Back to RJ Archive

Children and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Pigou, Piers
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. 115-157.

These experiences and their consequences were not examined
in detail by South Africa’s TRC,4 and it gave limited attention to the
participation and protection of children in its processes. The
Commission’s policy was not to take testimony from children under
the age of eighteen, reflecting advice given by child specialists.
However, the Commission did convene special hearings that publicly examined the experience of children and young people.
Children did not testify at these hearings, but their involvement set
new international precedents in efforts by truth commissions to
address issues surrounding children. The research briefs developed
for the hearings on human rights violations across the country
include regular references to children, as does the TRC’s final
report, which has a chapter on the special children’s hearings. The
Commission also developed recommendations specific to children
and their needs. (excerpt)


Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now