The Documentation Centre of Cambodia (DC-Cam) in collaboration with the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will give out 500 books on genocide and mass atrocities to raise awareness of its horrors.
The new book, Genocide and Mass Atrocities in World History: Overview for Cambodian Classrooms, aims to educate present and future youths on genocide and mass atrocities throughout history, DC-Cam said.
The distribution event will take place on November 22 at the Indra Devi High School in Phnom Penh's Tuol Kork district.
“The intention of the book is to provide information that can be used by teachers to inform students’ understanding of mass atrocities and how Cambodia’s experience under the Khmer Rouge relates to other countries’ and peoples’ suffering,” DC-Cam said.
It said the book was written to aid teachers in the development of lesson plans addressing mass atrocities throughout history.
It covers the Cambodian genocide under the Khmer Rouge, the mass killing of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire from 1915-23, the Jewish Holocaust during World War II, the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 and the Bosnian atrocities of 1995.
DC-Cam said since the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime 40 years ago, the need for greater education and teaching resources on mass atrocities had become all the more important.
“The peace, security, and human rights of the next generation will depend not only on the work we strive to achieve today, but also on how well we prepare the next generation for their roles, responsibilities, and leadership in the future,” wrote Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron in the book’s preface.
“Education is not a panacea for all inhumanity, but it is an important factor in our common struggle to shape our world for the next generation,” he added
DC-Cam director Youk Chhang said the book was an important contribution to Cambodia’s struggle to move from a society victimised by mass atrocities to one empowered to confront its past and mentor other countries in the future.
“Cambodia cannot escape from her history, but she should not be enslaved by it.
“Cambodia’s future must be defined not only by facing its past and healing itself but also through helping other countries, peoples and the world confront and overcome mass atrocities and radical extremism,” Chhang said.