Children and the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in Timor-Leste
This paper discusses children's participation and protection in the work of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) in Timor-Leste. It presents an overview of CAVR's efforts to ensure children's safe participation in CAVR activities, documenting violations against children and communicating CAVR's message to children. The paper assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the CAVR and analyzes underlying causes for the results. Through elaboration of lessons learned from the CAVR experience, the paper provides recommendations for truth commissions' engagement with children in the future. The paper concludes that despite the absence of a legal requirement in the mandate, the CAVR made a commendable effort to research and document children's experiences of the conflict. However, a lack of policy on child participation and child protection contributed to the failure to engage with children both during and after the CAVR. It is suggested that a holistic approach to the CAVR's activities could have helped avoid this missed opportunity for Timor-Leste's young generation to engage in the country's nation building and carry forward the CAVR's recommendations.
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