Ms. Kasumi Nakagawa

She was an expert witness testifying on forced marriage during the Khmer Rouge period. She first became interested in how the Khmer Rouge impacted women during her undergrad, and has conducted research on gender and women, particularly forced marriage, in Cambodia since 2006.

Her research focused on the period prior to the KR and during. Marriage, she found, was a communal and family matter in which males had more decision power and females had almost none. Although she acknowledged women were sometimes consulted during the Khmer Rouge period, she did not think genuine consent could be given. As well as this, before the Khmer Rouge marriage was organized by families and no interaction with the authorities was needed – this changed under the KR. She did not have enough evidence to confirm whether or not there was a top-down policy to organize forced marriages.

The greatest harm of forced marriages, she said, was the destruction of the safety net inherent in marriages: men and women lost the protection of their families because they were separated from both their families and their new spouses. The mother of the bride suffered heavily because it was her responsibility to organize the marriage and she was unable to do so.

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  • Cases : Case 002Case 002/02
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