The Demography of Genocide in Southeast Asia

The Deaths Tolls in Cambodia, 1975-79, and East Timor, 1975-80

Author: Ben Kiernan


In this research note Ben Kiernan, director of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University (, scrutinizes estimates of the number of people killed in the two most recent cases of genocidal mass murder in Southeast Asia: Cambodia and East Timor. He concludes that the two cases were proportionately comparable, though many more people died in Cambodia. Each tragedy took the lives of over one-fifth of the population.

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December 2003
© 2004 ILO/Cassidy K.