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Basic assumptions of transitional justice and children.

Smith, Alison
June 4, 2015

Source: (2010) In, Sharanjeet Parmar, et. al, eds., Children and transitional justice: Truth-telling, accountability and reconciliation. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School. pp. 31-65.

This chapter looks at a number of the basic assumptions of
transitional justice as it affects children. Perhaps the most basic
assumption of all is that transitional justice mechanisms are the best
vehicle to achieve an end to impunity, through criminal
prosecutions and other accountability and truth-seeking strategies.2
Experience demonstrates the validity of this assumption: from the
tribunals in Nuremberg and Tokyo after the Second World War, to
the truth commissions addressing the conflicts of the 1980s and
1990s in Latin America, to the permanent International Criminal
Court (ICC) which became operational in 2002, transitional justice
has signaled a break with the past and assisted societies throughout
the world to move forward. However, there is less empirical data for
making such an assessment regarding children, since they have
been involved only recently in transitional justice processes and
their participation has been something of an “‘add-on.” (excerpt)


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