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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Asia Pacific Viewpoint
Title ‘Indigenous Peoples’ and land: Comparing communal land titling and its implications in Cambodia and Laos
Volume 54
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 269-281
URL http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ian_Baird/publication/258863181_'Indigenous_Peoples'_and_land_Co​mparing_communal_land_titling_and_its_implications_in_Cambodia_and_Laos/links/0046352949b1f5d7f30000​00.pdf
In 2001 a new Land Law was adopted in Cambodia. It was significant because – for the
first time – it recognised a new legal category of people, ‘Indigenous Peoples’ or chuncheat daoem
pheak tech in Khmer, and it also introduced the legal concept of communal land rights to Cambodia.
Indigenous Peoples are not mentioned in the 1993 constitution of Cambodia or any legislation
pre-dating the 2001 Land Law. However, Cambodia’s 2002 Forestry Law also followed the trend by
recognising ‘Indigenous Peoples’. These laws have been both symbolically and practically important,
as they have provided government-mandated legitimacy to Indigenous identities and associated land
and forest rights, including communal land rights, and have been ontologically significant in dividing
Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples on legal grounds. Over a decade after the 2001 Land Law
was promulgated, this article considers some aspects of its effects. In particular, when compared with
the potential for developing communal land rights in Laos, one has to wonder how advantageous it
is to adopt Indigenous identities and the types of communal land rights and community forestry
rights presently possible in Cambodia

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