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The 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 abuse.

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 of peoples.

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.

 
© Copyright 2003 Internations' Justice Federation