A Duty to Protect: Justice for Child Soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)This video aims to inform the public in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), especially in war-affected zones, about the Thomas Lubanga Dyilo trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. It is available in English (below), French and Swahili.

The Lubanga trial is the first ever trial before the ICC, and marks a fundamental step in the fight against impunity.  The trial is ongoing, and is yet to reach a verdict. You can watch short video blogs from the first week of the trial which I attended in January.

The film gives a clear overview of what the trial is about, and what the expectations of people in the DRC are.
Thomas Lubanga Dyilo stands accused of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15, and using them to participate actively in hostilities in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo between 2002 and 2003.  The ICC has the mandate to protect children – one of the innovations of this new court is not only that the issue of child soldiers is the subject of its first trail, but also that former child soldiers themselves may participate in the proceedings.

This short film highlights both the discussion between the Prosecution and the Lubanga Defense Counsel in the court room, and more widely with the victims (child soldiers) and the Public Counsel for Victims’ views about the proceedings and the expectations of the DRC communities.  The video also highlights the issue of fair trial and balances the opening arguments both from the prosecution and the defense in the trial.

Special thanks to OSI’s Justice Initiative for funding part of the production and editing of this video and to IWPR for its ongoing, in-depth coverage of the trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo at the ICC.

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