Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Final Term Paper

Course: Human Rights and World Politics Topic: The Right to Adequate Housing
Prepared by: Sang Morada
ID: 6820
Submitted to: Prof. Stan Starygin

I. Introduction
II. Define what’s is the right to adequate housing
III. What is this right to adequate housing play as an important role
a. The government obligation to housing right base on Human Rights
b. Impact by inadequate housing
IV. Case Study
V. Conclusion
VI. References

Basic Right of Human is Right to Speak, Right to Life and Right to Adequate Housing, so, what’ll happen if one of among these rights is violated. Well, Cambodia is adopted either local or international, and it state clearly relate to these right - what is people right to Adequate Housing about according to UDHR and covenant. Base one that covenant, people is protected from eviction, also, government has an obligation to protect citizen if base on some article which has stated in Constitution. Furthermore, I’ve raised matter to discuss which deal to Housing Eviction in Cambodia. Argument here is like to talk about impacts caused by Forced Eviction. So far, there are many families which forced by authority to leave from a place which they were living, such case in Monivong Hospital, Kok Pech and Tonle Bassac. Nevertheless, due this connection, caused people face more difficult in living standard, because of a new place is very far from city and it is not development as there is no service, material, facilities and infrastructure provided. According to research relate to a case which authority move people from Tonle Bassac to live out of town - people there can't have clean water, hospital and so on. Yet, Civil Society is more concern about young people who lose a chance to go to school which it’s not easily to access. Therefore, what’ll happen is this rights have been violate or unrespectable by someone in Society?

I. Introduction

In 1975, Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge, which introduced a radical regime of collectivization whereby Cambodia’s cities and traditional institutions were abandoned and the population forced to work hardly. All housing became the property of the state and property records were destroyed. During the five year reign of the Khmer Rouge an estimated one to two million people – as much as a fifth of the population – were murdered or died of overwork, starvation and disease. Human Rights were not respected during that period and the destruction of Cambodia’s economy and the killing of much of its killed during that regime. After Khmer Rouge Regime finished, Human Rights is strengthened by the Government of Cambodia in Society. Moreover, early 1992, Cambodia adopt human rights treaties including the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). And under the term of the ICESCR is either to protect the Right to Adequate Housing and involve the need to ensure equitable access for the poor not only to housing but also to land.[1] The object of this term paper is: Right to Adequate Housing? which this argument is relate most to Housing Eviction and the paper will be focusing the most detail in Cambodia, why - because housing rights is not prevented in Phnom Penh. I, myself, interesting to this topic to discuss because firstly I’d like to define what is the right to adequate hosing. Secondly, I’ll explain what is this right to adequate housing play as important role in society.
a. The government obligation to housing right base on Human Rights
b. Impact by inadequate housing
The last point, I’ll pick up some case study to explain.

II. Define what’s the right to Adequate Housing

The right to adequate housing is the right to have security of tenure, or legal protection against forced evictions. Forced evictions have been defined as “permanent or temporary removal against their will of individuals, families or communities from the homes which they occupy, without the provision of and access to, appropriate forms of legal or other protection”.[2]
Working definition of the right to adequate housing as “the right of every woman, man, youth and child to gain and sustain a secure home and community in which to live in peace and dignity” (E/CN.4/2001/51, para. 8)
Adequate housing, in accordance with general comment No. 4 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), should be included:

- Legal security of tenure
- Availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure
- Affordability
- Habitability
- Accessibility easy to access
- Location

The right to adequate housing also received wide international attention, it remarkably in the Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000 adopted by the General Assembly in resolution 43/181 in 1998. It stated: “Adequate shelter means...adequate privacy, adequate space, adequate security, adequate lighting and ventilation, adequate basic infrastructure and adequate location with regard to work and basic facilities – all at a reasonable cost.”[3]

III. What’s this right to Adequate Housing play as important role

This adequate housing is important, base on, the ESCR state that the status of adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, including related services such as water and sanitation. OHCHR mandate, he urges the government to secure adequate housing for all Cambodians in accordance with its international human rights obligations.[4]

This Adequate right is to prevent housing right violations, especially, avoiding forced eviction in Phnom Penh by conform to Human Right approach.
The former Special Representatives have repeatedly presented recommendations on urgent measures needed to address housing rights violations relating to the situation of children and women in slum areas, access to drinking water, health and sanitation, forced evictions, in particular of minority groups and in the border area of Poipet, relocation, resettlement and compensation. (See in particular reports E/CN.4/2001/103, para. 67, A/56/209, paras. 23-32 and E/CN.4/2002/118, para.81)

a. The government obligation to housing right base on Human Rights
Cambodia’s obligations to protect house right protection are clearly set out in international law. Moreover, the government agree to the particular international human rights treaties in 1992, including the covenant which openly guarantees adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living. Due report of OHCHR/ Cambodia contains important commendations with regard to the right to housing, such as the use of landlessness as a poverty reduction indicator and the support of alternationve income generation opportunities for displaced farmers.[5]

1993 Constitution and 2001 and Land Law, In addition to recognizing and respecting “human rights as stipulated/ specify in the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of HRs, the covenants and conventions related to human rights, women’s and children’s rights”, the Cambodian Constitution recognizes the right to enjoy private land ownership.
According to the 1993 constitution and the 2001 Land Law, no person shall be deprived/deny, take away of his/ her ownership, unless it is necessary for the public interest. Whenever such deprivation takes place, it shall be carried out in accordance with the procedures provided by law and only after payment of just and fair compensation. These provisions are especially important in the protection of housing rights against forced evictions.

b. Impact by inadequate housing

If the Right to Adequate Housing is violate so the more concerned of this wrong doing of this right may impact negatively on the habitability of adequate of housing and may result in forced evictions and displacement.
Poor standards of living, get low-income neighborhoods had no access to water, electricity and sanitation. Because of the lack of access to public utilities as it’s higher charge by private companies in community which they are living. The provision of services by private companies sometimes fails to follow safety standards. Sanitation conditions in those areas are also extremely poor, with open-air sewage and refuse spread under and around houses. This situation is especially disturbing in view of the annual floods, which exacerbate the risks of outbreak of disease. General understanding that the nature of the link between the right to housing and the right to safe environment: and it connected to:

- The right to health
- The right to land and food
- The rights of women and of children

IV. Case Study

Kok Pich Island: Koh Pich is an island in the Tonle Bassac river, around 68 hectares in size. In 2004, local official, along with the real estate development company 7NG, began to pressure residents to leave to island, which is to be stabilized and redeveloped as a “satellite city. The Overseas Cambodian Investment Corporation, through Canadia Bank, is the principal investor in the project. During 2004, the island’s more than 300 families, most of which are farming families who have lived there since the 1980s, were initially offered a small amount of money (around US$2 per square metre) and resettlement on marginal land in Kandal province. According to reliable reports, residents were verbally and physically threatened to make them accept this arrangement. The amount offered was much lower than market estimates and the relocation sites were unsuitable. Fearful and facing intimidation, many left the island, but over 100 families decided to stay. On 6 December 2004, these families were served with a 30-day eviction order by the Phnom Penh municipality. According to the Municipality, Koh Pich is state property and the residents have no legal rights. The residents vigorously disagree with this assertion. Intense negotiations between the families’ representatives and the municipality began in January 2005. The eviction deadline passed without incident, although there were incidents of intimidation from authorities, such as stationing of military police on the island, and seizure of the ferry that connects the island to the mainland.

V. Conclusion

In conclusion, Right to adequate housing is important to take into practice in order to voice eviction. By not violate, this right government need to carry right it away and it must conform to what’s this article said as in
the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). And poverty decrease, young people have more chance to school if this right to Adequate Housing is not violated. From my view point, I think government must be learn more about doing land concession on economic purpose because it’s one reason cause to Force Eviction. And if there is there is eviction, government should think about an appropriate place to put that people and that place should facilitate more material, facilities and easy for them to access.

VI. References

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur, Adequate Housing, 2006
Rhodri C. Williams, Center on Housing Rights and Evictions
The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)
Stan Starygin, Human Rights and World Politics, 2007

[1] Id, 8(c), with regard to housing, the committee recommends that states, “establish housing subsidies”
[2] Id, paragraph 3.
[3] A/43/8/Add.1/para.5
[4] OHCHR, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, E/CN.4/2006/41/Add.3, March 2006, p2
[5] NGO Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Monitoring Committee, Parallel Report Under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, August 2002, pp. 25-26.


DETH said...

Hi Morada,

After I have a quicked look on your final paper, it is a hot topic that suitable with the real situation.

But,it is my suggestion on "Impact by inadequate housing " you should talk about particularly, the school for the kids, because it is very necessary for their childrent to access school, if the kids no chance to access school what about their future life. They will jobless, and will have more impact for the society. Than the society will face with a huge problem such as poverty or chaos.

Any way economic is the main problem for people to gain thier income, or they can make money to support thier living also. If they were move from the city to rural area like you have rose, it is good idea that the government wanted to develope or to enlarge the city to be mordern but unless the road is smooth, so people can trade or make thier business to make thier standard living more better.

So it is just my idea, if you think I am wrong please forgot it.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,


moen savoeun said...

Hi Da!
Depends on what you have described, do you think the real practice is contradictory to the constitution? And your experience to write this topic, what kind of development in Cambodia? Can it be a kind of business?

Thanks in advance for your answers!

Stan Starygin said...


Hi Morada,

This is a fairly solid effort at the final paper. The right to adequate housing is sufficiently laid out and its content explored, which was the focus of this assignment. I recognize parts of the paper that contain your own phrasing of research findings, but I also note a significant amount of "lifted" text (copy-and-pastes from others' work.