This event is part of a series highlighting themes from “Imagine: Reflections on Peace,” a multimedia exhibit from USIP and the VII Foundation that explores the themes and challenges of peacebuilding through an immersive look at societies that suffered — and survived — violent conflict.

Though the rule of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia (1975-1979) was short-lived, the atrocities committed by the regime are among the most egregious in human history. In the nearly 50 years since, journalists, civil society and national and international criminal law actors have worked to document, prosecute and educate the public about Khmer Rouge crimes. Their efforts demonstrate the enduring challenges of achieving justice and accountability for mass atrocities and the critical importance of documentation to facilitating it.

On July 6, USIP held a conversation with journalist and author Elizabeth Becker, atrocity investigator and educator Ly Sok-Kheang and former advisor to the Extraordinary Chambers Courts of Cambodia Susana SáCouto to reflect on role of documentation in achieving justice and accountability.

Continue the conversation on Twitter using #CambodiaPeacePerspectives.

Speakers

Elizabeth Becker
Author and Journalist 

Ly Sok-Kheang
Director, Anlong Veng Peace Center, Documentation Center of Cambodia

Susana SáCouto
Director, War Crimes Research Office, Washington College of Law, American University 

Andrew Wells-Dang, moderator
Senior Expert, Vietnam, U.S. Institute of Peace

Related Publications

Never Again? The Legacy of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Trials

Never Again? The Legacy of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Trials

Monday, October 3, 2022

By: Nicole Cochran;  Andrew Wells-Dang, Ph.D.

Between 1975 and 1979, the Khmer Rouge regime that ruled over Cambodia committed untold atrocities, with an estimated 1.5 to 2 million people dying of starvation, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. In mid-September, over 40 years after its reign of terror, the only formal accountability mechanism to prosecute the Khmer Rouge —the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) — issued the final decision of its judicial mandate. While the court's legacy is complex, it served an important platform for accountability and reparations for victims. As it moves to a new phase of residual functions over the next three years, the international community should prioritize supporting its work, which is vital to boosting peace and stability and protecting the rights of Cambodians.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

China’s Security Force Posture in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia

China’s Security Force Posture in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

By: John Bradford

China’s geo-economic influence is empowering the expansion of its security force posture in the Lower Mekong region, which should be of concern to both maritime Southeast Asia and the United States. While Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia—the geographic core of mainland Southeast Asia—are demonstrating resilience and sustaining some strategic autonomy, several trends indicate that their options may be increasingly limited. This report looks at China’s security force posture in these nations, the possible ramifications of that posture, and considerations for balancing U.S. policy and outreach. 

Type: Special Report

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Lessons from Cambodia’s Paris Peace Accords for Political Unrest Today

Lessons from Cambodia’s Paris Peace Accords for Political Unrest Today

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

By: Laura McGrew;  Scott Worden

In December 2016, to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1991 Paris Peace Agreement that ended the decade-long war between Cambodia and Vietnam, USIP hosted a conference to examine the implementation of that agreement and how the decisions made in the past have affected increasing political unrest in the country. Panelists included several key actors...

Type: Peace Brief

Peace Processes

In Cambodia’s Schools, Breaking a Silence Over the 'Killing Fields'

In Cambodia’s Schools, Breaking a Silence Over the 'Killing Fields'

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

By: USIP Staff

A generation after the Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia and exterminated an estimated 2 million of its people, that brutal history is largely hidden from young Cambodians. While the country remains heavily scarred by this legacy, the Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s is still largely unacknowledged in the nation’s schools.

Type: In the Field

Conflict Analysis & PreventionViolent ExtremismEducation & TrainingYouth

View All Publications