: Truth and
Reconciliation Commission report reflects experiences of children,
WEBSITE: http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/files/TRCCF9SeptFINAL.pdf .
UNICEF's help a version of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's findings
which children can understand has been produced. Children were involved in
creating some drawings in the report and in framing its recommendations for
are the children of
. The war was targeted against us, our families and our communities. It was a
brutal conflict, which we did nothing to cause, but we suffered terribly because
of it. Every child in this country has a story to tell - a heartbreaking one.
Unfortunately only a handful of these stories have been told and made known to
the world. The memories continue to weigh on our minds and hearts. We, the
, witnessed the worst possible human ruthlessness and terror. Children of this
country were forced to fight for a cause we could not understand. We were
drugged and made to kill and destroy our brothers and sisters and our mothers
and fathers. We were beaten, amputated and used as sex slaves. This was a
wretched display of inhuman and immoral actions by those who were supposed to be
protecting us. Our hands, which were meant to be used freely for play and
schoolwork, were used instead, by force, to burn, kill and destroy. We do not
believe this is the end of our story. Rather, it is the beginning. We, who
survived the war, are determined to go forward. We will look to a new future and
we ourselves will help build the road to peace." This is an extract
from the first-ever version of a 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission' report
intended specifically to be accessible by children. The report details the
violations which occurred during the ten-year civil war in
, in which children were deliberately and systematically targeted.
When the violence ended and the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission was established, the children of
were asked to participate. With UNICEF's help a version of the Commission's
findings which children could understand has been produced. Children were
involved in all stages of the inquiry - from creating some of the drawings in
the report to framing its recommendations for peace-building. Special care was
taken to protect them, as victims and as witnesses.