Unknown Orphan Memorial will immortalize the many victims of institutional
abuse whose lives have been claimed by abuse, particularly those who
never received proper burial rites nor marked grave sites, i.e. “The
Butter Box Babies”. The Unknown Orphan Memorial Program is committed
to peaceful and non-violent change. With due consideration to the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we the members herein recognize
that no individual human majority or minority can be expendable in
the cause of theory or policy.
Internations Justice Federation employs the principle of respect
to be of paramount consideration for survivors and the various nations
of peoples and cultures in all its initiatives. The Federation is
seeking submissions of orphaned children whose lives have been claimed
by abuse and were buried in unmarked graves. Our Unknown Orphan
Memorial aspires to bring them home, give them a proper burial and
return the dignity robbed from them. The Federation hopes to have
a ceremony very similar to that of the Unknown Soldier. The Federation
will have the bodies of representatives of the various cultures
affected by institutional child abuse. The remains of these children
exhumed and laid to rest in the tomb of the Unknown Orphan will
forever be the representatives of institutionally abused children
past, present and future whose lives have been claimed by institutional
The Internations’ Justice Federation recognizes and shall
work within the context of cultural burial rites for the dead. Each
culture will be asked to participate in the appropriate burial ceremonies
out of respect for those members who are survivors from their nation
The Federation will have of these children’s remains carried
into the memorial service on a gun carriage and will have the various
spiritual leaders of the respective cultures participate in appropriate
ceremonial rituals. We will ask the National Guard to perform a
21-gun salute. On the memorial will be written apologies from the
United Nations, the head of each nation, and the head of each government
and religious institution. There will also be a collective statement
from the survivors of institutional abuse honouring our dead.
After the memorial service is over, the Federation hopes that victims
of institutional abuse and their friends and families will be able
to visit the memorial site where they can mourn privately. (Many
people do not take well to public gatherings.) The Unknown Orphan
Memorial will be situated in the midst of a public garden setting.
The walkways throughout the grounds will be laid with stones bearing
the names and life spans of deceased former victims.
Above it all, the Federation seeks to engender an international
social conscience on institutional child abuse. Famous existentialist
and French playwright Albert Camus wrote: “Perhaps we cannot
prevent this world from being a place in which children are tortured.
But we can reduce the number of tortured children. And if you believers
won’t help us, then who will?” This is the place where
it must begin. The world needs to remember to ensure these horrors
of the past never happen again in any land, nor in any time to come.
Until then, many more children will continue dying and continue
being abused in institutions.
The deaths of two children who were in residential care in Ontario,
Canada is evidence of the importance of this issue.