Voices for Reconciliation (VoR), funded through the generosity of USAID Cambodia, was a two year program that aimed to address national trauma resulting from the Khmer Rouge period. VoR fostered dialogue at the grassroots and national level, complementing Cambodia’s only official transitional justice mechanism, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). By increasing knowledge of ECCC proceedings and encouraging conversation on the process of justice, this project and its partners hoped to assist the reconciliation process in Cambodia.
Using an innovative people-to-people approach, combining broadcast media with community-based forums, the project built on a unique feature of the ECCC’s proceedings – its nationwide civil party network – to foster healthy and empowered attitudes towards a culture of peace. VoR was coordinated by AIJI and implemented in conjunction with its partners, Khmer Mekong Films (KMF) Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) and Cambodian Defenders Project (CDP).
VoR Community Dialogue in Phnom Srok district in March 2014
The main aims of the project were:
1) Mass reach through media partnership with Khmer Mekong Films
- Through the work of KMF, VoR reached a large Cambodian audience by producing interesting and informative outreach videos. Continuing with the Facing Justice series, KMF produced 6 videos informing Cambodian audiences about the Closing Statements of Case 002/01 and another 6 focusing on the verdict later that year. The show was broadcast on CTN, one of Cambodia’s most popular television networks.
- Additionally, KMF produced a 30 minute film shown during VoR outreaches that details the current status of the ECCC’s Case 002/01.
2) Grassroots information campaign through Community Dialogues
- VoR worked to directly involve and empower conflict-affected groups by creating spaces for dialogue at the community level. Working with ADHOC, CDP and existing ECCC civil party networks, the VoR program featured approximately 90 community outreach activities per year across Cambodia. The activities involved Cambodians of all ages and in all locations, facilitating conversation about the ECCC justice process and the legacy of the Khmer Rouge period.
- Accompanying these outreach sessions were planning and coaching sessions intended to reinforce positive outreach practices as well as increase coordination among NGO groups involved.
3) Capacity Building
- Finally, VoR aimed to strengthen the reconciliation process by also focusing on building necessary capacity and skill among civil society groups also working in justice and conflict resolution. AIJI co-hosted training sessions on topics including media outreach, fair trial rights and ECCC legal legacy, and gender sensitivity in transitional justice.
January 2014: Training on Mediation and Dialogue Facilitation Skills, attended by ADHOC, CDP, TPO, and AIJI representatives.
Voices for Reconciliation ran from September 2013 to September 2015. An evaluation report about the project was published in February 2016 and is available here.
Find out more about our partners in this project: