Report available: Transformative Reparations for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence at the ECCC

This report details the outcomes of a workshop held in Phnom Penh on 28 November 2014. The focus of the workshop was the possibility, within the reparations mandate and legal framework of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), of designing and implementing transformative reparations for sexual and gender-based violence. The workshop engaged a range of ECCC actors, representatives of civil parties, researchers, academics and civil society organisations.

The key aim of the workshop was to examine emerging scholarship and practice concerning the design, selection and implementation of transformative reparations projects, in particular those projects addressing the specific harm suffered by victims of sexual and gender-based violence. Transformative reparations are those reparations that focus on identifying and changing underlying conditions that led to or contributed to the causes of conflict, and sexual violence in particular. Transformative reparations recognise that traditional forms of reparations, which tend to focus on restoring the victim to the position before the crime occurred, are often blind to or insufficient to address such societal factors.

The concept of transformative reparations was then applied to the Cambodian context to determine the potential for transformation as part of the reparations projects developed within the ECCC framework. Experiences from previous cases and reparations projects were considered. An assessment was then made of the potential for the current case before the ECCC, which includes charges of forced marriage and sexual and gender-based violence, to support reparations projects that might have transformative effects. Workshop participants considered a range of possible reparations projects that would address the particular needs of victims of sexual and gender-based violence during the Democratic Kampuchea (DK) regime, as well as potentially altering attitudes or conditions that contribute to sexual and gender-based violence in Cambodia today. Finally, a number of recommendations were drawn from the discussions and presentations.

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