Safeguarding Cambodians' Land Rights
Through the Safeguarding Cambodian’s Land Rights Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, EWMI worked to help Cambodian citizens secure their rights to land. The project focused on improving individuals' ability to secure title to lands that historically they and their families have occupied. As part of its efforts, EWMI trained and supported a network of grassroots "Party Assistants" to advise and assist citizens in resolving land disputes. In cooperation with its local partner ACTION IEC, EWMI is also conducted a series of entertaining and informative "road shows" targeting a largely illiterate population living in underserved, rural regions of Cambodia. Finally, EWMI undertook a model community land documentation program, which helped 431 families in two communities document and preserve their land history. These efforts addressed the real needs of Cambodians who may not have the opportunity to receive official land certificates for years to come and resulted in the broader understanding of land rights and dispute resolution procedures among the people in underserved communities. Local leaders and villagers alike tell EWMI that this project has been highly effective and is still urgently needed.