Mekong Watch

Home > Country/Project >Cambodia>Highway One>Resettlement Audit and Unsolved Problems

Resettlement Audit and Unsolved Problems

Resettlement Audit and Unsolved Problems

In November 2004, the ADB finally started the Project’s resettlement audit research. An audit report submitted to the Cambodian government in March 2005 confirmed most of the problems that had been pointed out by Cambodian NGOs three years before for the entire project area. The report also admitted that the ADB had mistakenly approved the Cambodian government’s resettlement program, which was not in compliance with the ADB’s Policy on Involuntary Resettlement. Based on the audit results, the ADB recommended to the Cambodian government that eligible families should be repaid the compensation. The ADB also suggested that a tripartite working group, consisting of the government, the ADB, and NGO representatives, should be formed to oversee repayment processes and to address any outstanding complaints that might arise. After the first quarter of 2006, many resettled villagers finally received compensation that had originally been anticipated under the ADB’s policies and procedures. However, affected villagers’ complaints persisted. Some argued that they were landless, when the government told them that they had enough land left to live on even after the resettlement. Others reported that their compensation money had never reached them for some reason. Yet others complained that they had ended up using the compensation to pay back the debt they had accumulated and that they still could not restore their living standards to those at the pre-project level.

Many villagers, mostly women, gathered to report to NGOs about unsolved problems (October 2006).

Ms. Sin Chhin, a leader from the Kraing Kaok Community, spoke about her communities’ resettlement experiences at the ADB’s annual meeting in Kyoto, Japan (May 2007).


>>Results of the ADB’s resettlement audit:
ADB’s Resettlement Audit Report, dated 7 May 2008.

>>NGOs’ critique of the audit:
Sugita, Rena. 2005. Challenges for Implementing ADB’s Resettlement Policy in Cambodia: The Case of Highway One.

>>Unsolved issues:
Levitt, Joanna, et al. 2007. Slide Show at the ADB Safeguards Panel, May 2007 in Kyoto, Japan.

Sin, Chhin & Leakhana Kol. 2007. Testimony at the ADB Safeguards Panel, May 2007 in Kyoto, Japan (01:57-04:26).

Copyright © Mekong Watch Japan. All rights reserved.