CIPO is ambitious to mobilize resources to build IPs museum to serve as an information center where all the IPs data, tradition and culture are documented, kept and disseminated widely for the purpose of sustaining the IPs as permanent entity and well-being in the Cambodian society. In addition, the IPs museum is not only build and conserve the culture and tradition for the IPs but also become heritage for young generation of the whole of Cambodia.

The Indigenous Peoples (IP) Data and Development Project is a CIPO initiative that aims to produce comprehensive demographic data for IP living in Cambodia. At present government data relating to IPs in Cambodia is inconsistent and flawed.  In 2009 the Statistics of National Policy of Indigenous People placed the number of indigenous people at 179,000, 1.34% of the population, whilst in 2013 the Inter-Censal Population Survey stated that 2.3% of total population were Indigenous based upon the number of households that speak their mother tongue. Both figures are in contrast to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) survey of 2008 that stated 383,273 IPs were living in Cambodia, or the Commune Data Base statistic of 2015 that counted 276,878 IPs. Such inconsistencies continue between different governmental departments: in 2013 the National Institute of Statistics (NIS-MOP) released figures that stated 10 provinces had 16 indigenous groups whilst in 2015 the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) stated that there were 24 Indigenous groups in 15 provinces. CIPO believes that confusion in the concept of and categorization of  ‘Indigenous People’ has created misleading official statistics that understates IPs numbers and creates a bias against IP development projects. From 2016-2017 CIPO,[1]In collaboration with ADIC and Open development Cambodia (ODC) and with the support of HBS processed and consolidated existing IP data through discussion with relevant stakeholders and members of Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Alliance (CIPA). This concurred with a meeting held in January 2017 between officials from 16 ministries and IPs to reflect upon the Implementation of the National Policy on Indigenous peoples development of 2009, and a working group was established to implement the policy: key strategic actions were identified and the terms of reference developed. In March 2017 CIPO presented their findings to the MoP who agreed to generate, analyse and produce further official statistics on the demographic and Socio-economic status of IPs in Cambodia with an agreed publication date of March 2018.

CIPO as a leading member of Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Alliance (CIPA) engaged closely with the Ministry of Rural Development for the formation of a comprehensive National Strategic Plan (NSP) for newly and officially formed Inter-ministerial Technical Working Group on Indigenous Conservation and Development (ITWG-IPCD) on May 6, 2019. The last consultation on a comprehensive NSP for TWG-IPCD, produced a draft plan with concrete indicator proposed by indigenous peoples through cross-sectoral needs, one of them is development of indigenous peoples’ cultural center and disaggregated data for indigenous peoples in a regular basis under Ministry of Planning. The draft NSP is being reviewed for finalization focused on over 21 sectors that concerning indigenous peoples socio-economic development. The proposed building of indigenous cultural center was suggested to be building in all 15 provinces that indigenous peoples live and at the national level. However during 2019, what IPOs concerned the most was an exclusion of indigenous peoples’ organizations from the members of TWG-IPCD. Until the end of the year 2019, IPOs have been lobbing and advocating to MRD to consider the inclusion of IPOs into the working group.

  • To produce a series of national reports on the Demographic and Socio-Economic Status of Indigenous Peoples in Cambodia, and to display this data in a user-friendly manner
  • To co-ordinate and work with the government at a national level to ensure that government ministries and policies can adequately address IPs development needs
  • To promote awareness and understanding of IP culture

What we’ve done so far:

  • CIPO has collaborated with ODC & CIPA[2]Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Alliance to pressure over 20 government ministries into taking action to drawing the demographic data on IPs from the existing population censuses of 2008 and 2013 and the final report has been structured.
  • CIPO has facilitated discussions between relevant stakeholders and the MoP on how the 2019 population census may best account for the socio-economic and demographic status of IPs and supplement existing data.
  • CIPO is collaborating with NGO forum to raising the profile of Indigenous Peoples Day, helping reduce the stigma and discrimination that IPs face and help install pride in their cultural heritage.
  • The project aims to ensure that all relevant stakeholders accurately identify the needs of IPs and that these needs adequately accounted for within national policy initiatives. It is vital to ensure the continued support of ministries at a national level towards IPs as a mean of ensuring recognition within all subsections of society. IP needs fall within the sectors of health, education, justice, land rights (amongst many others) it is through government infrastructure, and through policy formulation within these sectors, that these needs shall be met. With adequate statistics and data on IP communities within Cambodia their specific needs can be outlined and policy development target specific issues.
  • In raising the profile of IPs through events such as IP day CIPO can help reduce the stigma and discrimination that IPs face and help install pride in their cultural heritage. By promoting IP rights and education on such, CIPO hopes that IPs will be able to further develop pride in their cultures and thus stop the loss of heritage.
  • By engineering a collaborative approach towards sustainable development with IP communities by means of participation between government ministers, NGOs and IP’s themselves, the programme can not only ensure that maximum resources are turned to address IPs, they can also mobilise greater numbers of resources through donors etc. and ensure that these are appropriately channelled. Ensuring collaboration between the different bodies who work with IPs
  • IP rights and liberties are presently not recognised as within official documents IPs do not even exist. This restricts their access to justice and has a devastating impact upon their development. Without adequate assessments of socio-economic status and need it is impossible to unlock the potential IPs have to aid in the development of Cambodian society as a whole.
wdt_ID No Ethnicity #Village #Household Total Population Percentage
1 1 Bunong 140 12,148 55,704 20.12%
2 2 Kouy (-1) 135 16,265 70,302 25.39%
3 3 Stieng 39 3,358 15,489 5.59%
4 4 Mil 4 864 4,011 1.45%
5 5 Kroal 17 1,012 5,404 1.95%
6 6 Thmorn 7 242 1,378 0.50%
7 7 Khaonh 2 201 1,061 0.38%
8 8 Tompuonn 107 8,095 37,395 13.51%
9 9 Charay 67 6,031 25,262 9.12%
10 10 Kroeung 81 6,283 26,220 9.47%
11 11 Kavet 20 1,473 7,463 2.70%
12 12 Saouch 3 143 754 0.27%
13 13 Lun 9 269 1,213 0.44%
14 14 Kachak 16 850 4,401 1.59%
15 15 Praov 39 2,652 10,732 3.88%
16 16 Raadear 1 1 3 0.00%
17 17 Chorng 10 614 2,330 0.84%
18 18 Por 13 464 1,517 0.55%
19 19 Souy 21 525 2,253 0.81%
20 20 Others IP 22 912 3,986 1.44%
21 Total 753 62,402 276,878 100%
No Ethnicity #Village #Household Total Population Percentage


1 In collaboration with ADIC and Open development Cambodia (ODC) and with the support of HBS
2 Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Alliance