LICADHO Canada (LC) began informally in 2005 by a group of international volunteers affected by the severity of Cambodia’s human rights abuses. LC partnered with LICADHO and was registered in 2006 in British Columbia, Canada. By the end of the year LC was established in Phnom Penh and quickly became focused on highlighting the land-grabbing crisis in Cambodia.
In early 2007, LC began to document the Dey Krahorm community and their resistance to unlawful forced eviction. LC spent more than two years working with and directly inside the Dey Krahorm community, including sleeping in the community during imminent threats of night attack or eviction. During this time LC pioneered the use of NGO’s protective accompaniment and use of video advocacy among the land rights partners. Dey Krahorm was violently evicted and displaced early 2009 and LC spent the following year supporting Dey Krahorm families in the aftermath of forced eviction, including through counselling to deal with traumatic impact, emergency medical grants, and interest free loans. LC’s growth and development during Dey Krahorm’s resistance determined all future steps forward.
Over the next years and together with former leaders of Dey Krahorm as educators, LC provided peace-building, active non-violence and creative advocacy workshops for leaders from the increasing number of communities resisting forced evictions. Despite LC’s small size, LC distinguished itself in this field through innovative approaches to advocacy and unique personal approach to supporting communities under threat of eviction.
Whereas forced evictions and land grabbing have been a controversial issue for years, the July 2013 election dramatically changed Cambodia’s political landscape. After the highly contested elections, respect for freedoms of expression and assembly took a turn for the worse as authorities met protests with unprecedented violence. LC therefore expanded its mission from ‘land rights’ to ‘human rights’ to be able to include cross sector partners such as monks, unions, and associations, as beneficiaries under increasing risk.
Today, LC, alongside communities, unions and other grassroots groups on the front-lines, reduces violence through the use of digital documentation, security planning, and protective accompaniment services. Off the front lines, LC provides video, creative advocacy and security training to these groups, and facilitates sharing workshops for them. LC also produces videos to support LICADHO and grassroots groups’ existing advocacy efforts, and works closely with LICADHO to maintain case-specific service delivery on sensitive on-going cases.
See ‘Activities’ for more detailed description of our current activities.