PRESS RELEASE 4 February 2016
GULU- Children born into the captivity of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) must be mainstreamed as partners and agents in post-conflict reconstruction say researchers from the Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP) in Gulu.
According to a newly published field note by JRP titled “We Are All the Same: Experiences of children born into LRA captivity”, children born into the captivity of the LRA experience life in ways that are unique to their identities and should be addressed specially in transitional justice.
“We Are All the Same”, is based on an innovative three year project documenting the lives of 29 children aged between 11 and 15 living in the urban centre of Gulu by researchers Beth W. Stewart and Aloyo Proscovia. The report documents the lives of the participating children between 2011 and 2014, presenting some of the first extensive narrative accounts of the views and experiences of children born into captivity following reintegration.
Based on the views and experiences shared by the participating children, the report provides recommendations for the Ugandan government as well as civil society to address existing gaps, including supporting linking the children with their extended families, and ensuring that their fathers, who in some cases reportedly earn government incomes as soldiers, pay child support.
“As northern Uganda moves further away from its experience of active war, the ramifications continue to be lived each day,” researcher Beth Stewart says, “Without measures to address the needs and rights [of children born into LRA captivity], the violence of the war continues.”
The field note and project are part of JRP’s continued work to ensure the participation of children as victims of conflict, with unique experiences, challenges and voices, in processes of justice, healing and reconciliation. It follows research exploring the reintegration challenges of children born of war and their mothers and an initiative that engages survivors, communities, opinion leaders and policy-makers on providing redress for sexual- and gender-based violence survivors.
“We Are All the Same: Experiences of children born into LRA captivity” can be downloaded on JRP’s website here: http://justiceandreconciliation.com/publications/field-notes/2015/we-are-all-the-same-experiences-of-children-born-into-lra-captivity/.
Download this release here (pdf): 2015-02-04 War continues for children born in LRA captivity