Cambodian partner organizations discuss land grabbing and partnership with Diakonia
In Cambodia, land grabbing is a growing problem for people in poverty, as their homes are taken away from them with limited compensation. Diakonia's partner organizations STT, CLEC and LICADHO are currently in Sweden to share the situation and what needs to change in Cambodia.
Visit to inform about land grabbing
As the issue of land grabbing is spreading across not only Cambodia but many developing countries, it is important to inform the international community about the damages that land grabbing brings. Naly Pilorge from LICADHO compares the current situation with the one under Pol Pot, stating that the trend is negative.
"It's almost genocide again. But now, it's an elimination of the poor and vulnerable. It's like under the Khmer Rouge; we're treated like animals," states Pilorge.
The international community is pivotal
The representatives form all three organizations all raised that the international community has a great opportunity to advice the Cambodian government in the right direction, concerning both land grabbing and other issues. Therefore, the organizations all propose that Diakonia and other actors delay the localizing process, and focus on hiring good land representatives to actively work towards the government of Cambodia.
Young people a priority
Another group that Diakonia's partner organizations want to involve more are young people. By encouraging them to take part in social issues, the organizations hope to ignite a will of change in the youth, in order for them to protest against inequalities they might face. Hand in hand with this is the increased use of the Internet as a tool for advocacy and information distribution, where young people can play a key role in raising awareness about what is happening in Cambodia.
Working together for change
LICADHO, STT and CLEC have for many years been working closely together to raise mutual issues in Cambodia. While LICADHO has been a partner organization of Diakonia for the latest 18 years, STT and CLEC recently started partnerships with Diakonia. The new partnerships have enabled the organizations to intensify their work regarding the issue of land grabbing and pushing forward the rights of non-governmental organizations in Cambodia.
"This is not a job for us. It is a way of life," says Naly Pilorge.