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Cambodia: Human Rights

Volume 490: debated on Monday 23 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the government of Cambodia on Lor Seiha and others imprisoned on charges arising from their resistence to forced evictions; and if he will make a statement. (264246)

The UK, in our capacity as the local EU presidency, arranged for EU Heads of Mission to meet with non-governmental organisation (NGOs) representatives and Dey Krahom leaders on 29 January 2009 to hear their concerns on forced evictions.

We have raised our concerns over land rights and forced evictions with the Cambodian authorities on a number of occasions, most recently with the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation in a Note Verbale sent on 2 March 2009.

Representatives from EU member states, the local Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and a local NGOs visited a site in Phnom Penh and also visited the Dey Krahom relocation site on 20 February 2009 to meet members of the local communities. They were accompanied by a representative of the Phnom Penh municipal authorities.

EU member states will maintain dialogue on these issues with the Phnom Penh authorities and have made clear to the royal government of Cambodia their support for the OHCHR’s proposal for development of guidelines to regulate evictions and relocations and a moratorium on evictions.