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Cambodian Responses to the Khmer Rouge Trials: Justice, Desire for Revenge and PTSD

After years of impunity for perpetrators of the Cambodian genocide, a joint United Nations-Cambodian tribunal was recently launched to try senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge. But what effect do human rights tribunals have on perceptions of justice and mental health in post-conflict settings? Do they help to ameliorate post-conflict distress, by promoting justice and reducing the desire for revenge, or do they re-traumatize survivors? Jeffrey Sonis, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor in the Departments of Social Medicine and Family Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill, explores these questions in his presentation of data from two national cross-sectional studies in Cambodia, conducted prior to the start of the public trials, in 2007 and 2009, on attitudes toward the Khmer Rouge trials and post-traumatic mental health. The abstract of Dr. Sonis’s recent paper on the 2007 national study in Cambodia is available at the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Sponsored by the Duke Human Rights Center and the Global Health Institute. For more information, please contact 668-6511 or rights@duke.edu.


January 20, 2010
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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Franklin 240 – JHFC
John Hope Franklin Center
Durham, NC 27708 United States
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