Justice and History Outreach Project
ICfC has worked in 11 villages in rural Cambodia over the last four years with the goal of helping Cambodians deal with the lingering effects of the Khmer Rouge atrocities of the 1970s. Before ICfC began work here, no initiatives existed that were designed to determine the needs of Cambodians, particularly those living in rural areas (85% of the country), with regards to how history and justice affect their daily lives. In response to this, ICfC created an outreach program- The Justice and History Outreach Project (JHO)- which is based on the belief that the most effective materials and discussions come from the needs as they are expressed by rural Cambodians themselves. The project seeks to:
understand how Cambodians living in rural and remote areas discuss issues of history and justice in their everyday lives;
give rural Cambodians a platform for sharing their opinions about such issues in a safe space;
bring the voice of this marginalized population to the authorities and officials in a position to meet their needs;
help provincial NGOs and local authorities meet the needs of their populations regarding efforts to deal with history and justice.
build the local capacity of Cambodians by training them in the Historical Conciliation methodology and offering them the tools to continue to promote the approach.
The villages are chosen based on the background of the village chief, the harsh experiences endured by the population in recent history, and the presence of a well-established and suitable local NGO. ICfC staff complete several phases of assessment to identify appropriate activities, including: convening dialogues among the villagers, bringing villagers to Phnom Penh to tour the Toul Sleng museum and scheduling meetings with Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) officials. With the support of a grant from the Open Society Institute, ICfC currently works with local partner NGOs and villages in five provinces: Svay Rieng, Battambang, Takeo, Kampong Speu and Kampong Chhnang. A new grant from DED, the German Civil Peace Service, is supporting the expansion of this project to new villages and allows staff to continue work in all of the villages in which ICfC currently works.
For information about new ICfC activity in Cambodia, click here.
ICfC-Cambodia Gets Media Attention: ICfC-Cambodia is highlighted in the annual report of Extraordinary Chambers of Court of Cambodia (ECCC, also known as Khmer Rouge tribunal) for its effective outreach work among the rural Cambodians. See pages 8 and 9 of this report: ECCC Report, February 2011
More general information about ICfC in Cambodia:
- Executive Director’s Cambodia Report, March 2010
- Sophia Dien’s Cambodia Update, April 2010
- Interview with Shanti Sattler, ICfC Cambodia Fellow
- ECCC Report, February 2011
Stories of Survivors: First hand accounts from workshop participants:
ICfC Workshops on Conflict Resolution