The Documentation Center of Cambodia, which for more than a decade has worked to catalogue crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge regime, plans to build a genocide research facility beginning next year.
The institute will include a museum, library, research center and classes for national and international genocide experts to study, Youk Chhang, director for the Documentation Center said.
“This institute will be built across 5,600 square meters on the former Khmer Rouge detention camp of Boeung Trabek,” he said.
The Cambodian government provided the land, and the US government has contributed $2 million for the construction of the institute, he said.
“We will particularly focus on the study of the genocide in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979, genocide in Africa, in Europe, and in the other places in the world,” he said.
The institute will be a center of study for all facets of the Khmer Rouge: its build-up, armed struggle and take-over, evacuation of cities, administrative power and control, internal power struggles and purges and its collapse, Youk Chhang said. It will also be a place to study the movement’s continued battles with government forces through the 1991 peace accords.
“This institute is for the participation of genocide prevention and to reduce violations of human rights in Cambodia,” he said. “This institute is very important for one individual, one human, one country, and for victims’ children to fulfill their duty to build up the rule of law and human rights promotion.”
Chum Mey, a survivor of the regime’s infamous Tuol Sleng prison, said the institute would be of “historical importance.”
“I feel very happy for the construction of the genocide institute, because it’s a very valuable thing for the Cambodian young generation and to prevent the loss of concrete history of the Khmer Rouge regime,” he said.