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Phnom Penh’s poor increasingly displaced by developers

Rapid urbanization in Phnom Penh is hurting the city’s most vulnerable citizens. Daniel Otis reports in Next City that poor residents are sometimes evicted or relocated to the outskirts of Cambodia’s capital with little or no compensation.

Otis recounts how security forces on February 14 stormed Borei Keila, a residential and commercial development in central Phnom Penh, to forcefully remove squatters. They were there because the politically connected developer did not construct all of the resettlement buildings the original inhabitants were promised in exchange for rights to the land.

These trends are playing out across Cambodia as forign-owned sugarcane and rubber plantations uproot entire villages, the article says. A glimmer of hope is that groups like Equitable Cambodia serve as intermediaries between the government and developers to fight for just compensation for evicted tenants.

Statistics compiled by a Cambodian human rights group indicate that since 2003, more than 400,000 Cambodians have been impacted by land concessions. 

Next City

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