The diversity of Identity: youth participation at the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission
In recent years, the transitional justice field has become increasingly concerned with ensuring meaningful participation from a wide range of actors. In response, a burgeoning scholarship has emerged, which aims to understand the interests and needs of these stakeholders, most notably women and children. Noticeably absent from this research is an examination of youth interests as distinct from children’s. Instead, the conflict identities of youth are most often conceived as inextricably tied to those of children. As a result, the narrow victim/perpetrator binary remains the dominant identity construction employed for understanding their involvement in conflict and transitional justice processes. Drawing on the case of the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this article reveals that youth are more than passive subjects in the reconciliation process. It demonstrates that the interactions of youth with truth and reconciliation commission processes allow youth to exercise agency, and thus challenge the dominance of the victim/perpetrator identity construct. The article thus proposes an alternative way of framing youth participation, whereby the identities of youth in transitional contexts are represented as diverse and malleable.
Australian Journal of International Affairs
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