search advanced search
UNICEF Innocenti
Office of Research-Innocenti
search menu

Restorative Justice after Mass Violence

Opportunities and risks for children and youth
Restorative Justice after Mass Violence: Opportunities and risks for children and youth

Author(s)

Laura Stovel; Marta Valiñas

 

Publication date: 2010-15

Publication series:
Innocenti Working Papers

No. of pages: 54

Download the report

(PDF, 0.00 MB)

Related Project(s):

Abstract

There is growing interest in the role that restorative justice can play in addressing mass atrocities. This paper describes the associated principles and practices within juvenile justice systems and in societies emerging from mass violence. It also examines the meaning, opportunities and limitations of restorative justice in transitional societies, particularly in relation to the needs of young victims and offenders. We argue that procedural forms of restorative justice, involving redress by offenders, face considerable challenges because communities and governments often lack the coercive capacity or will to hold offenders accountable. In contexts where accountability is lacking we argue that pressuring victims to meet with, and forgive, those who harmed them may be inappropriate. Such encounters should only occur where victims see them as necessary to their own healing. Despite the procedural limitations of restorative justice, this perspective (ontology) helps us analyse the route to reconciliation in different conflict contexts and reveals opportunities and challenges for justice and reconciliation in each case. This ontology reveals that intra-communal and inter-communal (ethnic/religious) conflicts have dramatically different justice and reconciliation challenges. In an intra-communal conflict, such as in Sierra Leone, offenders need to reintegrate into communities that they or their factions harmed. The desire to reintegrate into communities that condemn their crimes while accepting them provides opportunities for young offenders to address their crimes. In ethnically divided societies, offenders are often seen as heroes in their communities and may not have to address their crimes until the communities themselves condemn them. This makes restorative justice and reconciliation much more difficult, as communities do not take on the role of promoting accountability for their own members. In such cases, restorative justice efforts must promote social trust between groups. In both intra-communal and inter-communal conflicts, victims are often marginalized by their own communities and receive inadequate assistance. Restorative justice shows us that much can be done to help young victims, and this should become an explicit part of the justice picture. Finally, we argue that traditional justice is not synonymous with restorative justice. While traditional justice is community based and often meaningful to people, many of its forms are retributive; deny a voice to children, youth and other disadvantaged groups; or place community reconciliation above individual justice. Therefore, traditional justice practices should be assessed case by case if they are to be claimed as restorative justice equivalents.
Available in:
English

More in this series: Innocenti Working Papers

Cross-Sectoral Learning in Implementation Research: Harnessing the potential to accelerate results for children
Publication

Cross-Sectoral Learning in Implementation Research: Harnessing the potential to accelerate results for children

By illuminating why and how interventions work in real world settings, Implementation Research (IR) is a powerful tool for increasing the likelihood that evidence-based interventions, programmes and policies are successfully implemented. The insights that IR generates help bridge the 'know-do gap' – the gap between what we know works and what actually happens on the ground when we try to put a policy or intervention into place. IR is a means for increasing the likelihood of successful outcomes, reducing the risk of wastage and failure and accelerating programme and system improvements to reduce inequities and achieve desired results. This paper, prepared by the Centre for Evidence and Implementation in collaboration with UNICEF, aims to promote a shared understanding of IR and its relevance to UNICEF's work.
The Impact of Interventions Targeting Caregivers, Health Workers and the Community to Alter Vaccine Behaviours and Childhood Vaccination Uptake: A Rapid evidence assessment protocol
Publication

The Impact of Interventions Targeting Caregivers, Health Workers and the Community to Alter Vaccine Behaviours and Childhood Vaccination Uptake: A Rapid evidence assessment protocol

Vaccination is one of the most effective measures for preventing illness, disability and death. In Europe and Central Asia, routine immunization rates vary between countries and over time. Behavioural determinants of vaccine hesitancy in the region include diminished trust among caregivers and health professionals; knowledge and awareness of vaccination; perceptions of risk; and health professionals’ skills, knowledge and attitudes. This rapid evidence assessment aims to summarize the impact of interventions targeting caregivers, healthcare workers and the community to improve intention and motivation to vaccinate and vaccination rates of children under 5 years old. The evidence will inform policy and programmatic recommendations.
Effectiveness of Inclusive Interventions for Children with Disabilities in Low- and Middle-income Countries: Protocol for an evidence and gap map
Publication

Effectiveness of Inclusive Interventions for Children with Disabilities in Low- and Middle-income Countries: Protocol for an evidence and gap map

Of the nearly 1 billion people with a disability, 80% live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and 240 million are children. Children with disabilities remain one of the most marginalized and excluded groups in society. This protocol to the Evidence and Gap Map on the Effectiveness of Inclusive Interventions for Children with Disabilities Living in LMICs aims to identify the available evidence on inclusive interventions to improve access to health, education and social services for these children, and enable them to participate fully in society by addressing discrimination, improving living conditions, incorporating mainstreaming approaches and promoting empowerment. It highlights gaps in the evidence to prioritize future research and evaluation agendas; identifies contextual factors related to various populations and settings; and provides a database of peer-reviewed and grey literature in this area.
Barriers and Facilitators to Providing Assistive Technologies to Children with Disabilities in South Sudan
Publication

Barriers and Facilitators to Providing Assistive Technologies to Children with Disabilities in South Sudan

South Sudan is in a protracted crisis. Four million people have been displaced and many have been left living with high levels of injury, poverty and food insecurity. The impact of the crisis on children – who make up over 29% of the population – is particularly high, and a large number are at risk of being born with or acquiring a disability. Assistive technologies (AT) – the systems, services and products that enhance the functioning of people with impairments – are likely to be required by many children in South Sudan with disabilities. There is no reliable data available on disability prevalence or AT needs in South Sudan, though estimates suggest a range between 10% and 15% of the population. This work aims to understand the landscape of AT provision and the barriers and facilitators to provision and provides recommendations for priority actions.