24 Sep 2010

Study to test merit of Solomons truth and reconciliation commission

8:51 am on 24 September 2010

An academic from New Zealand's Otago University is to assess the impact of the truth and reconciliation commission process in Solomon Islands.

The commission is aiming to reconcile victims and perpetrators during the period of ethnic violence from 1998 to 2003.

A researcher with the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Research, Dr Karen Brouneus will use the grant from New Zealand's Marsden Fund to look at the commission's impact on trust, coexistence, peace and security.

Dr Brouneus says there is little research to prove the merit of such commissions and they could well cause damage.

"What we have seen in some recent research is that there may also be risks, for example victims who witness in these truth telling processes, for re-traumatisation and also security risks from people in the community not interested in the truth being told."