Children and Transitional Justice

Children and Transitional Justice Expert Paper Series

©UNICEF/2006-2801/Brioni - Children and Transitional Justice cover page


The UNICEF IRC Expert Paper Series on Children and Transitional Justice was launched in 2007 in close collaboration with UNICEF NY. The Series is intended to generate dialogue and consensus, and to better inform children's protection and participation in ongoing or planned transitional justice processes in diverse country situations. Based on concrete experience, the papers document and identify challenges, dilemmas and questions for further debate and formulate recommendations to better protect the rights of children involved in transitional justice processes.

A specific objective - and challenge - of the Series is to identify topics in the field of transitional justice that are essential in establishing a foundation for expertise on children. The experimental and innovative nature of research in the Series has created broad interest and visibility, helping establish a child rights-based approach to transitional justice that addresses advocacy, policy and programme agendas in UNICEF and among partners.

The Children and Transitional Justice Series has succeeded in convening a network of noteworthy practitioners, academics, legal experts and child rights advocates and has generated interest in the field of transitional justice, specifically on issues concerning children.

The identification of topics and authors in the Children and Transitional Justice Series has been undertaken in the context of strategic partnerships with ICTJ and HLS, and guided by the Peer Review Oversight Panel. Key areas of interest identified are:
  • Core considerations and international legal framework
  • Child rights in transitional justice contexts
  • Local processes of accountability, reconciliation and peacebuilding
  • Country case studies
The Expert Discussion on Children and Transitional Justice in June 2008 was convened to provide feedback to individual authors and to assess the range and coverage of the Series. A subsequent conference to on Children and Transitional Justice was co-convened by the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre and the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School, in April 2009.

The Series, to be released electronically in March 2010 includes the following expert papers:
  • Accountability for Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes, by the LRA; Khristopher Carlson, Feinstein International Ctr., Tufts University
  • Basic Assumptions of Transitional Justice and Children, by Alison Smith, International Criminal Justice Program NPWJ
  • Child Participation in the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission, by Philip Cook and Cheryl Heykoop, International Institute for Child Rights and Development, University of Victoria
  • Children and Criminal Responsibility: the International Legal Framework, by Christine Bakker, Research Fellow, European University Institute
  • Children and Reparations, by Dyan Mazurana, Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Children and Security Sector Reform, by David Nosworthy, Independent Consultant
  • Children and the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, by Theo Sowa, Independent Consultant
  • Children and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, by Piers Pigou, Director South African Archives
  • Children and Torture, by Daniel O'Donnell, Independent Consultant; and Norberto Liwski, President CODESH
  • Children and Transitional Justice in the Colombia and Peru, by Salvador Herencia-Carrasco, Legal Advisor, Peru Constitutional Court
  • Children, Education and Reconciliation, by Alan Smith, UNESCO Chair . University of Ulster
  • Children, Youth and Gender Roles in the Rwandan Transitional Justice Context, by Jeanne D'Arc
  • Children's Involvement in the CAVR in Timor-Leste, by Megan Hirst, Victims Reparations Unit ICC; and Ann Linnarsson, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF IRC
  • Community and Family Responses to Youth Formerly Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups, by Theresa Betancourt, Director, Research Program Children Global Adversity, Harvard School Public Health
  • Economic Justice for Children in Post-Conflict Societies, by Sharan Parmar, Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School
  • Genetic tracing, disappeared children and justice, by Rachel Shigekane, UN Berkeley, Human Rights Center; Phuong Pham, UN Berkeley, Human Rights Center; and Michele L. Harvey, Forensic Pediatric Fellow, Alberta CA
  • International Criminal Justice and Child Protection, by Cecile Aptel, Senior Fellow, International Center for Transitional Justice
  • The Potential and Limits of Mato Oput as a Tool for Reconciliation and Justice for Children in Northern Uganda, by Prudence Acirokop, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
  • Protection Measures and Psychosocial Support for Child Witnesses, by An Michels, Independent Consultant
  • Restorative Justice After Mass Violence: Opportunities and Risks for Children and Youth, by Laura Stovel, Professor, Department of Global Studies, Wilfred Laurier University; and Marta Valinas, Researcher, Catholic University Leuven
  • Truth Commissions and National Curriculum: the Case of the Recordandonos Resource in Peru, by Julia Paulson, Oxford University