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Abstract: After the 1991 Paris Peace Agreement, Cambodia set about the difficult process of state-building. Despite violent clashes in 1997-98, the Cambodian government has been largely successful in establishing full control of military forces, into which former Khmer Rouge soldiers have been reintegrated. The Cambodian government, with support of donors, successfully improved infrastructure throughout the country, built up capacity in key state institutions, and provided basic public services to the people. Behind these achievements was assistance from a grassroots network built by the Cambodian People‟s Party in the 1980s. This network is characterized by patronage connections between the government and village chiefs, and between the latter and villagers. Consequently, the legitimacy of the state has been strengthened. In contrast, social empowerment has been delayed, and people's political rights and freedoms have been restricted by the state. As shown by the recent increase of corruption charges and land tenure disputes, the imbalance between the powerful state and a stunted civil society is a potential factor of instability.
Abstract: Three decades of civil war and cold war powers interference have resulted in an extremely painful
situation for children in Cambodia. They suffer from the physical and psychological scars of conflict, from
displacement and exploitation, from insufficient health care and environmental insecurity, from a political
culture of corruption which diverts funds from their educational and health objectives and from a brutalisation of
the society which endangers their freedom from fear. This study attempts to review the vast range of threats to
which Cambodian children may be subject and to use the Human Security approach to highlight how
interdependent these threats are, thus using the academic revolution introduced by this paradigm in threat
assessment. But it has also attempts to exploit the more controversial “operational” side of HS in sketching
personal insights on how the dealing with these respective threats may be improved, notably through more
Abstract: Reforming land tenure is an integral part of the process of post-conflict development which is
currently underway in Cambodia. However, the land tenure reforms have remained focused on the
desire to achieve primarily economic gains, seeking improved access for citizens to formal credit,
higher land values, higher rates of investment in land, and increases in income. Though such
outcomes can be attributed to a process of reducing income-based poverty, the social and equity
impacts of tenure reform must be addressed more directly if well-being is to improve and the
potential for future conflict is to be reduced.
This paper examines the interface between land tenure and human security in post-conflict
Cambodia in order to help reveal ways in which tenure reform can make a more coherent
contribution toward broad-based and sustainable development. Efforts to improve human security
are premised on the understanding that, in order for the development process to be effective,
individuals must first be empowered to participate in primarily economic opportunities while at the
same time be protected from threats that may compromise their physical, social, or psychological
well-being. In this context, a functional system of tenure reform must address the underlying
conditions or factors that provide people with constructive coping mechanisms to deal with threats
to their security.
Abstract: The Mekong River – Southeast Asia’s largest river – runs from the Tibetan Plateau and through China’s
Yunnan province. This part of the river is heavily dammed. South of China, as it goes through Burma,
Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, has been spared. That might soon be changing as Laos, backed by Thailand,
is set to start the construction of the 1260 megawatt Xayaburi hydroelectric plant. Vietnam opposes
this plan and claims that the future of the river, and the communities along it, will be threatened. National
interests are clearly pitted against each other. The split regarding the future of the Mekong River threatens
to damage the relations between Laos and Vietnam and increase regional insecurity.
Abstract: This Human Rights Watch report details the latest government crackdowns on these indigenous peoples, known collectively as Montagnards. The report documents police sweeps to root out Montagnards in hiding. It details how the authorities have dissolved house church gatherings, orchestrated coerced renunciations of faith, and sealed off the border to prevent asylum seekers from fleeing to Cambodia.
Abstract: The Portfolio of Mine Action Projects is a resource tool and reference document for donors, policy-makers, advocates, and national and international mine action implementers. The country and territory-specific proposals in the portfolio reflect strategic responses developed in the field to address all aspects of the problem of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). This country and territory-based approach aims to present as comprehensive a picture as possible of the full range of mine action needs in particular countries and thematic issues related to mine action. The portfolio ideally reflects projects developed by mine- and ERW-affected countries and territories based on their priorities and strategies; the approaches are endorsed by national authorities. The portfolio does not automatically entail full-scale direct mine action assistance by the United Nations, but is in essence a tool for collaborative resource mobilization, coordination and planning of mine action activities involving partners and stakeholders. A country portfolio coordinator (CPC) leads each country portfolio team and coordinates the submission of proposals to the portfolio’s headquarters team. While the majority of the CPCs are UN officials, this role is increasingly being assumed by national authorities. The country portfolio teams include representatives from national and local authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the United Nations and the private sector. Locally based donor representatives are invited to attend preparation meetings. Each portfolio chapter contains a synopsis of the scope of the landmine and ERW problem, a description of how mine action is coordinated, and a snapshot of local mine action strategies. Many of the strategies complement or are integrated into broader development and humanitarian frameworks such as national development plans, the UN development assistance frameworks and national poverty reduction plans. This 14th edition of the annual Portfolio of Mine Action Projects features overviews and project outlines for 29 countries, territories or missions affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war. There are 238 projects in the 2011 portfolio. Africa accounts for the largest number: 92.
Abstract: Regarded as a “sideshow” to U.S. foreign policy interests during America’s Vietnam era, Cambodia has often been overshadowed in the region by its more economically influential Southeast Asian neighbors. Yet, its festering feud with Thailand over the Preah Vihear temple has once again flared up, claiming at least five lives. The ongoing standoff between the two ASEAN member states threatens a conflict that would be devastating to the UNESCO world heritage site and its surrounding communities. While the government of Cambodia has called on the UN to intervene, a sober assessment suggests that Cambodia and Thailand can take measures to deescalate tensions and prevent further erosion of the relations between the two countries.
Abstract: The author departs from conventional wisdom that addresses factors such as mandates, spoilers, and the like, and ignores political factors. He explores Cambodian conflict and peace operations as a complex and interactive situation in which local political conditions were paramount and directly challenged UN peacekeeping principles of neutrality. He observes that UN peacekeeping missions can be too tied to theory and doctrine while ignoring reality. The author argues for missions that understand the inherent complexity of peacekeeping, recognize emerging realities, and adapt accordingly.
Abstract: This policy brief describes the important linkages between land rights and landmines in conflict-affected
contexts. Its purpose is to deepen awareness within the broader mine action and development communities
about these linkages, and provide guidance on how to effectively mainstream land rights issues into
mine action operations.
Land rights in conflict-affected situations are a topic
of increasing concern for the humanitarian and
development community. The recovery of households,
communities and countries following war depend to
a large degree on re-establishing clear rights over
land resources which are the basis of livelihoods.
The land rights situation becomes particularly critical
in mine-affected countries, where land access can
be denied for years or decades. Mine action organisations
(i.e. National Mine Action Authorities, National
Mine Action Centres, mine/ERW operators
and mine action donors) typically avoid land rights
issues in their activities, due to considerations of
neutrality, mandate, complexity, awareness and
political sensitivity. However the decision to survey
and clear (or not) particular areas inevitably involves
land rights issues.
This policy brief is based on a series of country case
studies (Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Cambodia, Sri Lanka, South Sudan and Yemen)
commissioned by the Geneva International Centre
for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), as well as
presentations and discussions that took place at an
international workshop organised by the GICHD
in October 2010. It also draws on the extensive
land and conflict related research and policy work
carried out by the Overseas Development Institute,
UN-HABITAT, academics and others.
Abstract: Over the last decade, the international community
has been working toward a new and broader concept
of security, drawing input from a number of
governments, non-governmental organizations and
civil society groups as well as scholars and other
prominent individuals. This new concept—known
as human security—calls on states to ensure the
survival, livelihood and dignity of their inhabitants.
At the same time, it encourages e≠orts to equip
people to act more e≠ectively on their own behalf. Following the report by the Commission on Human Security, Human Security Now, this booklet seeks to show practical applications of human security and give the concept a human face. Between March-June 2006, in preparation for this publication, the Human Security Unit, a freelance journalist and a team of photographers visited dozens of project sites, conducting hundreds of interviews with local staff and beneficiaries. From these many compelling initiatives, nine stories were selected that reflect the range of issues, regions and institutions involved in human security work around the globe. Human security represents a fundamentally new
way of thinking about a range of contemporary
challenges—from hunger, poverty and failing
schools to armed conflict, forced migration and
human tra≤cking. Because these issues are closely
intertwined, human security emphasizes the need
for multi-sectoral responses and collaboration
among all stakeholders. Moreover, it aims to bridge
the gaps between security, humanitarian assistance,
human rights and development aid.
Abstract: This brief presents the progress to date in developing
a typology of wartime rape as a first step toward
understanding the different consequences of this form
of violence in war. This publication focuses solely on
wartime rape perpetrated by armed groups against
civilians, though this form of violence is perpetrated
more widely by, and against, different actors during
war. The wider perpetration of rape against other
actors is not presented in this brief, but is nevertheless
included in the Typology. The Typology is a product of
two phases of research: a) an initial phase (November
2008–May 2009) where a preliminary typology was
created based on an examination of two country
cases of wartime rape: Bosnia and Herzegovina,
and El Salvador; and b) a second phase (September
2009–May 2010) where the typology was refined
according to data collected from a review of the
literature on ten additional country cases of wartime
rape (Cambodia, Colombia, Democratic Republic
of the Congo, Liberia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea/
Bougainville, Peru, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Timor Leste).
The Typology was designed on the basis of a definition
of wartime, which includes a myriad of war dynamics
that surround and influence the perpetration of
rape, and which can be organized into the following
type of conflict in which wartime rape occurs;
characteristics of the armed group;
motivations for the rape;
characteristics of the rapist;
characteristics of the raped person; and
characteristics of the rape.
Abstract: The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) marked an important milestone on July 26, 2010, when the Trial Chamber issued its judgment against Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, finding him guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes and sentencing him to 35 years in detention. This sentence was reduced by five years as compensation for a period of illegal pretrial detention by the Cambodian Military Court, and Duch will be credited with time already served in pretrial detention-eleven years to date. The release of the Duch judgment represents a high point in the public profile of the ECCC and highlights the contribution the court can make in bringing justice to Cambodians and, more generally, in redressing atrocious crimes. The Duch judgment presents an important opportunity to increase the effectiveness and success of the court by addressing its shortcomings. The July 2010 appointment of Clint Williamson as UN Special Expert to the Secretary-General for the ECCC provides the UN, the ECCC's donors, and the court with the high-level leadership long needed to tackle the difficult ongoing problems of political interference and funding. This report examines recent progress made by the court, including the Duch judgment and the appointment of the Special Expert. It also looks at the challenges currently facing the court, including fundraising, proceeding with Cases 002 and 003/004, and managing civil party participation and reparations.
Abstract: On July 26 the Trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) handed down its decision in the case of Kaing Guek Eav, also known as "Duch.”
Duch is the first former official to be convicted by the ECCC for the mass atrocities of the Khmer Rouge regime, which governed Cambodia from 1975 to 1979.
Duch is the former director of S-21, the notorious detention and torture center also known as Tuol Sleng, at which more than 12,000 victims were tortured and killed.
The court’s decision comes 31 years after the end of the Khmer Rouge's rule during which an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians were executed or died from torture, starvation, disease or forced labor.
Abstract: This Open Society Justice Initiative report focuses on the judicial independence of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, and how political interference appears to be threatening the court's work.
Now, as the court completes its first case, prepares to try its second, and contemplates additional cases, it is essential to understand the extent to which the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has succeeded in maintaining its independence.
This report begins with a brief exploration of the history of judicial independence in Cambodia and examines how the ECCC has struggled with its commitment to international fair trial standard in practice. It presents recommendations both to better safeguard independence at the ECCC and to inform the structure and performance of future international courts.
The Khmer Rouge Tribunal is charged with prosecuting senior leaders and those most responsible for mass crimes committed in Cambodia during the 1970s. Its unique structure as a court formally embedded in the Cambodian domestic system but with international participation at all levels is an experiment in the development of legal accountability for mass atrocities.
Abstract: Managing elections in post-conflict settings has become one of the essential tasks of the international community over
the past twenty years. Yet this task is associated with numerous challenges, many of which are still unfolding. This report
is a comparative study of three countries which will all hold elections in 2008 or 2009, but which are at very different
points on their post-conflict trajectories: Cambodia, Rwanda and Sudan. The selection of these countries for detailed
case study treatment makes it possible to explore both how electoral challenges have changed over time within countries
and how they compare across countries.
In particular the report seeks to address three important research questions concerning states that are emerging from a
period of conflict and instability:
• What constitutes a “good enough” election?
• How does the meaning of “good enough” change as countries move further along their post-conflict trajectory?
• What does that imply about how the international community should engage in electoral processes?
Abstract: Over the past twenty years, international donors have invested in large-scale disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) programs. In the same period, there has been a proliferation of transitional justice measures to help render truth, justice, and reparations in the aftermath of state violence and civil war. Yet DDR programs are seldom analyzed to consider justice-related aims; and transitional justice mechanisms rarely articulate strategies for coordinating with DDR. Disarming the Past: Transitional Justice and Ex-combatants examines how these two types of initiatives have connected — or failed to connect — in peacebuilding contexts, and begins to articulate how future DDR programs ought to link with transitional justice aims. This book includes: Introduction: Linking DDR and Transitional Justice, by Lars Waldorf; Chapter 1: Amnesties and DDR Programs, by Mark Freeman; Chapter 2: Beyond “Peace vs. Justice”: Understanding the Relationship Between DDR Programs and the Prosecution of International Crimes, by Eric Witte; Chapter 3: Ex-Combatants and Truth Commissions, by Lars Waldorf; Chapter 4: Establishing Links Between DDR and Reparations, by Pablo de Greiff; Chapter 5: Transitional Justice and Female Ex-Combatants: Lessons Learned from International Experience, by Luisa Maria Dietrich Ortega; Chapter 6: DDR, Transitional Justice, and the Reintegration of Former Child Combatants, by Roger Duthie and Irma Specht; Chapter 7: Local Justice and Reintegration Processes as Complements to Transitional Justice and DDR, by Roger Duthie; and Chapter 8: Transitional Justice, DDR, and Security Sector Reform, by Ana Cutter Patel.
Abstract: Addressing discrimination, inequality and human rights is a core challenge of the
state-building and peace-building process. It is at the centre of the negotiation of
state–society relations and is a process rife with contradictions and tensions. Donors
thus have a responsibility to address discrimination within their support to peacebuilding
The first section of this paper sets out what we understand by discrimination, drawing
on human rights principles and DFID’s conceptualisation of social exclusion as
systematic disadvantage which results from discrimination. The second section
explores why discrimination matters in contexts of fragility, conflict and violence. The
third section sets out how DFID and other donors can address discrimination as part
of efforts to support peace-building and state-building. The paper concludes with a
summary of key lessons.
Abstract: A growing number of rape reports, including against very young girls and gang rapes, fill
Cambodian newspapers. Most police, NGO workers and public officials working with the issue
agree that rape is on the increase. The lack of appropriate services for victims of rape is
acute, and reflects social attitudes about rape and sexual violence.
Cambodia’s new Penal Code will enter into force late 2010. Amnesty International urges the
Cambodian government to seize this opportunity to address inadequate law enforcement in
cases of gender-based violence. The government has plans and strategies to tackle genderbased
discrimination, with a clear focus on human trafficking and domestic violence. They
need to incorporate rape and other sexual violence into these efforts, ensuring political will to
address this problem. The government’s limited public condemnation of rape echoes a lack
of social sanction. The lack of services – and policy discussions – may be interpreted as an
implicit acceptance of sexual violence on the part of the government and vast swathes of
society. The limited access to adequate medical and social services is a further indication
that the authorities do not acknowledge the severe trauma experienced by victims.
Abstract: The will and the capacity of the United Nations (UN)
and Member States to deal with natural resource fuelled
conflicts is weak. In eastern Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC), civilians die on a daily
basis because of a war that is stoked by the
international trade in minerals. The conflict’s
economic dimension and the identity of those
fuelling it have been known for many years; yet
increased awareness of the problem has not triggered
effective action. When the UN Security Council
passes resolutions concerning DRC – on targeted
sanctions for example – Council members and other
governments decline to implement them.
Global Witness believes that these failings on the
DRC reflect the lack of a coherent and committed
international approach to tackling natural resourcefuelled
conflicts. For two decades, the UN, other
intergovernmental bodies and individual
governments have been forced to respond to these
kinds of self-financing wars in countries such as
Angola, Cambodia, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte
d’Ivoire. Different policies have been tried, with
varying degrees of success, but no serious attempt
has been made to distil from these experiences a
common understanding of the problem and a
strategy for dealing with it.
Reviewing these cases, we find that the international
peace and security system is poorly equipped to deal
with the challenges they pose. When considered
together, the four key entry points for international
action – sanctions, peacemaking, peacekeeping and
peacebuilding – should offer the basis for effective
action. However, despite progress in some areas, the
overall picture is one of ad hoc decision making
and yawning gaps in institutional capacity and
Global Witness is calling on the UN to establish
a High Level Panel to draw up a comprehensive
strategy for tackling self-financing wars. This
High Level Panel should review existing
international experience of responding to such
conflicts. It should also examine potential threats
in countries such as Guinea, Somalia and Central
Abstract: The 63rd United Nations (UN) General Assembly is poised to debate Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon’s report on the operationalisation of the Responsibility to Protect (referred to as ‘R2P’
for the remainder of this report). It is expected that his report will be released and debated in
early 2009. Therefore, this is a good time to examine the position that Member States have
adopted on the R2P since its endorsement at the 2005 World Summit and policy issues
relating to its implementation through the UN. This report will focus on the Member States of
the Association for South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the exception of Myanmar, which
is currently on the UN Security Council’s agenda. It concentrates on their position on the
R2P and their policy priorities in areas related to implementing the principle through the UN.
The report identifies steps that might encourage the region’s governments to become more
positively engaged with the R2P principle.
Abstract: There has been an explosion of sexual
violence in today’s armed conflicts. And reports from civil wars
confirm what many fear – these violations are only increasing.
Military groups have integrated sexual violence into their arsenal
of weapons and found it to be an effective tool to achieve their
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo villages are routinely
attacked by rebel groups and all the females – young and old – are
assaulted in the most brutal of ways. It is estimated that upwards
to one million women and girls were raped during Rwanda’s
genocide in 1994. Northern Uganda’s war, often described as a
war against children, included the abduction of more than 40,000
boys and girls. Adolescent females over the age of 11 years were
expected to serve as both soldiers and as the dutiful wives of
In the past there was an agreement that children should be
protected from adults’ wars. This is no longer the case. Just as the
world has developed extensive protocols and conventions to
protect children, there has been a counter trend to abuse any and
all of their rights. It is no exaggeration to say that today’s wars are
fought on the backs and bodies of young people.
This study steps inside that world. The intention is to examine the
nature, extent and impact of war induced sexual violence against
young people. The research was based in Cambodia, Colombia
and Northern Uganda. Each country and conflict has distinct
characteristics that have shaped the vulnerabilities of young
people inside combat and civilian situations. The fact that all
three situations occupy a different point on the conflict-post
conflict continuum has provided a useful point of comparison.
Abstract: Kaing Guek Eav, better know as Duch, was born around 1942. He taught mathematics and was drawn toward Communism by a group of Chinese exchange students at the University of Phnom Penh. Arrested by Sihanouk's police as a "Communist", he was held without trial for several months. Soon after Sihanouk was overthrown, Duch went into the maquis. In the early 1970s, Duch was in charge of security for the Communist Party north of Phnom Penh. The earliest documents connecting Duch with S-21, also called Tuol Sleng - the interrogation and torture center of the Khmer rouge regime - date from October 1975. As the man in charge of S-21, Duch is alleged to have overseenn the interrogation and torture of suspected traitors.
Abstract: This project argues that the current model of state-building is deeply flawed and
that an alternative model may work better. It hews to a middle ground between the critics:
successful state-building may be possible, but only if the international community adopts
a different framework. Key to successful state-building, I argue, is restoring the
legitimacy of the state’s monopoly of violence. The current model implicitly rests on a
formal-legal conception of legitimacy in which law or institutions confer authority on
officials, who then employ that authority to create a social order. But a formal-legal
approach, however well suited to established states governed by a rule of law, is
inappropriate in the anarchy of a failed state. Precisely because the prior regime has lost
its legitimacy, there is no accepted legal or institutional framework that can confer
authority on a nascent government, no matter how democratic. I develop an alternative,
relational conception of legitimacy drawn from social contract theories of the state.2 In
this approach, authority derives from a mutually-beneficial contract in which the ruler
provides a social order of benefit to the ruled, and the ruled in turn comply with the
extractions (e.g., taxes) and constraints on their behavior (e.g., law) that are necessary to
the production of that order. The contract becomes self-enforcing – or legitimate – when individuals and groups become “vested” in that social order by undertaking investments
specific to the particular contract. In this way, legitimacy follows from social order, not
the other way around as in the current model. This implies that providing security,
protecting property rights, and adjudicating disputes within society should be the first
step in any state-building process. This paper proceeds in five principal sections. The first examines the concepts of
state failure and state-building, arguing for a new focus on rebuilding state legitimacy.
Section II probes and criticizes the intellectual foundations of the current model and
practice of state-building. I then develop an alternative analytic foundation and model that rests of a relational conception of authority in Section III. I develop the role of
international trustees in the state-building process and examine further the tensions
identified above in Section IV. The final section examines the case of Somalia. Other
cases are planned for future research.
Abstract: This working paper explores the dynamic between indigenously produced and maintained
patron-client systems and the democratization infrastructure supported by the international community and
local elites in Cambodia. We seek to address the question: what is the relationship between
neo-patrimonialism and democracy in Cambodia? Do Cambodian political parties act as agents for
political change or do they maintain the status quo within these systems? We approach this two part
inquiry by unpacking interactions between neo-patrimonialist and democratic behaviors at the commune
level in Cambodia. Drawing from document analysis and qualitative interviews during fieldwork in
Cambodia, the paper analyzes patterns of communal and individual behavior generated by political parties,
and contextualizes it within the broader literature on Southeast Asian democratization. We argue that
democratization in Cambodia is occurring both because of, and in spite of, political party maintenance of
more traditional relationships of obligation. This paper is co-authored with Mneesha Gellman.