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Admits Fault in Rail Project, Pledges Compensation

In Cambodia land grabbing and forced eviction is an ongoing challenge for thousands of families all over the country. NPA partners are actively involved in the advocacy on land rights at local and international level. Among many cases they have been involved in is the 143 million dollar project for rehabilitation of Cambodia’s dilapidated railway system.

One of the main funders of the project, The Asian Development Bank (ADB), has according to The Cambodia Daily admitted major flaws in the protection of roughly 4000 families losing their land and homes to the building of the new railway: “The ADB admits to inadequately compensating families, failing to properly consult affected families, deficiencies with the resettlement sites, an inadequate grievance process, delays in helping evictees make a living and to weak monitoring.”

The bank promised it would draw up an action plan in the next 60 days to bring the project into full compliance with its ethical safeguard policies. It will not say how much the plan might cost.

NPA partner Equitable Cambodia together with other housing rights groups have been following this project for years and protested that families are losing land to the project or have not been fairly compensated.  Their ongoing advocacy work and pressure against the government, and in this case also donors to the project, is confirming the important role of the civil society as defender of people’s rights, showing great results for communities and organizations in the uphill struggle against illegal evictions and lack of proper compensation.

Read the whole article in The Cambodia Daily here: http://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/adb-admits-fault-in-rail-project-pledges-compensation-51210/

04.02.2014 | Kristine Lindberg