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Trip to Cambodia opens eyes of Chicago native

Written By vibykhmer on Monday, September 7, 2009 | 4:48 PM

Dey Krahorm forced eviction (Photo: Sarah Grime)

September 7, 2009
Sara Lugardo
Los Angeles Examiner (California, USA)

Christine Robinson grew up in the Chicago area and attended the University of Iowa with a Bachelors’ in International Studies. Her recent visit to Cambodia opened her eyes to their economic situation.

While staying at a hotel in Phnom Penh Christine witnessed the forced evacuation of the slum, Dey Krahorm, by the Cambodian military. Trucks hauled out the few possessions people were allowed to take from their homes.

The evacuation of the slum was in collaboration with the Cambodian Peoples’ Party and a development company named 7NG. The 150 families living in the slum had been offered compensation by 7NG to relocate to Cham Chao before the evictions.

However, by relocating, the families would lose their income and so they refused. Once negotiations failed, the police and the Cambodian military forcefully evacuated the families.

Christine wrote on WIP that according to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia, “The eviction was carried out in the middle of the night, with bulldozers, tear gas, rubber bullets, batons, and workers equipped with sticks and axes contracted to demolish the houses… The residents were thrown onto the street to watch their homes being destroyed.”

Cambodia has a long history of battling with property rights and this situation is very common to its’ people. Check out Christine’s full story on Property Rights for the Urban Poor in Cambodia.

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