Human Rights and the Children of Cambodia

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Human Rights and the Children of Cambodia :

Human Rights and the Children of Cambodia

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In the 1970’s, under Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime, Cambodia was ravaged by war and plagued with human rights abuses. Under his communist rule, his regime initiated this dark period of Cambodian history that continues to have detrimental psychological, social, economic, and familial effects on modern-day Cambodia.

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Cambodians were unpaid and forced to labour for hours.

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In total, over 2 million citizens were murdered under the Khmer Regime, while more were imprisoned without fair trail.

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The Cambodian children were “trained to carry out [Khmer Rouge] orders, no matter how brutal and cruel” resulting in severe “mental health consequences [due to] exposure to constant torture and killing.” - Robeson

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Intellectuals such as, l awyers, doctors, teachers, engineersand their extended families were brutally murdered. Also, those who wore glasses, or spoke more than one language were slaughtered.

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The atrocities that took place and the armed conflict that ensued, undeniably impacted the fragile state of Cambodia for generations to come. The social, political, and economic situation in Cambodia has had a devastating impact on the local population, as some of the following statistics may reveal.

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Total population (2009): 14,81 million Ethnic groups: 90% Khmer, 5% Vietnamese, 1% Chinese, 4% Other Percentage of Urbanized population (2009): 20% Population

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Percentage of population below international poverty line, $1.25 per day (2009): 26% Employment to population ratio, age 15+ (2009): 75% Percentage of Child Labour (2009): 45% Labour

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Literacy , age 15+ can read and write (2009): 78% Primary school net enrolment/attendance (2009): 89% Secondary school net enrolment ratio (2009): 34% Education

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Life Expectancy Life expectancy at birth (2009): 62 years Under 5 mortality rate (2009): 88 per 1,000 births Infant mortality rate (2009): 68 per 1,000 births

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Took it upon herself to improve the lives of so many children who take refuge in her orphanage. She has been an inspiration to people within Cambodia and elsewhere because she reminds us all of how precious children are in any country and how important it is to ensure them all a dignified, healthy, and happy future. Ms. Geraldine Cox

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At 25 years old, Cox started her career with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs From 1970 to 1987 ,Geraldine worked in embassies around the world including America, Iran, Thailand, Sydney, etc. She adopted an orphaned Cambodian child in 1993 named Lisa. H er new daughter inspired her to co-found the Sunrise Orphanage with the Princess of Cambodia. The children in the orphanage all suffer mentally, physically or emotionally; their suffering usually stems from the fear and uncertainty left behind by the Pol Pot Regime. In 1999, King Norodom Sihanouk granted her full Cambodian Citizenship by Royal Decree. Geraldine spends half the year with the children in Cambodia and the other half raising funds around the world.

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Documentary titled “My Khmer Heart” which won the Hollywood Film Festival Documentary of the Year Award in 2000 Accomplisments Member of the Order of Australia in 2000, Recipient of the Circle of Courage Award from the Australian Charity 2009 finalist for the South Australian of the Year Award. Autobiography entitled, “Home Is Where the Heart Is”

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Submitted by Marvin Coleby Melanie Hotchkiss Teresa Seminara

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Works Cited Attenborough, Rowan. “Geraldine Cox.” http://geraldinecox.org/ (Accessed February 25, 2011 ) Chhang , Yuok , Night of the Khmer Rouge: Genocide and Justice in Cambodia. Organized by Alexander Hinton and Jorge Daniel Veneciano , in partnership with the Documentation Center of Cambodia. (Newark, New Jersey: The State University of New Jersey, 2007 ). Cox, Geraldine. Home is Where the Heart Is . Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney 2000. Hosking, Janine and Lowe, Leonie. My Khmer Heart. DVD. Directed by Hosking Janine. Cambodia, 2000 . Kiernan, Ben, The Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power, and Genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, 1975 – 1979 Third Edition. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2008 ). Kim DePaul. Memoirs by Survivors: Children of Cambodia’s Killing Fields. Edited by, Pran , Dith . New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1994. UNICEF. “Info by country: Cambodia.” http://www.unicef.org/statistics/index_countrystats.html . (Accessed February 25, 2011) World Bank. “Date profile: Cambodia.” www.web.worldbank.org . (Accessed February 25, 2011)

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