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Our Focus programme brings you exclusive reports from around the world. From Monday to Friday at 7.45 am Paris time.

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Latest update : 2009-11-23

Cambodia's forgotten generation

An investigation into a little known legacy of the Khmer Rouge regime: children born from the hundreds of thousands of forced marriages in an effort to “further the glory” of Cambodia.

With the trial of one of Pol Pot’s henchmen drawing to a close, the world is once again looking back at this shocking regime. Pol Pot and the communist ruling party set about shaping Cambodia to its utopian ideal, ultimately leading to the death of some 1.7 million people.

An organisation called Angkar was in charge of one of the regimes social engineering experiments: carefully stage managing some 200,000 forced marriages to produce a generation of farmers/soldiers.

Erratum:  Denise Affonco-Herrman, who was interviewed during this Focus on the Khmers Rouges wanted to add some explanations about what she said.

"When I spoke this morning, I regret that my English let me down. I never intended to say that girls were "happy" to be forced into marriage with Khmers rouge soldiers.


What I meant to say was that PERHAPS the lesser of two evils. They had the choice between marriage or else starvation or being executed if they refused. Not really a choice. But I no way intended to imply that these poor girls were happy in their forced marriages. They were only doing what they could to survive."

 

 

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