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The implementation of the principles and practices of restorative justice in the Cambodian community, as they have been developed in Western contexts, is promising but with its challenges. Cambodian hierarchical structures and Buddhist values of equanimity present a cultural barrier to restorative justice techniques which encourage open expressions of emotion and non-hierarchical dialogue. In his article Restorative Justice in the Cambodian Community, Mr. Pen Khek Chear attempts to lay out the various challenges of using Western-developed restorative justice practices within the Cambodian context.


On 26 July 2010, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia for the Prosecution of Crimes Committed during the Period of Democratic Kampuchea (ECCC) issued its first verdict against a Khmer Rouge leader. The case was against KAING GUEK EAV, alias DUCH, head of Cambodia's notorious S-21 prison center where over 12,000 individuals were systematically tortured and killed. Many victims of the Khmer Rouge felt the judgment of 35-years imprisonment to be lenient and unsatisfactory (over 16 years of which would be deducted for time already served and defendant's illegal detention by Cambodian authorities). Read the entire verdict and decide for yourself.


For centuries, folktales the world over have provided explanations for natural occurrences and lessons on life and morality. Recognizing the important contribution of fables in promoting and reflecting cultural values, Cambodia's Buddhist Institute set out to preserve their wisdom in a series of booklets published in the late 1980's entitled "Collection of Old Khmer Tales." Khmer Buddhist Relief board member Sody Lay has translated various stories from the Collection into English and offered them to the Khmer Institute for publication. While reading these Khmer folktales, notice the prominent role of wit and cleverness in resolving (and causing) conflict.


Khmer Rouge survivor Peauladd Huy has long suppressed the memories of her childhood in the Killing Fields for fear of being emotionally overwhelmed by them. As a result of her children's questions about their heritage, however, Peauladd decided she must come to grips with her tragic memories. What she could not express through the spoken word to her daughters, she put down on paper. The memories and thoughts eventually gave rise to her poetic chapbook Souvenirs for My Daughters.


The Cambodian Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has compiled a set of Laws and Legal Instruments in Force in Cambodia which we have placed in the Human Rights section of the documents page. The compilation includes domestic law as well as human rights treaties and other international instruments to which Cambodia is party. Copies of the laws are available in both Khmer and English.



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