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16 Hum. Rts. Q. 82 (1994)
Toward a Culture of Human Rights in Cambodia

handle is hein.journals/hurq16 and id is 92 raw text is: HUMAN RIGHTS QUARTERLY
Toward A Culture of
Human Rights in Cambodia
Terence Duffy
Cambodia's recent history has been one of untrammelled human rights
violations culminating in the genocide years of the Khmer Rouge. Therefore,
it is not surprising that the activities of the United Nations Transitional
Authority for Cambodia (UNTAC), which commenced work in the region on
15 March 1992, have reflected a pervasive concern with human rights. The
protection and advancement of human rights are explicit in the Declaration
on the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Cambodia, the final section of
the Paris Accords of October 1991 which finally laid the basis for peace in
the region:
The primary objective of the reconstruction of Cambodia should be the
advancement of the Cambodian nation and people, without discrimination or
prejudice, and with full respect for human rights and fundamental freedom for
all. The achievement of this objective requires the full implementation of the
comprehensive political settlement.'
Emotionally and physically scarred by almost four years of Khmer Rouge
rule, Cambodia is a testimony to the tragedy of political conflict and human
destructiveness. This article explores the prospect of creating national
reconciliation and a human rights culture out of the rubble of a tragic history.
It argues that Cambodia must confront the worst of its past if it is to move from
negatively apportioning blame for past wrongs to recognizing that a whole
1. Paris Conference on Cambodia: Agreements Elaborating the Framework for a Compre-
hensive Political Settlement of the Cambodia Conflict, 23 Oct. 1991, I.L.M. 203 [here-
inafter Agreements].
Human Rights Quarterly 16 (1994) 82-104 © 1994 by The Johns Hopkins University Press

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