1953 Cambodia Independence from France • France took a lot of treasures from Cambodia. • France never invested a lot in Cambodia or set up schools for Cambodian children. A statue from Cambodia that the French took Cambodia’s King Sihanouk
1969 US begins secret bombing on North Vietnamese forces on Cambodian soil • In Vietnam the North and South Vietnamese were fighting. The US was helping the South Vietnamese. The Cambodians were helping the North Vietnamese who were Communist. • Many Vietnamese people and children fled from Vietnam to Cambodia. When the US also started bombing, Cambodian people also started to flee from Cambodia. People went to the sea or to Thailand. Vietnamese refugees in Cambodia
1970Prime minister Lon Nol overthrows King Shinaouk and starts fighting the North Vietnamese and the Communist Khmer Rouge • There is a lot of fighting and bombing going on in Cambodia. People are still trying to flee the country.
1975Lon Nol is overthrown by the Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot.Year Zero • All people have to leave the city and become farmers. • Many children become soldiers. • All schools are closed, teachers are killed. • Children are not allowed to live with their parents or have special feelings for them because they are needed to fight.
1979After 2 years of fighting the Vietnamese take Phnom Penh • 1 out of every 4 people are killed during the war in Cambodia. • There are many orphans • There is still a lot of fighting and no food Cambodian children in a refugee camp in Thailand
1991Peace is signed in Paris. Sihanouk becomes King again. • Cambodia is becoming a safer place but is still very poor. • They are starting new schools but all the teachers were killed. • Many children have to work to make money and can’t go to school. Cambodian children working in a garbage dump King Sihanouk Cambodian girl trying to sell bracelets
2001The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set up to bring justice • The people responsible for all the fighting and killing have never been punished. Now they are trying to do this. But a long time has passed and many people want to protect their friends. • It is important for children to learn about justice but that is still difficult in Cambodia. Cambodian children work about 31 hours every week