Meaningful reparation for Khmer Rouge victims

Wide ranging support has been secured for the Civil Parties’ requested reparation projects in Case 002/01, but there remains a funding gap and, consequently, various opportunities still exist for potential donors to engage in the realization of these projects, which will benefit the victims of the Democratic Kampuchea regime from 1975-1979.

The Victims Support Section (VSS) and the Civil Party Lead Co-Lawyers of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) – in close cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations – are currently leading a groundbreaking effort to bring redress to the survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime. The ECCC is the first court of its kind allowing victims to participate directly in the proceedings as parties. In accordance with the legal framework governing the ECCC proceedings, the Civil Parties can seek collective and moral reparations. In addition, the VSS is mandated to develop and implement non-judicial measures to serve the broader interests of victims.

The Trial Chamber has recently set the deadline of 31 March 2014 by which Civil Parties must submit any further documentation and information on the reparation projects they seek in Case 002/01, including updates on funding. Civil Parties seek the Court’s recognition of thirteen reparation projects in Case 002/01 which aim to provide acknowledgement to the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime in order to mitigate the harms and suffering they have experienced. Please see the attached table, for information about the thirteen proposed projects submitted to the Trial Chamber.

In case of conviction of the accused, the Trial Chamber may grant moral and collective reparations to the Civil Parties in its judgment if certain conditions are fulfilled; among them the requirement for documentation of sufficient external funding for each proposed project. With the March deadline drawing near, the VSS takes this opportunity to inform the public about the achievements to date and to seek additional voluntary funding for the reparation projects sought by the Civil Parties.

Despite wide ranging moral, political and financial support from the international donor community, the Royal Government of Cambodia and Cambodian civil society organizations, there are still various opportunities for potential donors to engage in the realization of the requested reparation projects. By providing financial support to these projects, donors can be secure in the knowledge that their contributions are used for programming that creates and maximizes direct and lasting benefits for Civil Parties and victims throughout Cambodia.

A number of projects do not yet have secured funding and, consequently, are at risk of not being recognized by the Court, nor implemented. Funding is sought on a priority basis for these projects, namely the Public Memorials Initiative and the project to publish and distribute the Case 002/01 judgment to civil parties in full and illustrated summary form. Several proposed reparation projects have already secured funding, but would benefit from additional funds which would be used to further expand the reach and enhance the benefit of the projects. Among these are the Testimonial Therapy, Self-Help Groups for Rehabilitation, Mobile Exhibition and Permanent projects.

Potential donors are encouraged to contact the VSS for further information and a presentation meeting.

The VSS is an official organ of the ECCC and is mandated to facilitate and coordinate victims’ participation in the ECCC’s proceedings, except legal representation. Furthermore, the Section is mandated to seek external funding and support and, in close cooperation with the Civil Party Lead Co-Lawyers, to identify, design and later implement reparation projects.

Image og insence infrom of memorial with skulls from Khmer Rouge victims

Illustration photo. 

Overview of Civil Party Reparation Requests in Case 002/01

Name Main Project Partners (implementation)DescriptionCurrent Donors
Funding Status
1. National Day of RemembranceRoyal Government of Cambodia (RGC)Project to create and official national day of remembrance honoring victims and survivors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has already expressed its principled agreement to create such a day. Not ApplicableNo funds required
2. Public Memorials Initiative Kdei Karuna (KdK) & Youth for Peace (YfP) Project to develop a small number (6) of public memorial sites with related truth‐telling and educational activities through a consultative process with civil parties, local communities and other stakeholders at sites distributed throughout Cambodia.[pending donor]Funds not yet secured**
3. Memorial for Khmer Rouge Victims: “For Those Who Are No Longer Here” Séra ING (artist) ANVAYA Association Embassy of France Project to produce and stage a group of sculptural monuments on a raised triangular platform adjacent to the Embassy of France in Phnom Penh. The monuments will evoke events which affected the population of Phnom Penh in April 1975 when the city’s inhabitants were forced by the Khmer Rouge to abandon their homes.Republic of France/Association ANVAYA/OUBA SAS/ACYC SARL ArchitectesFunds secured
4. Monument for Khmer Rouge Victims in France International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) The construction of a monument for victims of the Khmer Rouge living in France at the Great Pagoda of Vincennes in Paris in order to provide a space where survivors and relatives of the victims can hold ceremonies and honor the memory of those lost.[pending donor]Funds not yet secured
5. Testimonial TherapyTranscultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) Project provides approximately 200 civil parties the opportunity to participate in testimonial therapy, during which they are invited to talk about their traumatic experiences with the support and assistance of a mental health professionals who helps them to prepare their testimony in the form of a written document. The civil party or their support person later reads portions of their story in a public ceremony held in accordance with the civil party’s religious/spiritual beliefs and cultural practices.Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)/ StiftungKriegstrauma‐TherapieFunds secured/ Additional funds sought*
6. Self-Help Groups for Rehabilitation Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) Project will create locally‐based and professionally facilitated self‐help groups, which are voluntary associations of people that meet to help themselves and each other increase their level of well‐being, develop coping skills and overcome traumatic suffering.Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)/StiftungKriegstrauma ‐TherapieFunds secured/ Additional funds sought*
7. Permanent Exhibition on Forced Transfer & Tuol Po Chrey Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC‐Cam) Permanent exhibitions on forced transfer and the executions at Tuol Po Chrey will be established in five Cambodian provincial museums at Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Thom, Takeo, and Svay Rieng provinces. While the exhibition will initially be focused on forced transfer and Tuol Po Chrey, the specific topics may change over time to reflect other aspects of victims' and civil parties' experiences.Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)Funds secured Additional funds sought*
8. Mobile Exhibition on Forced Transfer & Tuol Po Chrey Kdei Karuna & Youth for Peace (YfP) The project is an interactive exhibition that educates Cambodians about Khmer Rouge History, the ECCC and personal experiences of civil parties, especially forced transfers, through a multimedia exhibition combining film and other audiovisual material with participatory activities that encourage visitors to expand their knowledge and deeply reflect on the issues presented, relating them to their personal lives and contemporary Cambodian society.Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)Funds secured/ Additional funds sought*
9. New Chapter on Forced Transfer & Tuol Po Chrey in Teacher’s GuidebookDocumentatin Center of Cambodia (DC‐Cam) An additional chapter on forced transfer and the Tuol Po Chrey execution site will be included in the Teacher's Guidebook: The Teaching of A History of Democratic Kampuchea (1975‐1979) which is used in all DC‐Cam's genocide education programs, in collaboration with the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. The chapter will be interactive and focused on student‐centered learning methodologies for the purpose of cultivating critical thinking, independent learning activities, reflection, and engagement on the history of Democratic Kampuchea and the experiences of victims and civil parties.Civil Peace Service (GIZ)/Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)Funds secured
10. Community Peace Learning Center in Samrong Khnong Youth for Peace (YfP) A Community Peace Learning Center (CPLC) will be constructed and maintained in Samrong Khnong village, Battambang province—a historical sight where mass killings of the Khmer Rouge Regime occurred. The CPLC will consist of an information center, a museum and a dialogue room. The community will contribute human and financial resources to the development and maintenance of the CPLC which aims to transform the site’s negative past into a positive future by engaging the local community and civil parties in transforming the site into a place of commemoration, remembrance, dialogue and education.Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)Funds secured
11. Illustrated Civil Party Storybook Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC) The project will produce a second edition of CHRAC’s book of civil party stories. The book project transforms civil parties into narrators, telling their stories both in written narratives and illustrative artworks. The book will allow those whose voices are normally perceived as powerless, and marginalized to be heard and a sense of justice delivered through recognition and acknowledgment.Civil Peace Service (GIZ)/Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)Funds secured
12. Publication & Distribution of Case 002/01 JudgmentCivl Party Lead Co‐Lawyers Section (LCLS) and/or ECCC This project seeks to provide civil parties with the Case 002/01 judgment both in its full text as well as a summary version. The summary version will be the official ECCC summary and/or a specially developed summary text intended to be accessible and interesting to civil parties, their families and the general public. It will explain the judgment and civil party participation in the proceedings in layperson’s terms. The text will be accompanied by informative and entertaining illustrations that will help to explain the main points of the text.[pending donor]Funds not yet secured
13. Publication of Civil Party Names on ECCC Website ECCC Civil party names and basic identifying information will be published in the Trial Chamber’s written judgment in Case 002/01 as well being published on the ECCC website as a means to recognize the harm suffered by civil parties and acknowledge their participation in the proceedings.Not ApplicableNo funds required

* These projects are funded at a base level and additional funds are sought to expand the reach of the project to more civil parties.

** This project is budgeted for approximately 6 memorial sites; however, project costs can be scaled down to a lesser number of sites, if necessary.

*** Funds totaling 692,727.42 USD have been raised for these projects, including 521,001.60 USD raised by the VSS.