New research report on domestic violence law in Cambodia

19 January 2014

Image of New research report on domestic violence law in Cambodia

New preliminary research report available for download here.

Based on two years of ESRC/DFID funded research in collaboration with the NGO Gender and Development/Cambodia and Dr Bunnak Poch, the report deepens understanding of why investments in domestic violence law are faltering and what action can be taken.

It is envisaged that the report will inform the country’s 2nd National Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women (NAPVAW) 2013–2017 led by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and will help address concerns raised by the CEDAW 2013 Committee examination of Cambodia which found ‘limited progress in the prevention and elimination of violence against women’.

Feedback and other (media) enquiries are welcomed and should be directed to Katherine via the contact details on the front-page of this site.

To date the report’s findings have features in the Cambodian national press in The Phnom Penh Post and Cambodia Daily.

I will be speaking at the Center for Khmer Studies in Phnom Penh on February 3rd. Please see the flyer for further information.

Thanks to Bison Bison for the design of the report.

RGS-IBG 2014 CFP: Geographies of Forced Eviction

2 January 2014

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Geographies of Forced Eviction: Dispossession, Violence, Insecurity

Call for Papers: Royal Geographical Society with IBG Annual Conference, London, 27-29 August 2014.

Katherine Brickell, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London; Melissa Fernandez, LSE London, London School of Economics and Political Science; & Alex Vasudevan, School of Geography, University of Nottingham.

(Sponsored by Geographies of Justice Research Group and under review with Urban Geography Research Group)

Forced eviction, claims UN-Habitat (2011: viii), is a ‘global phenomenon’ and ‘global crisis’. Figures published by the agency indicate that during the 2000s at least 15 million people globally were forcibly evicted. Forced evictions are ‘when people are forced out of their homes and off their land against their will, with little notice or none at all, often with the threat or use of violence’ (Amnesty International: 2012, p.2). Today, forced evictions in the name of ‘progress’ are attracting heightened attention as growing numbers of people in the Global South are ejected and dispossessed from their homes, often through intimidation, coercion and the use of violence. At the same time, we have also witnessed the intensification of a ‘crisis’ urbanism in the Global North characterized by new forms of social inequality, heightened housing insecurity and violent displacement. These developments have led to an explosion of forced evictions supported by new economic, political and legal mechanisms. At this apposite time then, the session aims to explore forced evictions as ‘geographies that wound’ (Philo, 2005), and to consider what Geographers can offer to inform understanding of, and action against, this violation of the most basic of necessities.

Abstracts are invited which provide cutting-edge research on forced eviction in the Global North and/or South. Themes could include (but are not limited to):

• (Differentiated) dynamics, experiences and outcomes of forced eviction
• Forced eviction and rights infringements
• Forced eviction, resistance and housing activism
• Logics and theories of dispossession
• Emotional geographies of forced eviction
• ‘Root shock’ (Fullilove 2004) and ‘the wound’
• Home-unmaking and domicide
• Displacement and memory politics
• Homelessness and ‘resettlement’
• Development discourse and practice
• Urban (re)development
• (Geo)politics of forced eviction
• Bio-power and governance
• Forced eviction and the geolegal
• Historical geographies of forced eviction
• Postcolonial geographies of forced eviction
• Scholar activism
• Critical methodological reflections on research practice

We are looking for abstracts of 300 words to be sent to ALL session convenors by Monday 3rd February 2014 ( ). A special journal issue is planned from the session(s). Please indicate in your email if you would like to be part of this.


Philo C (2005) The Geographies that Wound. Population, Space and Place 11(6): 441-454.

Fullilove M (2004) Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, and What We Can Do about It, New York: One World.

United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) (2011) Forced Evictions: Global Crisis, Global Solution. Nairobi: UN-HABITAT.

Home SOS: Gender, Injustice and Rights in Cambodia – new research monograph from the Wiley RGS-IBG Book Series

19 December 2013

Image of Home SOS: Gender, Injustice and Rights in Cambodia – new research monograph from the Wiley RGS-IBG Book Series

The term ‘SOS’ is used internationally as a signal of distress. Home SOS casts the spotlight on everyday life in crisis by positioning the home as a, if not the, principal site for understanding the contemporary intersections of gender, injustice and rights in Cambodia. The book provides a compelling account of the precarious gap that has emerged between the rhetoric of human rights and the reality of injustice suffered at the domestic scale. Based on original and in-depth empirical analysis of three SOS calls which can be heard and quite literally seen in Cambodia, it focuses on the pressing issues of domestic violence, marital breakdown, and forced eviction to examine this hiatus. The book brings together gender-differentiated experiences of home-life under threat with the (lack of) action taken by individuals, families, communities, NGOs, international agencies, and the Cambodian government to address these marked gendered insecurities.

My book is based on 10 years of primary, mainly qualitative research, with men and women at the village level in rural and urban areas across Cambodia. Perspectives are also shared from consultations with NGO representatives, international agencies (such as UNWomen), and government policy-makers (in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs), who all hold responsibility for addressing the SOS calls identified. The book therefore deploys an inventive combination of development, social and cultural, and political geographic perspectives to uncover intimate geographies of domestic life unfolding within the heterogeneous development landscape of Cambodia.

Home SOS makes an important contribution to critical and publicly oriented geographical scholarship on micro-geographies of injustice which are at the forefront of current international development concerns. It is also hoped that the book will make a contribution to raising awareness of these issues in and beyond Cambodia and to audiences outside of academia.

The book will be published by the Wiley Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) Book Series. It is currently at the preparation stage. For further information, please contact me.

Thanks to Ben Woods for permission to use his photograph.