African Human Rights Law Journal
On-line version ISSN 1996-2096
Print version ISSN 1609-073X
AMONG, Hope. The application of traditional justice mechanisms to the atrocities committed by child soldiers in Uganda: A practical restorative justice approach. Afr. hum. rights law j. [online]. 2013, vol.13, n.2, pp.441-463. ISSN 1996-2096.
Some communities affected by the conflict in Uganda have selectively adopted traditional cleansing rituals to reintegrate former child soldiers. Furthermore, there appears to be support amongst communities for the holistic adoption of traditional justice mechanisms for the atrocities committed by child soldiers. However, these processes need to be modified prior to their adoption in order to address various practicality dilemmas such as the nature and extent of atrocities committed, the proportionality of punishments to the crimes committed, and the identification of parties. This article therefore proposes that such modifications should primarily be drawn from practical restorative approaches embodied within the criminal justice system, and relevant examples from selected countries. This could enhance the application of traditional justice mechanisms to the crimes committed by child soldiers. The article is timely considering that Uganda is currently developing a comprehensive national policy on transitional justice, which will entail a policy on traditional justice mechanisms.