Volunteer to help protect the land rights of vulnerable communities
This is a Cambodian NGO that uses human rights lawyers to address issues of social justice. Since 2003 child protection policies have been established. Through a community-based development initiative food security has been improved, as has the health and well-being of over 5,000 poor and vulnerable Cambodians. In 2015 the focus is on community empowerment and legal awareness, with particular focus on securing land tenure and housing rights.
Cambodia is developing as a country and land within Phnom Penh and other towns is soaring in value. 44 shanty town communities have been identified that live on land with valuable development potential. Whole communities are in danger of being evicted with minimal or no compensation.
Through policy research, advocacy at the national and international level, coalition building and community organization, the project is raising the issue of forced evictions and land-grabbing in Cambodia, making the international community and the national authorities more responsive to this pervasive human rights problem.
The project needs career break volunteers with a background in law, advocacy, research and report writing.
As a lawyer you would be a legal adviser to the community empowerment and legal awareness team. You would help local staff in the development, testing and creation of the community legal training manuals. These are published, distributed and implemented with partner communities and organizations. You would be asked to help with the training and education of vulnerable people within the communities and finally with the monitoring of the programme. The project needs funding and you would be asked to send reports to donors and assist and guide the programme manager with funding proposals.
Having identified 44 communities, volunteers are needed to carry out field research, desk research and fact finding missions into their needs. This includes education and health and the issues surrounding land rights and land-grabbing.
Writing skills are needed to produce documents for legal briefings, web articles, press statements and research or policy papers. All external communications are written in English and the Khmer staff need support with this. Some of this work would be used for PR purposes to raise awareness of the programme, update the website and produce publicity material about potential human right abuses.
Legal skills are not essential for this research role. We do however need volunteers who understand the spirit of human rights law and who have public relations, research and report writing skills.
The local staff have qualifications in law but are not qualified lawyers. By building their capacity we hope that they will take on more responsibilities and over time become more sustainable.
You would be addressing the needs of the most vulnerable communities who are having their land ‘stolen’ by corrupt government officials. As they fall deeper into the poverty trap, their human rights that include education and healthcare are increasingly denied.
From the palm tree festooned fields of the countryside to the heady two-wheeled traffic of Phnom Penh, Cambodia is intangibly special..., Volunteer in Cambodia