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) and AJAR have 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.