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Documentation Center to Host Genocide Conference in 2017

Human skulls are displayed in the stupa of Choeung Ek, a former Khmer Rouge "killing field" dotted with mass graves about nine miles (15 kilometers) south of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The Documentation Center of Cambodia, which has spent decades recording crimes of the Khmer Rouge, will host a global conference on genocide in 2017.

The International Association of Genocide Scholars conducts a conference every two years, “to further research and teaching about the nature, causes, and consequences of genocide, and advance policy studies on prevention of genocide.”

Dy Khamboly, director of the School of Genocide, Conflicts and Human Rights at the Sleuk Rith Institute, told VOA Khmer the conference will bring many benefits to Cambodians studying genocide. “This conference will bring about new findings related to genocide, how to prevent genocide, as well as how to build peace within countries,” he said.

The conference will come amid ongoing proceedings at the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal, which seeks to try leaders of the regime for atrocity crimes. Tribunal officials and victims of the regime told VOA Khmer they support the conference coming to Cambodia.

“I hope the Cambodian people will acquire more information about genocide brought by these scholars’ research,” tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra said.

Chan Sopheap, a 64-year-old survivor of the regime and a civil party complainant at the court, said she hoped to join the conference herself.

“It will bring the history of genocide to all the victims and the Cambodian people to learn and remember how cruel and grave the consequence are that are brought by genocide,” she said.