The Roles of NGOs over Conflicts of Urban Land Rights: Gaps and Opportunities

The changing political climate in Cambodia, the transitional role of the state and the Constitution 1993 opened the doors for an emerging civil society - non-governmental organizations (NGO).NGOs are working to help the government in different aspects and sectors in thecountry in order to improve the living conditions and rule of law. 

 Cambodia is in the early stagesof development and urbanization. The total population is around 14.83 millions of which 2.93 million (20 percent) are living in urban areas. Approximately, 1.17 million (40 percent) is concentrated in Phnom Penh, the capital city. The rest is distributed thinly over the 23 provinces and municipalities. The urban population is projected to increase at the relatively high rate of 3.5 percent per annum reaching 8 millions (35 percent of the total population) by 2030 with Phnom Penh continuing to gain at the expense of other cities.

 As a result of the high rate of urban growth, cities are expanding before the required infrastructure and services can be put in place. Consequently, the number of squatter settlements is increasing, and over half of the urban population is estimated to be living without access to adequate housing, water and sanitation.

In the last few years, land conflict is one of the main hot spots both in rural and urban areas. The urban land conflict mostly happened due to the need of land for public use and real estate development by private sector where hundred of families, especially informal settlement, are victims of the processes.


This paper is going to highlight some roles of NGOs which are dealing with urban land right conflicts in Phnom Penh capital.  It will focus onshowing the characteristics of urban land right conflict in Phnom Penh, roles of NGOs actively involved in solving the conflicts. It will also try to identify the gaps and challenges and suggest what need to be done to improve the current situation.

Sithan Abstract SSG09.doc70.5 KB
Sithan_The Roles of NGOs.pdf873.88 KB