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VOA Khmer Shines Light on Land Rights Abuses

The Khmer Service’s Sok Khemara interviews Cambodian land rights activist Tep Vanny at the VOA Studios.
Land rights problems exist almost everywhere in Cambodia, according to internationally known activist Tep Vanny, who sat down for an interview recently with VOA’s Khmer Service.

During her first-ever trip to the United States, she shook hands with Vice President Joe Biden, shared the Kennedy Center stage with Hillary Clinton, and picked up a global leadership award from Vital Voices. The award was presented by actress America Ferrera on April 2nd.

When Tep Vanny sat down with Sok Khemara from VOA’s Khmer Service, she helped kick off a week’s worth of in-depth coverage on Cambodian land rights abuses.

As part of the coverage, Sok Khemara also interviewed Sia Phirum, Secretariat Director of the Housing Rights Task Force, and Eang Vuthy, Director of Equitable Cambodia.

Both had traveled to D.C. as a show of support for Tep Vanny, and talked with Sok Khemara about the impact of the award, and hopes that increased international attention will urge the Cambodian government to reconsider its approach to land rights issues.

“Cambodia is no longer isolated,” Tep Vanny said. “We have the support we need, and our voices are being heard globally.”

The activist has become an internationally recognized leader for a group of tenacious Cambodian women campaigning against forced eviction in their community.