The Foreign Affairs Committee and Congressman Ed Royce hosted a field hearing on campus covering property rights and development in Southeast Asia.
The event, held August 21, brought members of Congress Matt Salmon (R-Arizona), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa), Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), and Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park), in addition to Royce (R-Fullerton), to discuss the topic.
“Because property rights are essential to stability and economic growth, we must– do all we can to encourage nations to offer these protections to their citizens,” Royce said in his opening statement. “This would dramatically improve the lives of Filipinos, Cambodians and others in Asia, while improving our economic well-being and security.”
Some testimonies were given, detailing how corrupt government officials illegally took land from them, without official documentation. They fear retaliation against themselves or their family if they attempt to get their land back.
In addition, agencies were present detailing their efforts to improve the protection of land and property rights, and a lawyer who discussed the scale of the problem, human rights concerns and more.
Royce is also the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and hosted the hearing to bring awareness to the topic, as well as do research on the topic and listen to various opinions before they begin to draft legislation that addresses the issue.
About 600 people came to the event from all over California, some as far as San Jose.
After the hearing was over, students who served as ambassadors had the opportunity to meet with Royce, along with Provost Sylvia Alva, College of Extended University Dean Howard Evans, and Lisa Xue, Director of Global Education Programs.
To view a video of the hearing, visit the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.