 8 am, as promised by the court.



The trial of 23 delayed once again to May 20

Not different from last month. Since early in the morning, the police had already blocked off all roads around the courthouse and the street in front of the courthouse on Monireth Boulevard across from Olympic Stadium. While Vorn Pao, Chan Putisak, Theng Savoeun and the others already brought in the courtrooms.

Over than 400 people rallied in front of the two side barricades one in front of Preah Puth Pagoda and the another one at the corner next to the Tela Gas Station on the south, the gathering including community activists from different urban poor communities, garment workers, union, monks and family of the 23. Supporters have stood at the police barricades making speeches over loudspeakers, with “Free the 23” logos, lotus flowers adorning their T-shirts. While the Human Rights activists only can monitor the situation from the distance. The Human Rights activists and journalists were kicked out by the police from staying closely to the barricade or moving closely to the police and the courthouse.

About at 4pm, the message from the courthouse, the trial of 2 from Stung Meanchey will be announced verdict on May 30. While the 23 case will continue to interview witnesses of case Veng Sreng Street, as well as, continuing interview Vorn Pao, Chan Puthisak and Theng Savoeun in Yak Jin case. The hearing of 23 delayed to May 20. The 21 confirmed back to CC1.

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Release of ‘The Phnom Penh Survey: A study on urban poor settlements in Phnom Penh’

Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) has released its newest report, The Phnom Penh Survey, to update and add new data to previous research on urban poor settlements in the city, produce current, accurate maps of all of the settlement locations and provide findings that will help lead to positive outcomes for the urban poor.  The report develops findings on various issues pertinent to urban poor settlements including issues related to tenure security; eviction threats, land tenure and titling and the implementation of Circular 03. It also looks at infrastructure and service provision finding a limited drainage systems, trash collection and access to reasonably priced utilities. It shows a divide exists between inner and outer Khan settlements, with those in the outer Khans falling behind in many of the infrastructure and service categories that the survey explored. It concludes with recommendations for key stakeholders including the Municipality of Phnom Penh (MPP), the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction (MLMUPC) and development partners.

Download report in PDF: STT _201402_Phnom Penh Survey


Ee Sarom (Kh, Eng)

+855 89 666 036


11 Union Leaders and Community Activists Arrested During Gathering for Releasing the 23

On January 21, 2014, at about 8:30 am, over 250 community activists and civil society organization gathered together in front of US embassy at aiming to submit the petition to US embassy for releasing the 23 unions, including union leaders who were arrested on January 2-3, 2014.

During the gathering of community activists and civil society organizations in front of US embassy, Mr. Rong Chhun, president of Cambodian Independent Teachers Association (CITA) and one of his colleague, Ms. Long Kimheang, Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF) staff, Mr.s Thida from CATU as well as Mrs. Tep Vanny from the Boeng Kak community were arrested at the same time. Meanwhile, all protesters were expelled by the security guards of city hall.

During going on sending the petition to the other embassies, other seven union members and community activists were arrested while they were walking on the way (Monivong Boulevard) to Embassy of the United Kingdom later.

Finally, 11 union leaders and community activists had been released at about 1:45 pm. Nevertheless, we did not seen any kind of riot polices and/or military polices, were deployed. Media, human right observer and media were onsite.

The human right situation is becoming progressively worse, especially related to freedom of expression. The government recently banned the right to free assembly for more than 10 people, and have used this as an excuse to arrest activists.

What do you think about the freedom of expression and demonstration laws in Cambodia?

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Urban Poor Forum Kicked Start

2013-12-16 09.11.13

STT organized a two-day (Dec 16th, 26th 2013) Urban Poor forum on “The Challenges of the Urban Poor Community and a Joint Manifesto and Strategy.” 386 urban poor from 82 different communities were actively participated in the forum. The forums were conducted at aiming:

–          To bring the urban poor community in Phnom Penh affected by housing and land rights to raise their main challenges and find strategy for the future resolutions

–          To strengthen the networking and building solidarity among the urban poor communities affected by housing and land issues

–          To give communities the space to develop a joint manifesto and implementation strategy for their next steps.

The forums gave the urban poor community opportunity to learn and share their challenges, issues and concerns and Joint Manifesto and Strategy for year to come. They have involved in small group discussions, presentations, and questions on their community’s concerns and issues to the organizers to seek for solutions. All of community point of view inputs will become the useful road map for them to strengthen their current capacity so that they can work together demanding for their rights.

Student Workshop: Design as Activism – Apply Now!

Design as Activism: Community Upgrading
Workshop and Design Competition
18-20 October 2013

Sahmakum Teang Tnaut invites Architecture Students from public and private universities in Cambodia to participate in a workshop focused on finding community-driven solutions to adequate housing and sustainable development. The workshop will expose participants to the reality of life in urban poor communities and encourage them to use their skills address challenges identified.

The workshop will feature a combination of lectures, field visits, and group work led by STT staff and guest lecturers. Students will work directly with representatives of urban poor communities to identify challenges faced by the communities, and develop design proposals to address the issues. Following the 3-day workshop, participants are expected to develop their proposal for final submission on Nov. 15. The three best designs will subsequently be awarded and all submissions will feature in an exhibition in January 2014.

To apply, please e-mail with your CV and letter of motivation. Further information can also be obtained by calling 089 666 037/ 070 46 34 54.

Applications close Oct. 15, 2013.

Note: The workshop is free of charge but spaces are limited. STT will cover all costs related to the workshop.

Policy for the Poor?

Phnom Penh’s urban poor are under threat. Over the past two decades, 11% of the city’s current population has been displaced, often forcibly evicted, to poorer futures. A key government argument – when such arguments have been provided – has been that many of those affected have been illegal squatters, living on state public land. Habitually, however, there is no assessment of whether or not the occupants have rights to the land as legal possessors.

In May 2010, the Royal Government of Cambodia approved Circular 03 on Resolution of Temporary Settlement on Land Which Has Been Illegally Occupied in the Capital, Municipal, and Urban Areas (C03). In the context of on-going tenure insecurity among Cambodia’s urban poor, the Circular lays down a process through which the issue of occupation of state public land is to be ‘resolved’. With support from Germany through its development agency, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), C03 implementation has taken place in Battambang provincial town since late 2010. Implementation has commenced in Phnom Penh too, though seemingly conducted unilaterally by the Municipality of Phnom Penh.

While implementation continues, fundamental questions remain regarding the content of the Circular itself and the impacts of its implementation. The aim of Policy for the Poor? Phnom Penh, Tenure Security, and Circular 03 is to highlight some of the issues arising from the Circular as a policy document, and draw attention to the opportunities and risks arising from its implementation. It also aims to provide stakeholders in urban development in Phnom Penh with a better understanding of the extent to which Circular 03 meets the required legal standards to genuinely protect the rights of the urban poor through increasing their tenure security, and how practicable a tool it is for that purpose.

You can download the report, produced by STT’s research arm The Urban Initiative, here: Policy for the Poor?:

Social Media Training Kicks Off

The first in a series of four workshops on the use of social media for community activists and youth took place on Aug. 2 at the Phnom Penh Institute of Technology. The first workshop covered the basics of the internet – what it is and how it can be used – as well as how to set up e-mail accounts with secure passwords. Although the workshop experienced one of the many challenges to accessing the internet in Cambodia – a power cut – all participants said they learnt something new and were keen to attend the next workshop (and do their homework in between!).

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Apply Now! A Whiter Building Student Workshop

workshop at The White Building, Phnom Penh, 20-21-22 September

Giorgio Talocci, in collaboration with:
STT – Sahmakum Teang Tnaut

This workshop will take place at the White Building (Tonle Bassac, Phnom Penh), where a group of young practitioners and students will work in close contact with the community inhabiting it.

The White Building, commonly called simply ‘The Building’ by the people inhabiting it or living nearby, is an about 350meters not-so-white slab of masonry and concrete, originally built in the 1960s as housing for civil servants. After the fall of the Khmer Rouge’s regime, The Building has been re-appropriated by some of the original inhabitants and by newcomers: from that moment on it underwent a series of informal transformation through which its community has adapted the building’s original modernist structure to the needs of every household’s everyday life.

The workshop will start taking the entire first day to get acquainted with the community and its space, mapping the complex narratives populating The Building, understanding its functioning and its role in the wider urban dynamics of Tonle Bassac and of Phnom Penh as a whole. In the second day, drawing on the previous findings, we will start – working directly on site and in a constant interaction with the community – a process of participatory design, projecting the inhabitants’ aspirations toward a possible future scenario where a community-driven upgrading of the building could occur, and imagining a process to make this happen. Finally, on the last day, the workshop will finish in a collective presentation of the ideas we developed, sharing the outcomes with the community and learning from the feedback we will receive. At the end, the process will be left ‘open’ for future debate and possible actions that the community might be willing to undertake.

The workshop is open to everybody, with no limits of age nor of academic and professional background. The participants should have a good command of spoken English, although there will be Khmer-speaking staff too. The number of seats is however limited: for more information and to participate, please send your CV (or portfolio, if you prefer) and a brief letter of motivation to the address by Thursday 12 September at 11.59pm.

End of the Line

End of the Line: Impacts of Resettlement Under the Railways Project in Phnom Penh, a new report by Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), reveals Phnom Penh Households relocated as part of the ADB- and AusAID-funded railways rehabilitation project have been harmed. Using resettlement expert Michael Cernea’s theoretical framework, the report shows how Project partners failed to mitigate well-established risks associated with resettlement, to the detriment of the living standards of the people affected.. You can access the media statement released in conjunction with the report’s publication on Jul. 4, 2013 here.

Download the report here: High resolution version (12.6MB) / Low resolution version (2MB)

Media Statement: Resettled to Poverty

Media Statement
Jun. 4, 2013

End of the Line, a new report by Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), reveals Phnom Penh Households relocated as part of the ADB- and AusAID-funded railways rehabilitation project have been harmed. Using resettlement expert Michael Cernea’s theoretical framework, the report shows how Project partners failed to mitigate well-established risks associated with resettlement, to the detriment of the living standards of the people affected.

Since September 2011, at least 143 Households have been relocated from along Phnom Penh’s railway tracks to Trapeang Anhchanh relocation site to make way for the rehabilitation of Cambodia’s railways. As part of their relocation package, each Household was provided a plot at the peri-urban site, as well as an individual amount of monetary compensation based on the Household’s previous structure along the railway tracks and its socio-economic profile.

STT’s new report – End of the Line – presents to date the most comprehensive assessment of socio-economic outcomes of resettlement under the Project. The original aim of the research was to survey relocated Households against Households remaining along the railway tracks, using Michael Cernea’s Impoverishment Risks and Reconstruction Model, which outlines eight key risks associated with resettlement: landlessness, joblessness, homelessness, marginalisation, increased morbidity, food insecurity, loss of access to community resources, and social disarticulation. However, it was soon discovered that a large amount of Households relocated to Trapeang Anhchanh were not living on the Project-sponsored site on a regular basis, and so a third group was added to the research.

Data presented in the report plainly shows that in the short run, Households relocated as part of the Project have been harmed. The group of 68 relocated Households residing in Trapeang Anhchanh resettlement site for at least four nights per week appears to have suffered resettlement-related harms in almost every category of risks identified in Cernea’s model. The 28 relocated Households whose coping strategy predominantly includes renting properties close to their previous homes, seem to have fared marginally better, ostensibly on account of opting not to live at the Project-sponsored site. By comparison, the living standards of the 91 Households still living along the railway tracks saw no marked change between 2011 and 2012.

“Our latest research shows that on each of eight well-known risks associated with resettlement, the Project failed to take the necessary mitigative actions, to the detriment of resettlement outcomes,” said Ee Sarom, Programmes Coordinator. “There is no question about it, Households affected by the railways rehabilitation in Phnom Penh have become impoverished and marginalised as a result.”

“Failed resettlement under the Project is particularly disappointing given that it was entirely predictable,” said Nora Lindstrom, Programme Development Manager and co-author of the report. “STT has been monitoring the railways rehabilitation project since before Phnom Penh Households were relocated; in our 2011 report Rehabilitation of Cambodia’s railways: Comparison of field data we highlighted widespread problems in compensation rates and recommended suspension of resettlement activities pending a review of resettlement plans and processes. Unfortunately, this was not taken on board.”

The findings of the report highlight a prominent need for prompt corrective action to be taken by the Royal Government of Cambodia together with the Asian Development Bank and AusAID. Specific recommendations are made to this effect, the most prominent of which include debt relief and development of income-generating opportunities, as part of a comprehensive corrective action plan developed together with the Affected Households.

“The ADB’s Involuntary Resettlement Policy demands that the living standards of Households affected by the Project are brought back to pre-relocation levels,” said Sok Lida, Research Project Manager and lead researcher. “We know that the institutions involved in the Project have to date taken some measures to address the situation at Trapeang Anhchanh, but a comprehensive action plan to address the resettlement failure is lacking.”

As the Project’s partners prepare to relocate a further 105 Households in Phnom Penh, the report also outlines valuable lessons to be learnt to improve future resettlement outcomes. Disclosure of resettlement plans and meaningful consultation on these ahead of any relocation would significantly help to prevent the kind of resettlement failures the Project has to date suffered from by strengthening transparency, information disclosure, and dialogue. In addition, participatory development of income restoration programmes and their commencement prior to relocation would allow Affected Households a greater sense of ownership of the situation, thus also contributing to better outcomes.

“We sincerely hope the Project’s implementers and funders will take our recommendations on board,” said Ee Sarom. “The report outlines valuable lessons to be learnt for future resettlement under the Railways Rehabilitation Project, but also provides concrete recommendations for improving resettlement outcomes in Cambodia more generally.”

Media Contacts:

Ee Sarom, Programmes Coordinator, +855 12 836 533,
Ms.Rebecca Linton (Eng) STT Program Advisor

  • E-mail:
  • Tel : (+855) 16 655 146

Railways Households Submit Complaint to the IRC

Equitable Cambodia
Sahmakum Teang Tnaut

Media Statement
May 20, 2013

Railways Households Submit Complaint to the IRC

Ninety Phnom Penh Households affected by the ADB- and AusAID-funded Railways Rehabilitation Project have today submitted complaints to the Inter-Ministerial Resettlement Committee (IRC). The complainants, comprising of both Households relocated to Trapeang Anhchanh and Households that had to demolish part of their homes along the railways, maintain that they have been harmed by the Project and seek redress. Specifically, the Households claim that they did not receive the correct compensation as outlined in the Project’s Resettlement Plan and are consequently seeking additional compensation. Complainants who remain along the railways are also seeking assurances of tenure security up until such a time as further development of the railways is due.

The Households’ complaint to the IRC follows the rejection of their complaints by the ADB Accountability Mechanism. The Households submitted complaints to the Mechanism’s problem solving function, the Office of the Special Project Facilitator (OSPF), in March 2013. The complaints, however, were determined ineligible on account of an ongoing investigation into the Project by the Mechanism’s compliance review function, the Compliance Review Panel (CRP). A November 2011 complaint to the OSPF by some 150 Households was previously found eligible; that process has recently come to a close, with the majority of the complainants receiving additional compensation to cover the shortfall between the compensation they originally received, and that which they were due under the Resettlement Plan.

“We complained to the OSPF because we saw previous complainants receive the compensation they were due,” said Luy Im, Representative of Complainants from Toul Sangke A. “When the other people complained, we were too scared to join them, and now we cannot access the OSPF process. This is very frustrating.”

“We know that most people didn’t receive the correct compensation,” said Khun Prom Sarith, Representative of Complainants from Trapeang Anhchanh. “By submitting this complaint to the IRC we trust that they will process it in the same way as the OSPF processed the other complaints.”

The lack of flexibility in the ADB’s Accountability Mechanism is the principal cause for the situation. The OSPF guidelines state that it cannot accept a complaint from the same Project if it is already being considered by the CRP, even if the complainants are different. The OSPF will also only facilitate on behalf of those Households who complain to them directly and will not consider all Affected Households.

“When the November 2011 OSPF complaint was submitted, it was requested that any remedies resulting from the process would be applied across the board to benefit all people who had been, or were likely to be, harmed by the Project. This was because many Affected Households had not been made aware of their right to complain to the Mechanism, were too scared to complain as a result of widespread threats and intimidation, or civil society actors did not have adequate resources to reach all Affected Households. In addition, we had data showing systematic downgrading of the compensation received by Affected Households,” said Nora Lindstrom, Programme Development Manager at Sahmakum Teang Tnaut. “Unfortunately, the OSPF declined to consider everyone affected, resulting in a situation where Affected Households now do not have access to the OSPF.”

The CRP complaint, submitted in August 2012, requested a parallel compliance investigation due to the initial OSPF complainants’ dissatisfaction with the problem-solving function’s processes and procedures, and its lack of focus on the Project’s overall compliance with the ADB Involuntary Resettlement Policy.

“The CRP is a completely different mechanism from the OSPF, and while it has the important function of assessing whether the ADB has violated its operational policies and procedures in formulating, processing, or implementing the Project, it does not address the issue of the correctness of compensation rates directly. That’s why simultaneous access to both functions is important,” said Eang Vuthy, Executive Director of Equitable Cambodia. “We sincerely hope however that the IRC will take these new complaints seriously and process them in a fair, transparent, and equitable fashion. This is a great opportunity for the IRC to show its competence and professionalism.”

Media contacts:

Khun Promsarith, Representative of Complainants from Trapeang Anhchanh, Tel: 077 524 790/ 088 922 3270
Ou Lun, Representative of Complainants from Phum 23, Tel: 092 234 295
Luy Im, Representative of Complainants from Toul Sangke A, Tel: 092 655 419
Ros Ly, Representative of Complainants from Toul Sangke A, Tel: 097 393 8883

Nora Lindstrom, Programme Development Manager, Sahmakum Teang Tnaut, Tel: +855 15 552 805, E-mail:
Eang Vuthy, Executive Director, Tel: 855 12 791 700, E-mail:

Media Statement: The Boeung Kak concession should be a solution for all remaining residents

The Boeung Kak community and the undersigned civil society groups call for the inclusion of all remaining families into the 12.44ha concession area by the former lake. A new plan unveiled today by the community shows in detail how this could be achieved in a just and equitable fashion.

On Aug. 11, 2011, Prime Minister Hun Sen signed Sub-Decree No. 183, awarding 12.44ha of the Boeung Kak lake area to the community, which since 2007 has been involved in a land dispute with Shukaku Inc., owned by CPP Senator Lao Meng Khin. Since then, 631 families have received titles for their land. However, over 70 families, whose homes are not located within the confines of the concession zone as outlined in the Sub-Decree, have been excluded.

Today the Boeung Kak community is launching a detailed plan for the inclusion of all the excluded families. Following cooperation with local urban NGO Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) in 2012, it has been established that over 400 plots, covering more than 2ha, are vacant within the concession zone. STT’s June 2012 report Outside the Lines thus makes the case for solving the years’ long land dispute by giving each excluded household a plot within the 12.44ha area.

Since publication of the report, the Boeung Kak community has continued to work with STT to develop a more detailed plan for the inclusion of the excluded families. The plan unveiled today illustrates how excluded households with different sized plots could all be accommodated within the 12.44ha concession. The plan outlines how each excluded household in Villages 1, 6, 22, and 24 can be awarded one 64m2 plot, and identifies 30 unassigned plots that can be further distributed to households who currently have larger plots and therefore require more than one plot within the concession zone. The plan also distributes a number of larger plots to 13 households from Village 1, who owned large plots of land prior to their entire village being covered in sand in 2010.

As an alternative solution, the plan also shows how the inclusion of an additional 1ha area in Village 22 to the concession would allow 18 households to stay at their current location, while housing for a further 56 households could be built in the area.

“We believe this plan presents a win-win solution,” said Chan Putisak, representative of the excluded households. “We believe the Prime Minister intended Sub-Decree No. 183 as a solution for all the remaining residents in Boeung Kak; we have now pro-actively developed this plan to make that vision reality.”

“Forty-eight of the excluded households agree with this plan; we are hereby asking the Municipality of Phnom Penh and the Royal Government of Cambodia to engage with us so that it can be implemented,” said Phann Chunreth, Representative of Village 22.

“This land dispute will be ongoing until a solution is found for all the households,” said Khek Chanraksmey, Representative of Village 21. “The households who already have titles in the concession zone fully endorse this plan, as we want to see an end to the land dispute and return to peacefully develop our community.”

Civil society actors also hope the publication of the plan will encourage all parties to negotiate for a solution.

“While this plan does not solve the problems faced by the 3,500 families already evicted from Boeung Kak, it is an eminently viable and practical solution for the excluded households,” said Ee Sarom, Programmes Coordinator at STT. “Of course there will still need to be negotiations and further development of the plan, but we hope all parties can see this as a starting point for concrete dialogue.”

“This is a no-brainer; a straight-forward solution to a long-running land dispute,” said Eang Vuthy, Executive Director of Equitable Cambodia. “Moving forward on this plan would really demonstrate the government’s commitment to solving the problems affecting its citizens.”

League of Boeung Kak Women Struggling for Housing Rights

Cambodian Food and Service Workers’ Federation (CFSWF)
Cambodian Independent of Civil-Servant Association (CICA)
Cambodian League for the Promotion & Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO)
Cambodian Workers’ Center for Development (CWCD)
Cambodian Youth Network (CYN)
Coalition of Cambodian Farmers’ Community (CCFC)
Community Legal Education Center (CLEC)
Equitable Cambodia (EC)
Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF)
Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA)
People’s Action for Change (PAC)
Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
Social Action for Change (SAC)

Media Contacts:

Chan Putisak, Representative of Village 1. Tel: 012 910 023
Tep Vanny, Representative of Village 22: Tel: 012 604 648
Ee Sarom, Programmes Coordinator, Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), Tel: 012 836 533
Yeng Virak, Executive Director, Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), Tel: 066 777 000
Eang Vuthy, Executive Director, Equitable Cambodia Tel: 012 791 700

Tale of Two Cities | Resettling Phnom Penh

Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) has released two new reports examining the development of Phnom Penh; A Tale of Two Cities: review of the development paradigm in Phnom Penh and Resettling Phnom Penh: 54 – And Counting?

Phnom Penh as a metropolis and the capital of Cambodia abounds in opportunities and challenges. Amidst a booming economy and rapid urbanization, a sobering addendum is the increasing spatial and economic inequality inherent in the city’s development process. ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and ‘Resettling Phnom Penh’ explore different facets of that inequality and its implications for the long-term liveability of Phnom Penh.

Outside the Lines

Outside the Lines, a new report by local urban NGO Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), proposes a viable and practical solution for the households excluded from the 12.44Ha concession in Boeung Kak. The report shows that the households arbitrarily excluded from the 12.44Ha concession could easily be included in the concession zone, by allowing some households to move inside the area as well as through a small revision of the concession’s boundaries.

Losing the Plot

Local urban NGO Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) has released a new report entitled Losing the Plot: Rapid Assessment of Household Debt in Trapeang Anhchanh. Based on interviews with 12 households relocated to Trapeang Anhchanh site as part of the ADB and AusAID-funded railways rehabilitation, the report sheds light on one of the most tragic outcomes of what has been presented as an aid project: the unmanageable debts taken on by relocated households.

Outside the Lines

Outside the Lines, a new report by local urban NGO Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), proposes a viable and practical solution for the households excluded from the 12.44Ha concession in Boeung Kak. The report shows that the households arbitrarily excluded from the 12.44Ha concession could easily be included in the concession zone, by allowing some households to move inside the area as well as through a small revision of the concession’s boundaries. Read More

Losing the Plot: Rapid Assessment of Household Debt in Trapeang Anhchanh

Local urban NGO Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) has released a new report entitled Losing the Plot: Rapid Assessment of Household Debt in Trapeang Anhchanh. Based on interviews with 12 households relocated to Trapeang Anhchanh site as part

of the ADB and AusAID-funded railways rehabilitation, the report sheds light on one of the most tragic outcomes of what has been presented as an aid project: the unmanageable debts taken on by relocated households.

Read More

Railways Relocation: Six Women Tell Their Stories

STT’s latest Facts and Figures publication, entitled Railways Relocation in Phnom Penh: Six Women Tell Their Stories has now been published. The publication features several widows’ direct narratives about how relocation to the project’s Phnom Penh relocation site Trapeang Anchang, some 20-25km outside the city, has affected their lives.

In the meantime, the ADB has claimed that compensation rates – defined in 2006 – reflect current market rates and that “[a]t every relocation site, households are also provided with individual lots equipped with sanitation facilities, as well as electricity and water supply connections.”

You can find Facts and Figures  in PDF


Urban Lecture: Water & the City

Manolis House in collaboration with architect and researcher Shelby Doyle have a symposium entitled Water & the City on Saturday 31st March at 5pm at Reyum (#47, Street 178, north of National Museum,1st Flr). It aims to explore questions such as ‘what water management systems are operating in Phnom Penh and who is responsible for them?’


Open Discussion: ‘Rapid Urbanisation’


Open invitation from students at Passau University to a discussion Friday 23rd March on ‘Rapid Urbanisation’. Event organised by Manolis House and the University of Passauat Botanic Gallery Cafe (126 Street 19, back of Wat Sarawon)