ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
NGO addresses Asean land rights
Asean's newly established human rights body should take action to address an epidemic of housing rights violations in countries including Cambodia, the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions said.
In a statement issued from Kuala Lumpur, where a meeting of the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights is set to open today, the Geneva-based group said the body should tackle what it called a "housing rights crisis" in the region.
"Tens of millions of people in Southeast Asia today endure various levels of housing rights violations and insecurity of tenure. Most of them are poor and vulnerable," Sammy Gamboa, COHRE's Asia Programme Officer, was quoted as saying.
In a submission to the AIHCR, formed in October 2009, the COHRE said that land and housing rights violations had become "one of the most prevalent forms of human rights violation" in Cambodia.
"Tens of thousands have been dispossessed of their lands, dwellings and properties by powerful economic and political forces identified with the country's elite and their allies in big business," the statement said.
Specifically, it pointed to the situation at Phnom Penh's Boeung Kak lakeside, where, rights groups say, more than 4,000 families will be displaced by a controversial commercial and housing development.
The statement also highlighted cases of land rights violations in the Philippines and Myanmar, and called on AICHR, which is meeting until Friday, to develop and enforce "additional protocols" related to housing rights.
The workers said they had experienced violence, poor working and living conditions, and illegal detention.
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