Displacement of Boeung Kak residents (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) - August 2011

Cambodia's World Bank-supported Land Management and Administration Project (LMAP) has been a subject of controversy for several years.  In March 2011 the Inspection Panel of the World Bank issued a report stating that the project's poor design had contributed to the forced eviction of some 20,000 people in the Boeung Kak lakeside region of Phnom Penh.  In a statement World Bank president Robert Zoellick said, “We are deeply troubled and frustrated about the people who are being forced from their homes.” 

The Boeung Kak development project began in 2007 when Shukaku, a private Cambodian company owned by ruling party Senator Lao Meng Khin, a close associate of Prime Minister Hun Sen, was granted a 99-year lease agreement that local advocates say violates the possession rights of many affected families.  In December 2010 news reports indicated that Inner Mongolian Erdos Hongjun Investment Company had entered into a joint venture with Shukaku to further develop the area.  Since then, advocates have appealed to Erdos Hongjun Investment to address the problems and have proposed a solution to settle the dispute in a letter dated 28 February 2011 from the Cambodian Human Rights Task Force (HRTF): in English [PDF] and in Chinese [PDF].  Erdos did not respond.


The following reports discuss concerns about Boeung Kak and the efforts of residents and advocacy groups to encourage Erdos Hongjun to address their concerns:

Invitations to companies to respond to allegations

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Erdos Investment Holding Group (Inner Mongolia) and Erdos Group (Hong Kong) to respond to the above reports.  Erdos Investment Holding Group could not be reached; Erdos Group did not respond.  According to this news report  and this China Labour Bulletin blog, Dezheng Resources Holding based in Qingdao is also a parent company of Erdos Hongjun Investment.  We invited Dezheng Resources to respond, but it did not. There is no publicly available information for Shukaku Inc.  According to the article in Foreign Policy Magazine (above), "Neither Shukaku officials nor Lao Meng Khin responded to written requests for interviews."


On 16 September forced evictions resumed.  For reports on the incident click here.

17 Aug: The World Bank yesterday welcomed a government decision to offer on-site relocation to residents of Boeung Kak lake,  See: "World Bank Reaction", David Boyle & Khouth Sophak Chakrya, Phnom Penh Post [Cambodia], 17 Aug 2011

10 Aug: Cambodian officials vow to take up World Bank decision with bank officials.  See: "World Bank fund halt irks officials", Don Weinland and Kouth Sophak, Phnom Penh Post, 10 Aug 2011

9 Aug: The World Bank stops loans to Cambodia over Boeung Kak evictions.  See:  "World Bank stops funds for Cambodia over evictions", Prak Chan Thul, Reuters, 9 Aug 2011

3 and 4 Aug:  The Cambodia press reports on findings that Erdos Hongjun had expanded its investments in Cambodia to include mining projects".  Both articles cite concerns about the lack of transparency in Erdos Hongjun's dealings and their failure to respond to NGOs.  The Phnom Penh Post specifically cites the Resource Centre's efforts to seek a company response.  

**The Resource Centre will continue to seek a response from Erdos and will post any statements it receives, or other public statements by the firm, here.

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