Working Paper 42

Access to Land of Highland Indigenous Minorities: the case of plural property rights n Cambodia

Indira Simbolon

Projektgruppe Rechtspluralismus

Jahr der Veröffentlichung


Working Paper 42

The paper describes the development of plural property rights in Cambodia, with particular attention to the current recognition of indigenous community rights to land by the state. Cambodian state laws on property rights have been heavily characterised by the tendency of any new regime to invalidate or abolish all the pre-existing state arrangements for land rights created by old regimes. In the various political battles by the various regimes, however, indigenous community rights to land have never been viewed as important issues. In July 2001, the National Assembly passed a draft "Land Law" which later signed into law by the King in August 2001, includes a chapter on indigenous community rights. The paper argues that the promulgation of a chapter on indigenous community rights as part of the Land Law is primarily a result of the increasingly important role of international organizations in Cambodia, be they UN organizations, international financial institutions, or international donor NGOs.

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