U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will honor Tep Vanny, the outstanding forced eviction activist from Cambodia, as one of five honorees to receive a 2013 Global Leadership Award. Tep Vanny has been a prominent figure in the videos on forced evictions in Cambodia produced by WITNESS partner, LICADHO.

The Global Leadership Awards honor and celebrate women leaders around the world who are the unsung heroines working to strengthen democracy, increase economic opportunity, and protect human rights. The awards were established by the organization Vital Voices Global Partnership, which Secretary Clinton co-founded in 1997.  Tep Vanny joins a very distinguished group of internationally recognized women. The award ceremony will take place in April 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Women are leading the fight for housing and land rights around the world – especially in Cambodia – as they stand up to be involved in decisions which impact their lives and families. Most recently, Vanny was among the Boeung Kak Lake 15 and received politically-motivated charges for supporting her community’s fight to keep their homes and land. As a result of local pressure and international efforts, including an intervention by Secretary Clinton on behalf of the U.S., Vanny and others were released from prison although their convictions remain.

In the run-up to the ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh November 18-20th, this announcement by Secretary Clinton supports the work of many communities in Cambodia and throughout Southeast Asia. We hope President Obama, Secretary Clinton and the leaders of other nations will highlight human rights issues and forced evictions in Cambodia at the upcoming Summit.

Watch these videos to learn more about Tep Vanny’s life and work:

The Impact of “Development” and Forced Evictions on Women in Cambodia:

And watch how Boeung Kak Lake activists, of which Vanny is one, were violently arrested after breaking into song.

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