Petition to Make Phnom Penh an Eviction Free Zone
Dear Mr Kep Chuktema, We, the undersigned, are acutely concerned about the ongoing eviction issues that communities in Phnom Penh are facing today. Over the past two decades, we have seen more than ten percent of the city's inhabitants displaced from their homes. As land prices have soared, more than 150,000 people have found themselves without a home, many of them coerced and intimidated into leaving, others traumatised by having watched their homes and belongings destroyed by excavators. Forced evictions are a violation of human rights. According to international human rights standards, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to adequate housing and freedom from forced eviction. Article 44 of the Cambodian Constitution also guarantees that property ownership will be protected, and that any taking of property must only occur where it is in the public interest. Such takings must be in accordance with the law and require "fair and just compensation in advance." In addition, Objective No. 7 of the Millennium Development Goals calls for the number of slum dwellers to be reduced by at least 100 million by 2020. Instead of going down, however, the number of slum dwellers globally is projected to rise by another 700 million by 2020. Evictions in Phnom Penh contribute to this figure. They represent a gross violation of human rights and have widespread social impacts. As one of the region's great capitals, we hope Phnom Penh has a bright future ahead of it. To achieve this future we call on your leadership to bring an end to the practice of eviction which has put an unnecessary stain on the international reputation of the city. We call on you to lead the way. To end the use of eviction in this great city and to usher in a new era of a city that is truly for all. To declare the city an Eviction Free Zone.