“Our Stories, Our Way”: Interdisciplinary Applied Research Exploring the Safe and Meaningful Engagement of Young People in Post-Conflict Truth Telling in Northern Uganda

  • Cheryl Heykoop


The author develops a chapter based on her important work with young people affected by armed conflicts in East Africa in the context of young people’s engagement in post-conflict truth telling. This rather new focus of research is based on a children’s rights paradigm. Specifically the participatory action research (PAR) focuses on young people in northern Uganda, aged 11–23, who were formerly abducted (FA), internally displaced (ID), born in captivity (BIC), and/or disabled by the war (DBW). Specifically, the research considers the processes, methods, and outcomes to support young people’s engagement in truth telling. The author argues that young people’s meaningful and ethical engagement in post-conflict truth telling is a complex and long-term process that empowers young people to share their experiences and contributes to healing and reconciliation. This requires giving young people a variety of engagement opportunities that offer support and protection and contribute to tangible changes in their lives and communities.

The study draws on a complexity of conceptual approaches including the psychology of children and youth (including studies of PTSD), cultural studies, community and individual health studies, and human rights law. In the end, the author illustrates the need for a critical reflection on how young people are currently engaged in post-conflict truth telling, and offers suggestions on how to more meaningfully and ethically engage young people in post-conflict truth telling and other transitional justice processes in Uganda and around the globe.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cheryl Heykoop
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Roads Univesity, School of Leadership StudiesVictoriaCanada

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