Dear friends and colleagues,
Please help circulate this as widely as possible. The situation is getting worse. 6 women were detained over night. The ratio of police to women protesters were 5 to1. They are just released.
Show your solidarity to the women.
Land Rights Are Women’s Human Rights
“Women are the backbones of our economy” yet, they are continually met with new roadblocks constructed by a government that pillages and abuses women instead of offering help and support. Economic Land Concessions bleed our women of their homes and economic lifeblood. The head of the government continues to sign away people’s rightful land, as recognized under the Cambodian Land law, to private companies leaving the affected destitute. These companies are directly related to members of the ruling party. Across Cambodia, over one million citizens have been forcibly evicted from their lands, in the name of development.
Women are the first victims and such victimization can have life-long impact.
Women stand together to STOP eviction
Across the country women are now standing up for their rights to housing as guaranteed under the Cambodian Land Law, and other UN Conventions, including the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In their united resistance against the authorities, our women have been met by state violence in the form of unjust arrests, detention and unfair trials. Yet, the struggle goes on, almost on a daily basis, from the heart of Phnom Penh, to the remote corners of the North East.
Police violence must be condemned
President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be in Cambodia for the November ASEAN Summit. The US should bring to the ASEAN Summit a clear message that ignoring the people’s fight for land is ignoring the potential for instability in Cambodia. The US top leaders should repeat the US demand for a transparent and fair system to allow people to be part of the decision-making process in land concessions.
Give me back my land- give me back my life.
Photo: John Vink, Magnum Photos. Women crying for the loss of her property during the final eviction of the Borei Keila Community
Women in the forefront of the resistance movement against
illegal land evictions call upon the government to:
1. Immediately stop all forms of economic land concessions that are carried
out without the consultation and consent of the people.
2. Make accessible and distribute official land papers to all entitled residents
in accordance with Article 30 of the Cambodian Land Law.
3. Restore all land possessed as a result of forced evictions to the victims.
4. Appropriately and fairly remunerate victims for all losses.
5. Release from prison all victims of land conflict
6. Stop state violence against women.
Land is life. And the right to land is fundamental to a life with dignity.
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Mu Sochua, MP
Former Minister for Women’s Affairs