Get out now
Can you imagine being told you have a few minutes to leave your home before it is bulldozed and destroyed forever? This has happened to thousands of people in Cambodia – as the latest documentary in the brilliant Channel 4 series Unreported World tonight will show.
Reporter Jenny Kleeman meets the people of Dey Kraham – a slum district in Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh. Her film shows the residents being first thrown onto the streets by security forces and hired demolition workers, and then left to watch as their homes are turned into dust by wave after wave of bulldozers.
This is not a one off. In 2008 alone Amnesty International received reports of at least 27 forced evictions affecting over 20,000 people in Cambodia, most of them marginalised groups already living in poverty. And about another 150,000 Cambodians are still living under the threat of the same treatment in the midst of disputes about who owns the land they live on.
Why is it happening? Developers want the land for tourism projects, farming and manufacturing. They cosy up to the local authorities who soon decide that a particular community is not entitled to stay on the land where they have been living in some cases for decades.
And the blight of forced evictions is not unique to Cambodia. Millions of people around the world, in Angola, Kenya, Guatemala and dozens of other countries, live with this threat of being thrown out of the homes without any notice. Even Europe is not immune to the problem – Amnesty is currently asking people to write to the Deputy Mayor of Milan about the imminent eviction of 150 Roma people from their homes.
Watch tonight’s film. Email the Deputy Mayor of Milan if you have time. Enjoy sleeping in your bed tonight.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.