No Justice in Cambodia Without Helping Hands

In our world today, justice is what gives those people who have been harmed hope that they will be recompensed for their pain. However, people’s faith in the justice system has begun to grow weaker where, in places like Cambodia, fairness has been hard to attain.  The UN has begun to ask for assistance from other countries in order to provide aid to try Khmer leaders who are responsible for the immense killings of people in Cambodia.

The Khmer Rouge regime took power over the country in 1975 and was overthrown in 1979, during which time over three million people were killed.  Following this period, a civil war occurred which did not end until 1998.  With the help of the UN, the Cambodian National Assembly was able to pass a law creating the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in order to try those responsible for the heinous murders. Not only is the court held in Cambodia but Cambodian staff and judges also run it, since the government found it was necessary for their people to be involved with something that had such a large impact on their community.

Even with the many volunteers that Cambodia has provided, actions without necessary means is not enough to fulfill a goal. The UN has begun requesting from other international countries financial assistance in order to come to an end and bring justice and peace to the Cambodian people. The UN has found that without sufficient funds, the trial of these leaders will never be complete.  An ongoing financial support system needs to be put in place so that the Court has its necessary means in order to complete its official objective. It seems to be an continuous dilemma that countries do not like to get involved in other countries problems, which is a valid concern. However, there are some situations in which the nations need to come together to protect the overall idea of justice systems to help Cambodia attain fairness for the crimes that were committed against them.


What do you think? Should other countries get more involved and aid Cambodia? Are there other methods in which the Cambodian government can rely on to gain sufficient funding besides relying on the international community?








  1. The UN’s main website greets its visitors with the following message: “Welcome to the United Nations. It’s your world.”

    I think that welcome message serves as two-fold purpose. Not only is it is a reminder but it also serves to it provide the underlying foundation for the answers to questions that you raise, Amanda.

    I most certainly think that other countries should get involved and should provide aid to Cambodia. The work of the UN would not be possible without international cooperation. The work of the UN would be futile, without multi-national unity.

    What’s more is that the court requires and would not function without the help of the international community. The ECCC is a special court. Although it was created by the Cambodian government and the UN, it functions independently of them. It applies international standards and thus requires international participation. International participation is essential to finalize these trials. Funding is the most vital way nations can maximize their aid to this court and to its mission.

  2. I also fully think that other countries should get more involved and aid Cambodia. Not only countries, but corporations as well. The people of Cambodia cannot return to normalcy until those responsible during the Khmer Rouge regime are tried and receive punishment. While it is always a concern, and a valid one, about what the effect of getting involved in other countries is, there are more important concerns. A possible solution could be an arbitrary fund in the United Nations’ control that exists for the sole purpose of operating international tribunals. There is no direct charitable contribution from one country to another, but an independently thriving fund that distributes support when necessary. If the money is already there, and the independent body of the UN decides what to do with it, the link between a country and where it is giving support is eliminated, if that was the reason for not contributing. Hopefully, over time, countries and/or corporations will step up and either directly or indirectly provide support to tribunals set up for the right reasons.

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