Press Releases

TRC Children Hearing Opens In Zwedru Grand Gedeh County

Grand Gedeh County, Liberia
18 September, 2008
Categorized as pertaining to: Hearings

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia will Friday hold Thematic Hearing for Children in the south eastern city of Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.

The hearing under theme: "Children And The Conflict In Liberia: What Does The Future Hold?" is aimed at understanding the impact of the conflict and transitional justice mechanisms on the development of Liberian children and their future.

Already the commission has conducted two of three regional public hearings for children and two panel discussions between the commissioners and children in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County and Tubmanburg, Bomi County.

During the hearing in Zwedru several children who were direct victims of the Liberian conflict will testify followed by a panel discussion with commissioners of the TRC.

In collecting children's experiences of the war, special mechanisms were used to ensure the protection of children throughout the process. These included statement taking, public hearings in camera and public debates between children and the commissioners.

To conform to international standards and to achieve its objectives the commission has been organizing and holding the children hearings in collaboration with UNICEF and the National Child Protection Network (NCPN), a consortium of Child Protection Agencies (CPA).

As part of its mandate, the TRC is required to collect views from different sections of the populace, including children.

Meanwhile, the TRC will Monday commence a three day Thematic Public Hearing on Children at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia.

The commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender and Development and the National Child Protection Network will conclude the activities on children by the holding an art gallery, where Liberian children will exhibit through drawings and poetry, their war experiences and their expectations for the future. The event is scheduled for Saturday, September 27 at the Banquet Hall of the Monrovia City Hall. The TRC Committee on Children is chaired by Commissioner Omu Sylla.

The hearings are focused on events between 1979 and 2003 and the national and external actors that helped to shape those events.

The TRC was agreed upon in the August 2003 peace agreement and created by the TRC Act of 2005.

The TRC was established to "promote national peace, security, unity and reconciliation," and at the same time make it possible to hold perpetrators accountable for gross human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law that occurred in Liberia between January 1979 and October 2003.

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