Documentation Center of Cambodia

2005 Work Plan


We expect that 2005 will be an extremely eventful year for the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) with the Khmer Rouge tribunal approaching. On October 4 and 5, 2004 Cambodia’s new National Assembly ratified: 1) The Agreement between the United Nations and the Royal Government of Cambodia concerning the Prosecution under Cambodian Law of Crimes Committed during the period of Democratic Kampuchea, and 2) The Law on Amendments to the Law on the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia for the Prosecution of Crimes Committed during the Period of Democratic Kampuchea.[*] On October 27, the head of state promulgated a law (the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Law) that harmonizes the government’s agreement with the UN on establishing the tribunal.


The Cambodian people have waited for over a quarter of a century to see the regime’s senior leaders held accountable for their actions and justice done. The impending tribunal has been a focus of our work this year, and will continue to inform our activities throughout 2005. We are very optimistic about our ability to succeed in our planned endeavors and thus contribute to the promotion of memory and justice in Cambodia.


The coming year should witness both significant continuity and change at DC-Cam. Some of our projects will continue with comparatively minor amendments in 2005, but others will undergo modification or increase dramatically in scope and pace. In addition, we plan to implement innovative projects to prepare Cambodian citizens for the trials, to increase public participation in the tribunal process itself, and to educate the younger generations of Cambodians on their modern history.


Below we summarize our main accomplishments during 2004 and our plans to take our projects forward. We also briefly describe projects we will begin implementing next year. The following sections provide a more detailed overview of our 2004 activities and plans for 2005 in each of our major areas of operation.


2004 Activities

2005 Plans


Cataloguing and

Database Management

13,512 documents catalogued

 7,056 documents keyed

17,000 catalogued

 31,000 keyed

DC-Cam genocide database established


29,025 pages filmed

25,000 documents filmed

Access Listing

5,000 documents

4,480 documents

Develop film at DC-Cam

Photo Exhibitions

Forensic exhibition

1 or more new exhibits

Other Exhibitions

Supplied materials to 3 museums

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation (Germany) exhibit

Digital Photo Archives

Produced book, catalogued and posted 180+ photographs

Possible second monograph


30-minute documentary produced and selected for the Brussels Film Festival


Promoting Accountability and the Rule of Law


Project formally completed; 450-page report produced

Master GIS database to be completed

Forensics Study

Mass grave reconnaissance



660 interviews (estimated)

Work completed in 4 provinces

2,000 interviews analyzed

1,050 interviews

Expansion to 5 new provinces

Legal analysis of interviews

Tribunal Support

Procedures developed for access to DC-Cam archives

Public Information Room opened; hosts 500+ visitors

DC-Cam office opened at Rutgers University (US)

Procedures refined

Tribunal Response Team formed

PIR “road trips” taken to the provinces

Operations of US office expanded

Legal Training

30 people given six weeks of legal training

Defense counsel legal training

Public Education and Outreach

Victims of Torture

144 people interviewed; 49 identified with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

186 interviews completed; 28 PTSD victims counseled


Expanded broadcasts to 2 additional provinces

In-house studio completed

Broadcasts extended to 5 more provinces

Studio produces pre-recorded programs for provinces


180+ photographs posted

Redesign begins

Redesign completed

Chat room set up

Cham Muslim website set up

Pre-Trial Outreach

Cham oral history and website, Buddhist nun march, and student canvassing planned


Cham, nun, and student projects implemented

Living Documents


1,200 people from rural areas nationwide attend the tribunal, hold village forums, and are filmed for showings at other villages (3-year project)

Genocide Education


Information collected on current education on DK in Cambodia and other countries, curricula, films, museums, etc., in preparation for the development of curricula and text in 2006

Cross-Border Cooperation

DC-Cam provides assistance to NGOs in Iraq, Thailand, Serbia, and former Yugoslavia

Proposed affinity group of documentation centers to solve strategic and technical issues

Host 2 or more interns from Burma

Research, Publications, and Translation


84,000 Khmer and 2,800 English issues published and distributed

400+ government booklets on the tribunal distributed

Requests (e.g., family tracing) jump dramatically

Increased print runs of the Khmer editions should funding be available


Possible production of a quarterly magazine for the Cham Muslim community

Research and Writing

3 monographs published

Research assistance provided on 8 books by foreign scholars

4 or more monographs published

Additional research assistance


Translations of 3 books completed

Translations of at least 3 books completed

Research Forum

Essay contest held

New essay contest

Media and Academic Outreach

At least 200 articles published by or on DC-Cam

At least as many articles published

Personnel and Resource Development


7 staff pursuing advanced degrees abroad

6 new Cambodian and 4 international volunteers

At least 3 additional staff study abroad

Increase translation staff

Recruit 5 Cambodian and 3 international volunteers


Security measures enhanced modestly

Fundraiser recruited

Public Information Room added

Improve security measures further


Contract fundraiser

Acquire land and facilities for a permanent center





 We have also note four areas in which we did not meet our goals:


  • Databases/Server. Last year, we contracted with a local company (Khmer Hosting) to make our databases publicly available. After nearly a year had passed, the company told us that it did not have the technical capabilities to complete this work, although the company is still working to complete the database. We have now made arrangements with an IT expert to design the database. DC-Cam staff will enter the data and the database should be completed by June 2005

  • NGO Cooperation. Although we are currently working with a number of local non-government organizations, we did not increase our participation in this area as much as planned. We have sent staff representatives to nearly all of the NGO meetings we have been asked to attend, but other staff commitments have precluded our direct involvement in many NGO umbrella groups and projects. For 2005, we plan to target the most promising of these projects and second staff to them; we will also work to include appropriate NGOs in one or more of the Center’s projects.

  • Website Posting. We had planned to complete the posting of our most important documents on the DC-Cam website in 2004, and this target has not been met. However, in October, a volunteer from the Netherlands (Isaac Tabor) joined us for seven months. He has begun the reorganization and re-design of our website, and has made good progress in posting up large numbers of documents and photographs. We expect to have the site up to date before he returns home in April 2005.

  • Staff Development. With many of our most senior staff on academic leave, our staff now working at the Center have less experience and require closer supervision, resulting in slower progress on many projects. It has also increased the amount of time DC-Cam’s management must devote to staff supervision and development. This situation will begin to ease slightly with the return of a few senior staff next year.


1. Documentation


Documenting the history of the Khmer Rouge is at the core of our operations: it is an important part of our center’s mandate and plays a major role in all our projects. DC-Cam has been active in collecting documents relevant to the history of the Democratic Kampuchea (DK) era for nearly a decade. To date, we have amassed well over 600,000 pages of documentation from the DK-era, petitions and interview transcripts taken from survivors of the regime, and a variety of other materials that could potentially serve as evidence at the tribunal.[†] DC-Cam by no means possesses a monopoly on documentation relevant to the crimes of Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) leaders, but it is the largest repository of such materials.


1.1      Cataloguing and Database Management


The first aspect of our documentation work entails collecting and cataloguing documents and managing two major databases, the Cambodian Genocide Bibliographic Database (CBIB) and the Cambodian Genocide Biographical Database (CBIO). Set up in collaboration with Yale University and the University of New South Wales, these databases contain detailed information on former Khmer Rouge leaders and cadres. They provide an organized information resource about the DK regime and many of its victims. The databases also facilitate our program of family tracing, whereby survivors of the DK era can search for information on lost loved ones. Because these databases are Internet accessible and available on CD-Rom and microfilm, scholars, legal personnel for the tribunal (both the prosecution and defense) and the general public in Cambodia and abroad can access them.


Cataloguing and Keying. Since DC-Cam began operating in 1995, we have catalogued (entered information into worksheets in preparation for adding them to our databases) or keyed (entered information into the databases) nearly 83,000 documents, which are housed in six collections: 

  • D Collection: General Khmer Rouge documents (e.g., notebooks, biographies, confessions, reports, execution logs) and the Anlong Veng (a KR stronghold until 1996) collection of post-KR materials (e.g., school textbooks, meeting minutes, reports).

  • I Collection: Biographies of Khmer Rouge cadres and prisoners.

  • J Collection: Confessions from S-21 (Tuol Sleng) prison.

  • K Collection: Biographies of Khmer Rouge cadres and prisoners.

  • L Collection: Intelligence documents from the Lon Nol regime (1970-1975).

  • R Collection: Petitions to the Peoples Republic of Kampuchea (the government that held power from 1979 to 1993) to oust the Khmer Rouge from their seat at the United Nations, including accounts of horrific crimes and descriptions of mass burial pits and prisons.


To Date


D Collection



The remaining 8,333 documents will be catalogued in 2005

Keyed in Khmer


14,058 of the remaining 19,696 worksheets
will be keyed in 2005

Keyed in English


16,992 of the remaining 21,414 worksheets
will be keyed in 2005



I Collection




Keyed in Khmer



Keyed in English



J Collection




Keyed in Khmer



Keyed in English



K Collection




Keyed in Khmer



Keyed in English



L Collection



7,820 documents to be completed in 2005

Keyed in Khmer


To be completed post-2005

Keyed in English


To be completed post-2005

R Collection



1,699 of the remaining 2,400 documents

will be catalogued in 2005

Keyed in Khmer


To be completed post-2005

Keyed in English


To be completed post-2005

Total catalogued


Total keyed



In 2005, we have planned to catalogue 17,852 documents and key 31,050 documents. To accomplish this and meet our ambitious goal of having all of our documents catalogued before the trials begin, we will hire additional staff.


In 2005, we also have plans to consolidate all of the information in our archives into a genocide database in 2005 that DC-Cam is now developing (tentatively called the Khmer Rouge History Database). We will employ Microsoft Access or a similar user-friendly format that will enable quick and accurate searches.


Indexing. In 2003, we began to prepare a hard-copy index of biographical information on nearly 11,000 Khmer Rouge contained in our CBIO database. This index will contain information on each individual’s name, alias, gender, place of birth, rank/position, and record number. In 2004, we decided to add a record of each person’s status (alive, executed, disappeared) based on interviews our Accountability Project teams have conducted with the relatives or neighbors of former Khmer Rouge. By 2004, we had made corrections to the 2,820-page Khmer version of the book and translated 250 pages; we plan to complete another 960 pages in 2005. In addition, we will make an index of this book available at our Public Information Room.


Access Listing. In 2004, we began entering our documents in a user-friendly Microsoft Access list. This list provides basic bibliographical information in English and Khmer. To date, we have listed about 5,000 documents from our D collection and plan to enter an additional 4,480 documents in 2005.


Website Posting. In 2004, we contracted with a local company to increase our storage space on the Internet, provide a range of ongoing technical services, and assist us in updating and expanding our website. A main goal of this effort was to post searchable databases on the Internet, thus enabling us to share more of our documentation work with scholars and interested members of the public. However, we canceled our contract with the company when it failed to perform.


Realizing the importance of posting our documents, we will continue searching for a company that can assist us in loading our databases onto DC-Cam’s website. In the interim, we will work to secure other means that will enable the public to access our materials.


Preservation. We have preserved all of the original documents we hold from DK in non-acidic Mylar plastic. They are stored in locked, fireproof safes.


1.2      Microfilming


This project aims to preserve historical documents related to the Khmer Rouge. It gives researchers and legal investigators access to our archival information without handling original documents, many of which have become fragile with age.


To date, we have microfilmed all of the documents in our I, J, K, and L collections, with only part of our D and R collections remaining. In 2005, we plan to microfilm over 25,000 documents from these latter two collections.



Reels/Pages Microfilmed

to Date

Reels/Pages to be Microfilmed in 2005

D Collection


all will be completed by December 2005

R Collection


all will be completed by December 2005

PA Interview Transcripts




We have been cooperating with Yale University’s Sterling Library since 1998 on duplicating our microfilm records for security and academic purposes. We sent the negatives to the library to be developed; they kept the masters and returned a copy to us. However, by the end of the year, Yale had yet to process 77 of the 482 reels of film we sent to them, some of which were over a year late in being returned to DC-Cam. Because Yale had not fulfilled its latest contractual obligations to DC-Cam (the deadline for their completion of the microfilm was December 31, 2004), we decided to develop our microfilm in-house. (On January 12, 2005, Yale returned the remaining microfilm copies to us, thus completing our R collection documents).


Last year, we had microfilm developed at the National Archives of Cambodia, but found that the product incompatible with our quality standards. We thus concluded that the most cost-efficient option consistent with our quality demands was to acquire our own microfilm developer/duplicator. We purchased this equipment and it was recently delivered to us. During the last two weeks of December, we developed 8 reels (5,799 pages). These files will be posted on our website in 2005. We will also store duplicates of our microfilm at secure locations inside Cambodia.


1.3      Photo Exhibitions


Exhibitions in Cambodia. Two of the photo exhibitions we installed during 2003 at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (one on former Khmer Rouge cadres during DK and today, and the other on the regime’s top leaders) continue to be displayed and receive favorable comments from Cambodian and international visitors alike.


From the UK: “Seeing is believing, to remember and never forget. Why should this happen, again and again? Will there ever be a last time? Will we ever learn? Rest in peace forever, all you innocent people. I will carry this visit with me always.”


From Brazil: “An exhibition like this is an excellent way to make sure history does not repeat itself. Let’s make sure it does not happen anywhere else in the world.”


From Cambodia: “After I visited Tuol Sleng and saw the photos exhibited, I still don’t understand the purpose of Pol Pot, and that Khmers killed their own people. So, the only way to give peace to the victims is to try the surviving Khmer Rouge leaders.”


In 2004, we mounted a new forensic exhibition at Tuol Sleng. It contains photographs of 10 skulls excavated from Choeung Ek (the “killing fields” south of Phnom Penh where Tuol Sleng prisoners were executed) and other parts of Cambodia, accompanied by text explaining the type of trauma to each skull. This exhibit seeks to demonstrate the value of forensic evidence in documenting the Khmer Rouge’s crimes against humanity. It is also intended to educate the public about the types of information that can be scientifically gathered from victims’ remains in order to prove and record evidence of murder/genocide. (Because some Cambodians are uncomfortable with the idea of boxing human remains, we house the skulls in a separate room at Tuol Sleng, which is open only to officials.)


From Australia: “May the work carried out here play a positive role in bringing the perpetrators of these inhuman crimes to justice. Seeing the exhibit gives me a sense of shame, that I can be part of a species that does this to itself, but also hope, in the smiles of Cambodians and their determination to keep on surviving. This must never be forgotten and it must never happen again.”


In response to recent articles (e.g., “Cambodia-Khmer Rouge Museum: Upset Over Renovations at Cambodia’s Infamous Khmer Rouge Torture Prison,” AFP, November 11, 2004), DC-Cam has received letters from Democratic Kampuchea survivors, historians, and museum specialists around the world expressing dismay at the prison’s recent renovation work, including a new paint job. It is DC-Cam’s position that the studies performed at Tuol Sleng to date are not sufficient to serve as the basis for an effective renovation plan. Instead, architects and engineers should be commissioned to perform a detailed study of structural weaknesses before further modifications are made. We will continue to press for preserving as much of Tuol Sleng’s historical structures as possible while undertaking the necessary work to keep the buildings sound and safe for the public.


Other Worldwide Exhibits. In 2004, we supplied the Washington State Genocide Museum, the Chicago Killing Fields Museum, the new Rwanda Genocide Museum, and several individuals with photographs that have been used in exhibitions (nearly the entire collection of the Washington facility, which is the first Cambodian genocide museum in the United States, was provided by DC-Cam).


In 2005, we will work with Germany’s Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation to contribute photographs for an exhibit at its headquarters next year. The exhibit, whose working title is “The Trauma of Terror and the Challenges of Coming to Terms with the Past,” will be followed by a symposium. DC-Cam staff and Taing Kim will attend the symposium and screen The Khmer Rouge Rice Fields for those attending (please see Section 1.5).


1.4      The Digital Photo Archive Project


DC-Cam interviewed over 100 former Khmer Rouge cadre and their family members, and obtained nearly 200 photographs from the DK era. A monograph on the recollections of former cadres and their families (the base people) entitled Stilled Lives: Photographs from the Cambodian Genocide, is now at the printing house. We also scanned all of the photographs, captioned and indexed them, and are placing them and other project information on the Internet. The project team also received training on book design and layout in India.


We have hope to produce a second book next year that focuses on the new people. These were city dwellers who were either executed (e.g., members of the former Lon Nol regime) or evacuated to Cambodia’s provinces during DK and forced into hard labor.


1.5      Film Project


In 2004, DC-Cam provided research, translation, and other support to Cambodian director Rithy Panh on his documentary S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. In April, DC-Cam director Youk Chhang accompanied Mr. Panh to New York to screen the film at the United Nations in preface to fundraising at the tribunal. We also gave advisory support to Mr. Panh two other documentary films.


This year, DC-Cam also produced its first film, a 30-minute documentary entitled The Khmer Rouge Rice Fields: The Story of Rape Survivor Taing Kim. It is about the gang rape of a woman by Khmer Rouge soldiers and her views on justice and reconciliation. The film is being shown at DC-Cam’s Public Information Room and daily at Tuol Sleng. It has been screened at five locations in Thailand, and will show in November at the Brussels Film Festival and Prix Bruno Mersch, and the Asian Cultural Council in New York in December. DVD productions of the film have earned $400, which is being used to support the education of Taing Kim’s children.


1.6      Collection of New Materials and Data


Although we possess a very large collection of documentary materials, we are always on the lookout for additional acquisitions. In 2004, we will continue to search for new documentary materials in Cambodia and abroad from both institutional sources and individuals. In October, DC-Cam’s director traveled to Hanoi to determine the status of the large number of DK-era documents held by the Vietnamese government.


2. Promoting Accountability and the Rule of Law


We do not expect that legal accountability for the horrific crimes of the Khmer Rouge will completely resolve the problems of poverty and injustice Cambodians face today. However, the leaders’ prosecution in a court of law will be the most important factor in helping victims realize some measure of justice for the wrongs committed against them and their loved ones, and then begin to reach closure with the past. Just as important, the process of accountability for the Khmer Rouge must serve as a bridge toward a stronger rule of law.


Important steps toward accountability were achieved in October 2004, when Cambodia ratified its agreement with the United Nations on the tribunal of senior Khmer Rouge leaders, promulgated the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Law that harmonizes the agreement, and passed amendments to the law after a yearlong political deadlock that followed the country’s general election in July 2003. In 2004, DC-Cam continued or initiated a number of activities to support the trials of senior Khmer Rouge officials and will continue these activities in 2005.


2.1      The Mapping Project


This project, which began in 1995, involved seeking out and mapping mass graves, former DK prisons, and genocide memorials using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. Sometimes, the readers of our magazine also send us information on the locations of prisons and graves (in November, for example, a Cambodian expatriate wrote us to say he was the only one of 450 Lon Nol soldiers to survive a prison camp in Preik Datch near Neak Loeung along the Mekong River; DC-Cam was unaware of its existence).


Our mapping team identified 19,521 mass graves in 391 clusters, 194 Khmer Rouge security offices, and 80 memorials constructed by survivors of the DK regime. In addition, in 2004, we wrote a 450-page field report on this project with 180 photographs. Although the project formally closed this year, we are continuing to enter its master data set into our GIS database, and will post the data set on our website in 2005. 


2.2      The Forensics Study


Based on existing mapping data, a team of three North American research and forensics experts and DC-Cam’s mapping team conducted a detailed reconnaissance of mass graves and memorials to identify sites for a full-scale forensic exhumation. In 2004, we mounted a forensic exhibition of human skeletal remains at the Tuol Sleng Museum and produced a project report on undisturbed graves in two Cambodian villages. Portions of the exhibit can now be viewed on our website. One of the North American experts hired for the project will complete a monograph on forensic findings and crimes against humanity in Cambodia in 2005.


2.3      Accountability Project (PA)


Our PA Project focuses on fact-finding in advance of the tribunal and seeks to build a better historical understanding of the workings of the DK regime. One of our main activities in this vein is to draw a picture of subordinate-superior relationships during DK and to identify survivors (victims and former Khmer Rouge) who may be helpful in the tribunal. With the tribunal drawing near, we will accelerate the pace and expand the scope of this project.


Interviews and Database. In 2004, as in previous years, our main activity was to conduct interviews with former Khmer Rouge cadres in the field. Using information from our files, our team locates and interviews individuals who served in the DK regime. Our normal procedure is to identify and investigate all relevant biographies from a given geographic area (see our description of the CBIO above). We conducted this work through field offices in Kandal, Takeo, Kampong Cham and Kampot provinces. In the first three quarters of 2004, we completed 495 interviews in the field, with an estimated 660 interviews anticipated for this calendar year.


In 2005, we plan to interview 1,050 victims and former Khmer Rouge. Since our work has been completed in the first four provinces, the project will operate in Kampong Thom, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu, Pursat, and Prey Veng provinces in 2005. We also plan to add staff to our PA Project in order to complete the large amount of field work required. We will also continue to enter information about interviewees into our database, which provides the names, whereabouts, and basic biographical information about each of the former cadres we interview. This database is likely to be very important to prosecutors in the tribunal proceedings.



To Date

2005 Plan

Biographies investigated*

4,310 (est. by year end 2004)

2,592 of the remaining 15,714 biographies to be investigated

Survivors (victims/perpetrators) interviewed

1,509/429* (28,936 pages)

(by 3rd quarter 2004)

800/250 of the remaining 5,502/1,564 will be interviewed

Records entered into the Accountability Database


2,400 of the 6,902 remaining records will be entered

* Many of those whose biographies are investigated have disappeared. However, we have found that when investigating a man or woman who disappeared, villagers are apt to talk more openly about him or her than they would their own family members; this has proven to be an invaluable source of information for our staff.


Analysis of Data. In 2004, we began a major new activity with Dr. Stephen Heder of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, who is one of the world’s leading experts on modern Cambodian history. To date, Dr. Heder has analyzed nearly 2,000 interviews (30,000 pages) we have conducted with Khmer Rouge cadres. Specifically, he will determine if the interviews provide information relevant to the cases of the former Khmer Rouge officials most likely to stand trial. Dr. Heder is providing English summaries of the historically salient points in selected interviews, while preparing the materials for legal analysis and presentation to the Extraordinary Chambers. In addition, he accompanied our field teams to conduct several follow-up interviews with cadres who may be important in providing indications of the leadership chain of the Khmer Rouge. We anticipate that his analysis will be completed in December 2004.


In 2005, DC-Cam’s legal advisor, John D. Ciorciari, will conduct a legal analysis of the translated interviews with DC-Cam’s support. Dr. Ciorciari is former Wai Seng Senior Research Scholar at Oxford University and a Harvard- and Oxford-educated lawyer.


2.4      General Support for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal


As the UN and Cambodian government prepare for trials of certain former Khmer Rouge officials, we have been preparing to support the tribunal. Our activities include:


Procedures for Access to DC-Cam’s Archives. To provide the court and other authorized officials with full access to our documents, we have worked with our legal advisors and sought the advice of legal experts from the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) to develop and issue rules and guidelines for accessing them during the tribunal process. They are designed to ensure that our documents remain available for review and as secure as possible. We have provided a copy of the procedures to the appropriate UN and Cambodian authorities.


As the tribunal process unfolds in 2005, we will develop an even more specific set of guidelines to ensure that we assist the proceedings as effectively as possible.


Tribunal Response Team. We began planning for this team in late 2003. In 2004, we have added more detail to the plan, which we hope to implement in 2005 (depending on funding for the tribunal). The team would comprise Cambodian and non-Cambodian lawyers and political scientists/historians., two of whom would work full time and would be assisted by shorter- term personnel on an as-needed basis; they would be supervised by a DC-Cam staff member familiar with our Center’s documentary holdings. This independent and neutral team will be in a position to help tribunal and authorized officials (as well as the public) carry out research and documentary reviews as needed. Also, Center staff will translate additional documents into English in advance of the tribunal.


In addition, we are seeking support to bring one or more experts from within Cambodia or overseas (e.g., historians, document preservationists) to Phnom Penh to work closely with our team before and during the tribunal. We anticipate that we will seek the services of these experts during 2005.


Public Information Room. To meet the need for documentation materials at the tribunal and dramatically increase access to our archival holdings, DC-Cam opened its new Public Information Room (PIR) in late April 2004. Access is given to legal personnel (representing both the defense and prosecution), scholars, reporters, and the general public. The PIR is also home to DC-Cam’s Victims of Torture Project and will house our Tribunal Response Team.


The PIR also functions as a library and educational forum. To date, it has received over 500 visitors, hosted 9 guest lectures, and screened 4 films on the regime (a total of 39 times). Recently, the number of people coming to the PIR requesting information on atrocities during DK has jumped from 1 or 2 per month to over 40.



2nd Quarter 2004

3rd Quarter 2004

Number of Visitors




In the past few months, DC-Cam has brought together and met with hundreds of Cham Muslim leaders from throughout the country, Buddhist nuns, and representatives of youth organizations, and held talks/planning sessions with them in the PIR (Section 3.4). It also provided the venue for our legal training course (Section 2.5).


For 2005, we plan to bring the PIR to the provinces via “road trips” to rural areas where access to newspapers, television and other means of communicating news is more difficult. Our activities will include showing relevant films on the Khmer Rouge regime, presenting videos we take of the trial process (assuming the tribunals have begun then), and hosting informative talks about the tribunal in villages nationwide. In Phnom Penh, we will host public lectures at least monthly and show films weekly on topics relevant to DK. Our plans will be formalized as the tribunal process takes shape.


DC-Cam Overseas Office. In 2004, we set up an office in the United States at Rutgers University to collect and disseminate information on Khmer Rouge history, with a particular emphasis on assisting the Cambodian North American community. This office will also: 

  • Serve as a reciprocal exchange between DC-Cam and Rutgers students and faculty

  • Facilitate internships/externships at DC-Cam for Rutgers students

  • Present research and training opportunities for Rutgers students and faculty

  • Provide a venue for exhibitions, conferences, and seminars

  • Locate information for and provide translations to personnel from the UN, members of the legal community, scholars, and others interested in the upcoming tribunal.

Two Rutgers graduate students from DC-Cam (Meng-Try Ea and Vannak Huy) are staffing this office on a volunteer basis. We are receiving support from Rutgers to keep the office open for at least two years.


2.5      Legal Training Project        


A critical part of our work is to train Cambodian leaders on human rights law and related subjects. In July and August, we held a six-week legal training course on international humanitarian and criminal law. It was attended by 30 law students, human rights NGO workers, reporters, political representatives, lawyers, and selected DC-Cam staff. The trainees’ institutions and project staff are listed below.


Trainees’ Institutions

Trainers/Project Staff

§    Cambodian Center for Human


§    Cambodian Communication

      Institute, Royal University of

      Phnom Penh

§    Cambodia’s Women Crisis Center

§    Club of Cambodian Journalists

§    Documentation Center of Cambodia

§    Khmer Institute of Democracy

§    Rice Political Party

§    Royal Academy of Cambodia

§    Royal University of Law and


§   Royal University of Phnom Penh

§    John Ciociari (supervisor)

§    Aubrey Ardema, Santa Clara

     University School of Law (coordinator

     and trainer)

§    Bunsou Sour, DC-Cam (coordinator)

§    Sorya Sim, DC-Cam (coordinator)

§    Noy Sophary, DC Cam (coordinator)

§    Phan Sochea, DC Cam (coordinator)

§    Julia M. Fromholz, University

      California, Berkeley/Harvard


§    Katrina E. Anderson, Seattle

      University School of Law

§    Kelly Whitley, JD candidate,

      University of Virginia

§     Stephen Andrew Liang, Harvard

      Law School


As part of the course, our trainers prepared a short guide to the Khmer Rouge tribunal and a basic text introducing readers to the main features of human rights law relevant to development and transitional justice in Cambodia. It is now being edited and we anticipate it will be published in 2005.


We are planning to hold another legal training course in 2005. It will focus on the defense counsel. We are recruiting at Harvard this month to find instructors and interns for this course.


3. Public Education and Outreach


DC-Cam is committed to expanding the range of forums in which we disseminate information, educate the public, and help Cambodians remember their past and reconcile with it. While we use a variety of traditional approaches to reach people (e.g., radio, website, publications), we are also embarking on two innovative projects to realize these goals, including helping average citizens participate directly in the tribunals. In 2005, we will also expand our cooperation with documentation centers and other organizations overseas.


3.1      The Victims of Torture Project


We began this two-year project in late 2003 with the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO). It involves counseling for people who suffered abuse under the DK regime (both victims and perpetrators) and are traumatized today. Our primary role is to assist the TPO in identifying subjects for care.


Our original plan was to work in either Takeo or Kandal province, both of which contain a large proportion of victims of the Khmer Rouge. However, we subsequently added the pilot area of Koh Sla in Chhouk district of Kampot province to the project. The majority of survivors in this region were Khmer Rouge soldiers. Because of the sensitivities involved with the population in Koh Slah, our 2004 work concentrated on building residents’ trust through informal conversations, the erection of community street signs, the distribution of magazines, and radio broadcasts. As a result, the number of former Khmer Rouge we have been able to interview has increased sharply, with 33 interviews conducted in this quarter. Next year, we will expand our radio broadcasts to include a talk show program targeted to Koh Slah. It will use the new booklet produced by the government on the tribunal to inform people about the trial process.


In early 2004 we completed comprehensive TPO training on counseling and the identification of trauma victims, and produced a questionnaire that we use in interviews to identify traumatized individuals. Of the 144 people interviewed, we identified about one-third as victims of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and referred them to TPO for treatment and counseling. In addition, our questionnaires obtain local perspectives on justice and reconciliation. For the purposes of analytical trauma studies, reconciliation, and history, we began transcribing interviews this quarter and keying interview data into the CBIB database. Our preliminary findings are that there is a lower incidence of PTSD among former Khmer Rouge soldiers/cadres and a higher incidence among women (about twice as many women as men were identified as suffering from PTSD).  




Cassettes Recorded

Pages Transcribed

PTSD Victims Identified






















DC-Cam staff members plan to complete 186 interviews for the project by August 2005. Despite staff shortages, TPO will provide counseling and treatment to at least 28 PTSD victims next year by counseling some family members in groups and choosing counseling candidates who are situated close together. They will also work to recruit more psychologists to their staff.


3.2      Radio Broadcasts


In 2004, we continued to read selected articles from Searching for the Truth magazine on a local radio station, Women’s Media Center FM 102, which reaches many of Cambodia’s provinces. We produce a radio program on this station twice every week. To date, we have read approximately 57 articles. In addition, our staff members have been guest speakers on an FM 102-hosted talk show on the Khmer Rouge (a transcript of this show was published in Rasmei Kampuchea Daily). We also expanded our coverage to other provinces, as shown below.





Start date


Womens Media


Phnom Penh

FM 102

3:30-3:45 p.m.



First They Killed My Father

Searching for the Truth

Anne Frank

Oct. 2002

May 2003

July 2004






FM 93.25

7:00-7:30 a.m./p.m. daily

First They Killed My Father

Searching for the Truth

Anne Frank

Jun. 2004

Aug. 2004

Aug. 2004




Preah Vihear

FM 99*

7:00-7:30 a.m.

6:30-7:00 p.m.


First They Killed My Father

Searching for the Truth

Aug. 2004

Aug. 2004



* This station also reaches parts of Oddar Meanchey, Ratanak Kiri, Stung Treng, and Kampong Thom provinces.


For 2005, DC-Cam plans to expand its broadcasts to Siem Reap, Kampong Cham, Sihanoukville, Battambang and Svay Rieng. We will also explore various radio formats, such as forums or listener hotlines, to encourage audience participation in the discussion of issues related to DK. (For instance, DC-Cam will ask survivors to tell their stories on air next year. We will also run a contest on the government-prepared booklet of questions and answers on the tribunal; awards will be given to the first listeners to call in with the correct answer.) Last, to increase the cost-effectiveness of our production, we will open a new studio at DC-Cam in January 2005 that will enable us to send pre-recorded tapes to local radio stations.


3.3      Website Development


We realize that our web page is often the most readily available way for people to access our work. This is especially true overseas, where many students and scholars, expatriate Khmers, and other interested individuals read our magazine articles and other reports electronically. Our website continued to increase its readership in 2004 and we also acquired more server space, allowing us to present more of our project findings and exhibitions on-line.


This year, for example, we scanned and captioned over 180 photographs donated to our Photo Archive project by former Khmer Rouge and their families. They have been test posted and all of the photographs will be loaded onto our website as soon as the book has been published. We also recently added a search engine to our site, making it easier for visitors to find documents. Last, we have begun the re-design of our website to improve the organization of our information and make the site more attractive.


In 2005, we will continue with our website re-design. In addition, we plan to host a chat room that will contain links to the news and other articles posted on our site, and provide a forum for exchanges among students, the public and DC-Cam staff. Last, the Highest Council for Islamic Religious Affairs Cambodia is now helping us to collect data (number of people in villages, number of males/females, children attending school, livelihood, economic conditions). We will use these data to develop a webite for the Cham Muslim community.


3.4      Pre-Trial Outreach


The broader the public involvement, the more the tribunal will be viewed as effective and responsive to the needs of the Cambodian people. In 2004, we met with nearly 400 Cham Muslim leaders (hakem) from all parts of the country, 32 Buddhist nuns, and members of 22 youth and student associations in order to engage them in the tribunal process. These groups represent a variety of religious beliefs and ages. They have been given an introduction to the tribunal and asked to reflect on its importance and their participation.


For 2005, we plan to implement a number of new projects with these groups. We have two projects with the Cham community. The first concerns oral history. Through hakem, we have developed and distributed 30 questionnaires to 336 Cham villages throughout the country asking about the roots of the community and their experiences during the Khmer Rouge regime. The second project aims to disseminate information about Chams – their history, livelihoods, and other relevant aspects – through the development of an website that will enable Chams to communicate with academics, the public, and other Muslim communities worldwide. The nuns have planned to organize a march for justice. They will also participate in a number of public forums hosted by DC-Cam. The forums will bring together victims and perpetrators to discuss sexual abuse during Democratic Kampuchea and its impacts today. The student groups we met with have planned to go door-to-door in several areas of Cambodia to explain the process, activities, and benefits of the tribunal to citizens.


3.5      Living Documents


This two-year project would help ensure the involvement of the regime’s victims in the tribunal by bringing representatives of communes throughout Cambodia to attend a portion of a trial. Each representative would then return to his or her village and engage other members of the public in discussions on the proceedings. We would also publicize the forums in neighboring villages that did not have a representative at the trials so that their residents can attend. During the first year of the project, approximately 200 people (in groups of about 30) from representative communes will travel to Phnom Penh and attend a trial for one week. This process would be repeated for each of the ensuing five trials, allowing about 1,200 people to attend a trial during the three-year tribunal.


The project will also help build the momentum for democracy in Cambodia by allowing participants to serve as surrogate witnesses and “judges” at the tribunals; holding open, participatory discussions; making people aware of their “right to know”; and beginning a popular movement to demand more freedom of information. It will give the commune representatives a turn in the public eye (speaking, leading discussions, fielding questions), thus helping to build leaders for future commune and village elections. We intend to strengthen this benefit by giving community innovation and leadership training to emerging commune leaders.


3.6      Genocide Education


This two-year project will provide the Cambodian government with materials and resources to improve the quality and amount of high school education on Democratic Kampuchea. At present, all information on the regime has been removed from textbooks for both political and technical reasons. It is our belief that helping the younger generation learn the history of their country’s genocide will encourage a more active civil society in Cambodia, one that will work to prevent grave abuses of human rights in the future. We will conduct brief surveys of the status of genocide education in Cambodia, provide annotated bibliographies and materials for curriculum development, and prepare a brief text, with photographs, on Democratic Kampuchea suitable for 12th grade students. We also plan to utilize the expertise of the US Memorial Holocaust Museum, Anne Frank Foundation and other facilities in helping us prepare educational materials. Some of DC-Cam’s academic advisors will also provide our staff with guidance on this project (e.g., David Chandler, Cambodia scholar and author of Voices from S-21, among other works; Frank Chalk, former chair of the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre).

3.7      Cross-Border Cooperation


DC-Cam staff visited four countries this year to provide advice and assistance to organizations whose work is similar to ours:  

  • Iraq, to assist NGOs, the Coalition Provisional Authority and the Iraqi Governing Council to design a documentation effort to uncover abuses of the former Ba’athist regime.

  • Thailand, to help the Human Rights Education Institute of Burma design and implement a small documentation project for minority-controlled portions of Burma.

  • Serbia, to advise the Humanitarian Law Center in Belgrade on the creation of a network of documentation offices in the former Yugoslav states.

  • Vietnam, to seek cooperation on a study on Buddhism under Democratic Kampuchea.

We are now in the process of developing two activities that will increase our cooperation with, and assistance to, similar organizations overseas.


The Affinity Group. Several organizations overseas have recognized the expertise and experience that DC-Cam possesses, particularly in the areas of documentation and public outreach. Limited staff time and language constraints have precluded our providing detailed assistance to such organizations. Nonetheless, we will be submitting a proposal shortly to form an “affinity group” of documentation centers from other parts of the world (e.g., former Yugoslavia, Burma) that would meet three or four times a year to share information and techniques, and work together to address constraints shared by its members. We would also call in international experts to help think through solutions to some of the technical documentation problems the Affinity Group wishes to work on.


Internships. In September, we met with representatives of several non-government organizations that are advocating for human rights in Burma (e.g., Burmese Women’s Union, Women’s Leagues of Burma, Shan Women’s Action Network). In 2005, we plan to host two or more interns from these groups, who will come to DC-Cam to learn about our documentation, public outreach, and other activities.


4. Research, Publications, and Translation


Through monographs, shorter papers, and our monthly magazine, we work to uncover the history of the Khmer Rouge, interpret the facts, and present an impartial account to our many readers in Cambodia and abroad. We also attempt to foster meaningful public and academic debate in Cambodia about issues related to DK. In 2004, DC-Cam stepped up its research and publication activities; we plan to do so again in 2005 as the tribunal approaches.


4.1      Magazine Project


Since 2000, our monthly magazine, Searching for the Truth, has disseminated our work to the public and facilitated discourse on issues related to the Khmer Rouge. From January-September 2004, we published an issue in Khmer each month and an English edition every three months (the English editions contain articles selected from the Khmer issues). For example: 

  • The documentation section: confessions of victims at S-21, documents on trade and economy in DK, and articles/lists of Khmer Rouge leaders and victims.

  • The history section: articles written by staff describing the lives of cadres and victims during DK.

  • The legal section: articles on the UN-government tribunal agreement and amendments to the KR law, aspects of Cambodian law (e.g., arrest warrants), and legal issues/tribunals in East Timor, former Yugoslavia, South Africa, Chechnya, and Sierra Leone.

  • The debate section: articles concerned Kofi Anan’s speech at the UN, civil society’s appeal for international standards, and Khieu Samphan’s denial of responsibility.

  • The family tracing section: recollections of DK survivors and announcements from aggrieved individuals looking for information on lost loved ones.

We also received personal stories, letters of appreciation, and requests for information from readers. In recent months, the number of requests for information on people who disappeared during the Lon Nol or Khmer Rouge regimes has jumped from 1 or 2 per month to about 15. We are also seeing a rise in the number of Cambodians abroad who are requesting help in learning about the fate of their family members.


In addition, we assisted the government’s Task Force for Cooperation with Foreign Legal Experts and Preparation of the Proceedings for the Trial of Senior Khmer Rouge Leaders in distributing An Introduction to the Khmer Rouge Trials, a booklet explaining the background, purpose and structure of the Extraordinary Chambers. We distributed 4,078 copies with the November issue of our magazine.


Since we began publishing Searching for the Truth in January 2000, we have distributed over a half-million copies of our Khmer issues nationwide. In 2004, as in earlier years, we published 7,000 copies of each issue per month; of these over 80% are distributed free of charge, mostly in Cambodia. We have continued to work with LICADHO, PADEK, Partners for Development, and TPO to distribute the magazine. Our field researchers also carried copies to Cambodia’s villages and distributed them. Our English edition run is 700 copies, which are sold at various locations in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.


The public’s interest in Searching for the Truth is growing, but the number of copies published has not. We are now exploring ways to increase our publication run to meet public demand. Should funds become available in 2005, we hope to expand our print run to meet the growing demand for our magazine.


We are now working with the Cham Muslim community to plan the production of a quarterly magazine for 2005. We anticipate that the magazine will be 60 pages in length and cover topics of interest to the community. It will also contain a special section written in the Cham language, which employs Arabic script.  


4.2      Historical Research and Writing


Our Research Project aims to develop an historical understanding of the DK era and to build the capacity of young Cambodians to produce quality writing and research. We also publish the work of international scholars who use DC-Cam documents as a basis for their research.


This project was initiated in 2001 and by the end of 2003 had produced three research monographs. In 2004, we published three more monographs: 

  • Seven Candidates for Prosecution by Stephen Heder and Brian Tittemore. This study examines the responsibility of seven senior officials (Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Khieu Samphan, Ta Mok, Kae Pok, Sou Met and Meah Mut) for their roles in developing and implementing the policies of the Khmer Rouge. This is the first comprehensive legal analysis of available evidence against specific individuals for international crimes.

  • Reconciliation in Cambodia by Suzannah Linton. This book analyzes the results of a 2003 Searching for the Truth survey of justice and reconciliation in Cambodia, and provides a context for Cambodia in terms of similar efforts in such nations as South Africa, Argentina, Chile, and Rwanda.

  • Stilled Lives: Photographs from the Cambodian Genocide by Wynne Cougill with Pivoine Pang, Chhayran Ra, and Sopheak Sim. This book contains photographs and essays on the lives of 51 men and women who joined the Khmer Rouge (see Section 1).

Four manuscripts are now being completed or being edited for publication in 2005: 

  • Tum Teav: A Study of a Cambodian Literary Classic by George Chigas III (PhD, University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies)

  • Terror from the Southwest Zone by Meng-Try Ea (DC-Cam)

  • The Winds from The West: Khmer Rouge Purges in Mondul Kiri by Sara Colm (Human Rights Watch) with Sorya Sim (DC-Cam)

  • The Cham Rebellion by Osman Ysa (DC-Cam).

We are also considering writing a second book for our Photo Archive Project (see Section 1) or a book of recollections of Cambodian landmine victims.


DC-Cam has also provided support to a number of international authors who have recently published works on Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. These include:  

  • Khay Chuth’s Comment J’ai Menti aux Khmer Rouges (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2004)

  • Maud Sundqvist’s Why Did They Kill So Many? (Swedish Committee for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, 2004)

  • Peter Macguire’s Facing Death (Colombia University Press, 2004)

  • Henri Locard’s Pol Pot’s Little Book: The Sayings of Angkar (Silkworm, 2004)

  • Philip Short’s Pol Pot: The History of a Nightmare (John Murray, 2004)

  • Enos Slaughter’s Solath Sar (music CD) (Seers Music, 2004)

  • Alex Hinton’s Why Did they Kill? (University of California Press, 2004)

  • Ian Harris’ Cambodian Buddhism: History and Practice (USA: University of Hawaii Press, 2004. This book will be edited for a general audience and published as a DC-Cam monograph in late 2005 or early 2006)

  • John Ciociarcari’s guidebook on the Khmer Rouge tribunal (2005).

4.3      Translations


In 2004, we continued to translate a number of foreign-language works into Khmer for our Cambodian audiences. These are published in our magazine, Cambodian newspapers, and as monographs. The translations begun or completed in 2004 were:


§   Brother Enemy by Nayan Chanda (published in a local newspaper)

§   Anne Frank’s Diary (published in a local newspaper)

§   Reconciliation in Cambodia by Suzannah Linton (summary only)

§   Tum Teav: A Study of a Cambodian Literary Classic by George Chigas III (in


§  Journey into Light by Ronnie Yimsut (currently in translation).

In 2005, we plan to complete the translation of at least two books: Lucky Child by Luong Ung (Ms. Ung is the author of First They Killed My Father) and When the War Was Over, by journalist Elizabeth Becker.


4.4      Research Forum: Preserving the History of the Khmer Rouge Regime


In 2003, DC-Cam and the Khmer Writers Association held an essay competition for DK survivors.[‡] We asked survivors to submit narrative essays on their lives during the regime or their thoughts on issues related to the Khmer Rouge. Of the 43 essays submitted, 4 were given awards at a ceremony held on April 2, 2004. The winning essay has been published in both Khmer and English issues of Searching for the Truth.


Following the success of the first contest, we have embarked on a new round of the essay contest for the period April 17, 2004 to February 29, 2005. We announced this contest in April through Rasmei Kampuchea and Searching for the Truth. Since then, six essays have been submitted to the competition.


4.5      Outreach through the Media and Academic Forums


Media Exposure, Articles and Interviews. To share our work and engage our staff members in public debate in Cambodia and abroad, we have long endeavored to respond to any media interest in our work and to grant interviews whenever possible. Our director, staff members, and advisors have also contributed regularly to public discourse and education through frequent articles in the local and international media. In the first nine months of 2004, at least 230 articles were published by or about DC-Cam. They appeared in both local (Cambodge Soir, Cambodia Daily, Cambodia Today, Koh Santepheap, Oudomkate Khmer, Phnom Penh Post, and Rasmei Kampuchea Daily) and international (ABA Radio Australia, AFP, AP, Bangkok Post, CBC News, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Dallas Morning News, Dow Jones Newswire, Financial Times, Kyodo, Le Monde, Long Beach Press Telegram, The Nation, The New York Times, Newsweek, San Francisco Chronicle, Toronto Star, and VOA) publications.


In addition, a number of our staff have appeared on or been the subject of radio and television programs this year. For example, Director Youk Chhang appeared on CNN and National Public Radio, while staff members Tola Norng and Savina Sirik were profiled on the Árte French television program Capte Absolute.


Public Lectures, Conferences and Seminars. We worked in 2004 to increase our public education output by sending staff members to deliver papers at numerous conferences. Those events give us a chance to share our work and our staff an opportunity to develop skills in writing and public speaking. In addition, our PIR holds seminars and lectures each month for students and members of the public about various aspects of Khmer Rouge history and related issues. We plan to continue, and if possible, increase, these activities in 2005.


Selected Lectures, Seminars and Conferences

Phnom Penh in 2004

Selected Lectures, Seminars and Conferences

Overseas in 2004

§   Screening and discussions on the film

    S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine,

    Royal University

§  Roundtable on building the case

    against senior Khmer Rouge leaders,

    Club of Cambodian Journalists

§  Presentations on the Khmer Rouge

    tribunal to factory workers, Khmer

    Youth Organization

§  Paper on the history of the Khmer

    Rouge and the legacy of conflict,

    Pannasastra University

§  Presentation on justice and

    reconciliation in Cambodia,

    Cambodian Youth Learning


§  Presentation on how to work with

    former Khmer Rouge cadres, German

    Development Service

§  Papers on cataloguing and

    documenting the

Khmer Rouge, PACT

§   Screening and discussions on the film

    S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine,

    United Nations headquarters, New


§  Lectures on KR history, the roles of

    victims in the tribunal, and DC-Cam’s

    Living Documents project at 6

    locations in Canada

§  Papers on reconciliation and justice:

Conference on Issues and Challenges for Peace and Reconciliation in Southeast Asia

§  Training on international

    investigations, Institute for Criminal

    Investigations, the Netherlands

§  Presentation on the role of history in

preventing the return of genocide, International Conference on Human Security, Bangkok

§  Paper on political transitions and

    justice in Cambodia, Danish Holocaust


§  Paper on the Cham Muslims during

    DK, Kebangsaan University, Malaysia

§  Paper on the Internet in Cambodia,

    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

§  Presentation on documentation of

    genocide, Dealing with the Past in ex-

    Yugoslavia, Belgrade


5. Personnel and Resource Development


We have made much progress on sending our staff abroad for education this year, as well as recruiting new staff. DC-Cam has also greatly enlarged its space. We plan to continue improving the size and quality of both our staff and facilities in 2005, and to acquire a permanent center.


5.1      Personnel


Staff Development/Study Abroad. We have long believed that continual staff development is essential if we are to maximize the efficiency and quality of our work. Foreign study has been one of the most important means of increasing our employees’ skills, exposing them to new ideas and approaches, and enabling them to disseminate our work abroad. In 2004, we have seven staff members studying for advanced degrees abroad: 

  • Meng-Try Ea: PhD, global affairs, Rutgers University (USA)

  • Kok-Thay Eng: MA, genocide and peace studies, Coventry University (UK)

  • Vannak Huy: MS, global affairs, Rutgers University (USA)

  • Kosal Phat: PhD, international relations, Southern California University (USA)

  • Sayana Ser: MA, tourism and museum studies (Netherlands)

  • Bunsou P. Sour: LLM, Essex University (UK)

  • Dara Vanthan: LLM, human rights law, University of Notre Dame (USA).

In addition, staff member Dany Long began working on a graduate diploma in development studies in Vietnam and Switzerland at the Asian Institute of Technology. In Phnom Penh, Ysa Osman is continuing his work toward a BA in English.


Volunteers. For the past ten years, our center has benefited from the services of Cambodian and foreign interns and volunteers. Every member of our staff begun as a volunteer for a period of several months, and we continue that tradition to ensure that staff members are deeply committed to our cause. In 2004, we hosted seven new Cambodian volunteers: three are working for our Victims of Torture Project, two for our monthly magazine, and two for our PIR. We also four international volunteers: three legal experts and a website/Internet expert.


In 2005, we plan to recruit at least six Cambodian volunteers to work at the Center, particularly to supplement our translation and data entry capabilities. We will canvass in Cambodia’s poorest provinces to give students there an opportunity to volunteer, and eventually be employed, at DC-Cam. We will also recruit volunteers from abroad (in November, for example, we will visit the Harvard Law School job fair to find instructors for our next legal training course).


Translation Capacity. Because our most experienced translation staff are on academic leave, our capacity in this area has been greatly diminished. As a result, we have recruited two volunteers for translation, but will need additional volunteers and/or staff as the tribunal nears. Finding skilled and experienced translators will remain a constraint to our work, as such capacity is limited in Cambodia.


Visiting Scholars and Researchers. We have hosted five visiting scholars in 2004, each for a period of weeks or months: 

  • Dr. Stephen Heder, University of London (UK)

  • Dr. Ian Harris, Oxford University (UK)

  • Professor Elizabeth Van Schaack, Santa Clara University School of Law (US)

  • Professor Ronald Slye, Seattle University School of Law (US)

  • Professor Noah Novogrodsay, University of Toronto Law School (Canada)

  • Bernie O’Donnell, senior prosecutor, ICTY, Institute for Criminal Investigations.

5.2      Facilities and Resources


In 2004, we greatly extend our space by renting a building immediately adjacent to our existing facility. It now serves as our Public Information Room (see Section 2.4). In addition, we have taken measures to enhance our security and find a professional fundraiser. By year-end 2005, we hope to find land and a building that will house a permanent center.


Security. As the prospective Khmer Rouge tribunal approaches, we have reviewed and modestly enhanced the security of our staff and documentary holdings. Our advisors and others have helped build our awareness of possible security concerns (for example, we were recently apprised of indirect threats being made in Kampong Thom province toward the Center’s director). We have sent back-up copies of approximately 70% of our documents to universities in the United States as a precaution against security threats that may come with the tribunal. Nevertheless, we have not taken all of the precautions that we will need in advance of the tribunal, and this remains a clear area for further reflection and resource allocation.


Fundraising. After a long search, we have now identified a prospective consultant for fundraising. Negotiations are underway with a donor to fund this service. Having a permanent fundraiser will free up our management’s time for other activities.


Permanent Center. We are committed to the creation of a permanent center that will meet the long-term demands for our work, and will give us better security, a library and exhibition hall, proper storage facilities, and increased office space. Some time ago, we were given a plot of land by the Cambodian government adjacent to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. But the land is now occupied by hundreds of squatters. As an organization dedicated to the welfare of all Cambodians, we do not wish to initiate legal proceedings for eviction. We have asked the Cambodian government to provide us with a parcel of land in another location, and have also affirmed our offers of assistance to help restore and upgrade the Tuol Sleng Museum.


In 2004, we stepped up our search for a suitable location. Although we have found one that is ideal, we will not know before the end of the year if our bid was accepted. If our bid fails, we will renew our search in 2005.


6. Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (with Project Timelines)


During DC-Cam’s annual work plan meeting in September 2004, our staff reported on their achievements and the challenges they faced in the past year, and made suggestions on how their work might be improved. After consulting with the board of advisors and other experts, if the director approved the suggestions, staff were re-allocated to meet the changed workloads. Then, each staff member produced a calendar that showed the time he or she was to devote to specific tasks each day during 2005. The team leaders for each project then produced a project plan that is used to evaluate how a project is being implemented. It includes a timeline, indictors, and impacts.


During 2005, we will hold weekly staff meetings at which the office manager and team leaders will review each staff member’s weekly report against the plan. Problems will be discussed and corrective actions determined during the meeting. These reports will provide the input for monthly reports for each project, as well as quarterly reports on selected projects. In addition, they will be reviewed by project managers, the office manager, the deputy directors, and the director, and course corrections/staff reallocations made in order to meet deadlines and resolve quality issues. These weekly, monthly and quarterly reviews enable us to meet staff demands for our projects and keep them on track.


In addition, some of our projects require evaluation assistance from outside experts. For example, our Victims of Torture Project will call in psychologists and other professionals to assist us in improving our outputs because we do not possess the requisite in-house expertise. In addition, to ensure the quality and accuracy of our work, we always request reviews by historians, international law professors, and others before we publish a monograph.


The remainder of this section first shows the progress we plan to make in 2005 against the goals we set for our major activities. This is followed by an indication of the number of staff to be devoted to each task and a discussion of the procedures we will use to monitor and evaluate our progress.


6.1      Documentation







Goal by 9/2005

D Catalogued






R Catalogued






D Khmer Keyed






D English Keyed






Index Book






Access Listing






R Microfilmed






PA Microfilmed







Staff: 8 full-time, 1 part-time


Cataloging, Keying, and Indexing. These are fairly straightforward activities to monitor and evaluate, and because we have been doing this work for several years, our staff are very practiced in this regard. Each member of our documentation staff has a set number of documents he or she is to catalog or key, and their progress is monitored weekly. We will evaluate our success using the number of documents we project to be completed.


Database/Server Management. This activity was slower than expected last year because we were unable to find sufficient technical expertise within Cambodia. We have now contacted a new IT expert to design the database. In addition, the company we originally hired for this task is still working on a solution. We will purchase the database from whomever produces the best design (no money will be paid until the product is in our hands). Having set up this “competition,” the database should be completed by June 2005.


Microfilming. We have assigned an individual with 10 years of professional experience to work on microfilming. During two weeks in December, he developed 8 reels (5,799 pages), completing our R collection. At this rate, he will easily complete 18,000 pages a month and complete the microfilming of our PA documents before the end of the third quarter.


6.2      Promoting Accountability and the Rule of Law





Goal by 9/2005

Survivors Interviewed






Interview Pages






Visitors to PIR







Staff: 8 full-time


PA Project. We have actual results for Quarter 1 (October-December 2004). They are lower than expected because our team was in the field re-interviewing former cadres; this was done at the request of one of the experts we consulted on this project, who was conducting a legal analysis of the interviews and other data we had collected. For all of 2004, our teams conducted 476 interviews (an average of 118 per month). However, as our teams become more experienced and planning improves, we anticipate we can conduct about 167 interviews per month.


When our PA staff are in the field (11 weeks a quarter, with a one-week break in Phnom Penh), they will report to the office manager by email every Saturday. Their reports include the number of people they interviewed and their status (e.g., alive, disappeared), and a summary of each interviewee’s account and our team’s observations. Our director reviews the reports daily and gives the team members direct feedback on their progress. In addition, our Harvard/Oxford-trained legal advisor and our advisor from the University of London will regularly evaluate the reports and overall progress of the project.


Public Information Room Visitors (Staff: 4, of which 3 are volunteers). In 2004, we hosted an average of 325 visitors per quarter. This year, we anticipate about 500 visitors per quarter. Our director will work with our PIR manager to devise new activities of interest to the public. We note, however, that if the tribunal is not held in 2005, there may be additional public interest in learning why trials did not occur, and the PIR can play a role in informing the public on this and other issues.







Goal by 9/2005

Film show






Public lecture






Library (visitors)







6.3      Public Education and Outreach







Goal by 9/2005

VOT Interviews






VOT Interview pages







Victims of Torture Project (Staff: 5 full-time). Last year, DC-Cam was able to interview 49 people per quarter; for 2005, we plan to interview slightly less people (44-45 per quarter). This is because we have reduced the number of staff working on the VOT Project, but will be able to meet its interview quota by the end of the project. In addition, it appears that demand for the project’s services (counseling and other treatment) will likely outstrip TPO’s ability to provide it.


As noted above, TPO and DC-Cam plan to bring additional experts from overseas to evaluate and make recommendations on our project in early 2005.







Goal by 9/2005

Radio time coverage (h)






Radio area coverage (city/province)






Radio content coverage







Radio (Staff: 2 part-time, who are part of our magazine project staff). This year, we plan to expand our coverage to at least two additional provinces. We will monitor the effectiveness of our programming using feedback staff obtain while they are on field trips and letters to the editor of our monthly magazine.


Website (Staff: 1 full-time). Our director will regularly supervise postings on the website. One of our advisors and a volunteer have begun the website re-design, which we anticipate will be completed by mid-2005. We will be able to evaluate its effectiveness via 1) visitors to the site, 2) visitors to a planned chatroom, and 3) comments received through our magazine and other vehicles. At present, the number of visitors to our site is approximately 30 per day.


Pre-trial Outreach (Staff: 1 full-time, assisted by 2 staff from the Magazine and PA teams). The success of the trial will depend to a great degree on how many people know about it or respond to it. We have begun outreach work with three special groups (Cham Muslims, Buddhist nuns, and students) who we hope will be able to understand, voice concern, contribute to, and observe or participate actively in the tribunal process.


The project will be evaluated at each step by DC-Cam’s team leaders, deputy directors, and director. The means of evaluating our success in this project will include the number of participants at meetings, the number responding to our questionnaires, field visits undertaken to collect completed questionnaires (Cham), surveys collected by youth groups, participants in a planned peace march (nuns), and press coverage and feedback from the public.


Genocide Education (Staff: 1 full-time, 1 part-time). This project began in September 2004; the first year will be devoted to the gathering and preparation of materials before the book is written. The progress on this project will be reviewed by Professor David Chandler, one of the leading scholars of Cambodian history. His first trip to Cambodia to work on this project is scheduled for late January.


Cross-border Cooperation (Staff: 2 part-time). DC-Cam will host the first meeting of an Affinity Group of similar documentation centers in March. Formal evaluations of this project will be conducted by its members (currently, from ICTJ, Burma, Guatemala, Serbia, and Iraq) as well as a number of outside experts who will be asked to comment on its progress.


In addition, we plan to host at least two interns from Burma this year, should their organizations give them leave. We will also have three to six interns from North America working on our Legal Training Project. We will ask them to evaluate their experience at DC-Cam. 


6.4      Research, Publication, and Translation


Searching for the Truth







Goal by 9/2005

Number of print-run

Free distribution

















Numbers of articles/announcements published






Number of family tracing/letters/requests to editor received







Staff: 7 full-time, including 1 volunteer


The director, deputy directors, and team leaders will review and oversee the contents and quality of our magazine articles. Our main method of evaluating our success will come from our readers: increased numbers of letters to editors, feedback (through staff on provincial trips), follow-up letters/calls with the provincial and local authorities, etc.


Research and Translation (Staff: 2 full-time, plus seconded other staff). Last year, we were able to double the number of monographs we wrote and published. This year, we plan to meet or exceed that goal, in addition to publishing two translations. Our monographs are peer-reviewed and if possible, reviewed by historians and other experts prior to publication as a means of evaluating their quality.


7. Conclusions


Fulfilling our plans for 2005 will help us move closer to accomplishing our core objectives. With the continued generosity of our donors and our support from the Royal Cambodian Government (especially the Ministry of Interior for security and access), we are confident that we will be able to do so. Over time, the role that we play in Cambodian and international society has grown, and so has our responsibility. Both at home and abroad, during the prospective Khmer Rouge tribunal and beyond, we will continue to contribute in whatever way possible to the search for truth, accountability, and the rule of law.


We at DC-Cam very much welcome your thoughts on our 2005 work plan. Please do not hesitate to contact us at [855] 23-211-875 or via email at dccam@online.com.kh if you have any questions or comments. We appreciate your interest in the Center and look forward to your continued support of memory, justice, and reconciliation in Cambodia.


Memorandum prepared by DC-Cam deputy director Sorya Sim and advisor Wynne Cougill

November 22, 2004 (updated January 13, 2005)


cc:        Professor Heng Vanda, Chair

            Youk Chhang, Director

            Dara P. Vanthan, Deputy

            Irene Sokha, Deputy


[*] Although DC-Cam is not alone in encouraging the ratification, we feel that our advocacy of finding justice for the Cambodian people had some part in this process. In addition, in July 2004, we sent a request to the government proposing that it declare a national Day of Remembrance and Justice, which would be held on the first day of the tribunal. This holiday would allow Cambodians to honor the loved ones they lost during the regime, and survivors to remember share their experiences with others. We are pleased to note that on October 5, 2005, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that Cambodia will adopt this national holiday.  


[†] A memorandum from the United Nations, A/59/432 of 12 October 2004 stated: “It is expected that the Chambers will rely heavily on documentary evidence. Some 200,000 pages of documentary evidence are expected to be examined. The bulk of that documentation is held by the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, an NGO dedicated to research and preservation of documentation on crimes perpetrated during the period of Democratic Kampuchea.”


[‡] In addition to KWA, DC-Cam has assisted a number of other local NGOs this year. They include two organizations in Battambang and Siem Reap (capacity building), and the Khmer Institute of Democracy on a project to educate people in ten provinces before, during, and after the tribunal.