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Olivia Takes Up The Calling

By Duncan Horscroft on October 10, 2014 in News

Photo: Phoebe Miley-Dyer

Photo: Phoebe Miley-Dyer

It’s a long way from the pristine waters of the Eastern Beaches to the steamy streets of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, but Clovelly law student Olivia Miley-Dyer is taking up the challenge as part of a five-month posting as an international intern on the Khmer Rouge War Crimes Tribunal.

As one of eight international interns, along with four Khmer students, she will be helping with evidence, victims’ complaints and investigations surrounding the atrocities committed during the Pol Pot regime from 1975 to 1979.

It is estimated that more than three million people died during Pol Pot’s totalitarian dictatorship, one of the worst acts of genocide the world had ever seen.

“For my posting from October to March, I will be interning with the United Nations working with the Co-Prosecutors Office in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), more commonly referred to as the Khmer Rouge War Crimes Tribunal, which investigates the crimes committed by the regime headed by Pol Pot,” Olivia said.

She’s no stranger to that part of the world, or human rights issues, having chosen to travel extensively after graduating from high school in 2010.

“I have travelled throughout Asia and have seen the effects of human rights violations in countries such as Burma, Tibet, Cambodia, India, Nepal, China and Laos,” Olivia said.

“While visiting Phnom Penh I met two Australian girls interning with the UN and spent many hours talking with them. At the time I was enrolled in a psychology degree, but these women inspired me to study law, so I secretly changed my preferences for university entrance.

“I did this because I saw firsthand how these girls were making a difference, working together with people from diverse walks of life to protect human rights. Ever since then, it has been my dream to work with the UN on the Khmer Rouge War Crimes Tribunal.

“I feel this is a great opportunity for me to gain greater insight into the issues surrounding international law, transitional justice and to learn from a highly experienced, dedicated group of people from all over the world.”

Good luck Olivia, it’s people like you who make a real difference.