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University of Iowa News Release

Release: March 18, 2003

Sok To Speak On Human Rights In Cambodia March 27

Chivy W. Sok, deputy director of the UI Center for Human Rights (UICHR) and project director of the Child Labor Research Initiative, will address the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council on "Cambodia: A Decade after the UN Peacekeeping Operation" from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, March 27 at Rockwood Fellowship Hall, Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton St., Iowa City. Lunch will begin at noon, and the lecture will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Cambodia, ravaged by the brutal regime under the Khmer Rouge for over four years and subsequent civil war and occupation, was deemed a "failed state" by the international community. War raged on while diplomacy at the United Nations stalled for almost two decades. In 1991 the international community successfully brought all warring factions to the table to sign the Paris Peace Agreements, end the civil war, and permit the establishment of the most extensive UN peacekeeping operation at that time to rebuild the country. The UN operation was meant to lay the foundation for peace and stability and sow the seeds of democracy and human rights.

Sok will focus on developments in Cambodia since the peacekeeping operation ended in 1993. She will also discuss her recent return to Cambodia this past December to complete her research on child labor.

She will also discuss the $1.2 million Child Labor Research Initiative. It aims to construct an internet database of national legislation related to child labor of 25 countries, prepare a collection of essays on child labor issues, develop a series of courses and public education curricula to advance understanding about child labor around the world, organize and host a child labor research forum, and commission a series of occasional papers.

Sok, a graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara and Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, holds a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in international affairs with a concentration on East Asia and human rights. A native of Cambodia, Sok and her family members are survivors of the Khmer Rouge killing fields.

Sok joined the UICHR after five years of working at Columbia University's Center for the Study of Human Rights where she was the program coordinator and later program director. At UI she co-teaches a research seminar on "International Human Rights and Child Labor" with Burns Weston at the College of Law; and also co-teaches an undergraduate seminar on child labor with Rex Honey

Lunch will be served at the lecture, and the cost is $7 for members and $8.50 for non-members. The deadline to reserve lunch for this event is noon Tuesday, March 25. Thai Flavors will cater the event. Checks may be written to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and mailed to ICFRC, 38 International Center, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802. Reservations may not be made by phone but last minute adjustments may be made. For more information, call ICFRC Executive Director Tom Baldridge or Marianne Weiss at (319) 335-0351.

For those unable to attend, WSUI-AM (910) will carry this program Friday, March 28, following the noon news. The event is sponsored by the ICFRC with additional support from NCS Pearson, UI International Programs, Iowa State Bank & Trust and the University of Iowa Division of Sponsored Programs.

ICFRC is part of International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, Program: Tom Baldridge, 319-335-0351. Writer: Vitalis Torwel

OTHER INFORMATION: UI Center for Human Rights,