Policy & Papers

Timor Leste’s Children of War: A Promise to Heal


The Chega! report published by the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) about human rights violations committed during the Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste (1975-1999) highlights the discrimination expe­rienced by women victims of sexual abuse and their children born out of sexual violence. The Commission also made specif­ic recommendations to redress these issues.

However, more than a decade after the final report was launched, little prog­ress has been made on this issue. In the past years, Asosiasaun Chega! ba ita (ACbit) has taken the first steps to understand the plight of these children (now mostly young adults) living in a newly independent Timor-Leste. Conducting an action re­search project that included two workshops, a simple survey, and with the participation of 22 survivors, we have compiled a rarely documented account of the emotional, legal and eco­nomic challenges these young individuals are facing.

This paper will review the relevant findings and recommenda­tions of the CAVR report, provide an overview of the interna­tional legal framework and programmes in relation to children with similar circumstances, and, most importantly, present the key findings and recommendations from our participatory action research as articulated by the survivors themselves.


Labarik Funu Iha Timor-Leste: Promesa Ida Atu Kura” (2017) ne’ebé dokumenta husi Asosiasaun Chega! ba ita (ACbit) no fornese sumáriu kona ba emosionál, legál no ekonómiku sira ne’ebé mak foin sae sira infrenta hela iha Timor-Leste nia independénsia ida ne’e.

Dokumentu ida ne’e kria atu hodi responde ba relatóriu CAVR nian ne’e’be mak hakerek ona:

“…feto sira-ne’be hahoris sira-nia oan husi violasuan seksuál mak sai fali kulpadu ba sira-nia sorte-aat rasik no hetan izolamentu husi sira nira família no komunidade. Hahalok ida-ne’e afeita mós sira-nia oan sira.”

Liu husi peskiza ne’ebé mak sei iha kontinuasaun, ACbit identifika ona iha asuntu hat mak sai xave ba sobrevivente sira nia oan iha funu: Difikuldade asesu ba dokumentu sidadania, pobreza infantil no ninia impaktu ba edukasaun, siklu interjerasionál husi pobreza no marjinalizasaun, esperiénsia sira husi diskriminasaun no la asesu ba justisa.

ACbit mós oferese rekomendasaun xave sira ba asaun direta iha dokumentu ida ne’e.

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