NPWJ expert presents book on Children and Accountability

9 Mar, 2010 | Publications

Harvard, 9 March 2010


Alison Smith, International Criminal Justice Program Coordinator for No Peace Without Justice and expert on international criminal justice and children, presented the book “Children and Transitional Justice: Truth-Telling, Accountability and Reconciliation”, co-edited by UNICEF and Harvard Law School at a launch whose keynote speaker was Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and which was moderated by Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minnow.

The book is the followup of NPWJ-UNICEF cooperation on the role of children in international criminal justice, with a focus on the International Criminal Court, its jurisdiction over crimes committed against children and children’s participation in the ICC as victims and witnesses, which resulted in the seminal publication International Criminal Justice and Children.

The book explores questions raised when children’s issues are prioritized in transitional justice processes. It analyzes practical experience to determine how the range of transitional justice mechanisms can be applied, both to improve accountability for crimes perpetrated against children and to protect the rights of children, involved primarily as victims and witnesses, but also at times as members of armed forces and groups that perpetrate violations.

Alison Smith’s chapter on basic assumptions of transitional justice and children examines how some of the assumptions about transitional justice need to be re-thought to weave in the perspectives of children so as to facilitate their playing an active role in their country’s transition to stable and lasting peace.

The book is published by Harvard University Press and is available for free download from here.