The second opportunity : education, peacebuilding and transformative justice
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Traditionally, transitional justice and children’s education have been considered as two separate fields with little crossover. Education and children’s participation in general fit uneasily with legalistic paradigms of transitional justice, which prioritise fighting impunity, delivering truth and reparations, and institutional reform. They also often fall outside the scope of peacebuilding, which seeks to neutralise immediate security threats, and considers education as part of a development process which itself is dependent and therefore secondary to the cessation of hostilities. This essay will argue that such approaches overlook both the role of children and the transformative capacity of education, and the contribution it can make to sustainable peace. To mobilise this capacity, it proposes shifting the approach to post-conflict reform from transitional to “transformative” justice, considering education as a tool for transformation, and recognising children as agents of change.