Publications

  • Date published: 9/13/2012

    Transitional Justice and Displacement

    Author: Roger Duthie

    Transitional Justice is often pursued in contexts where people have been forced from their homes by human rights violations and have suffered additional abuses while displaced. Little attention has been paid, however, to how transitional justice measures can respond to the injustices of displacement. Transitional Justice and Displacement is the result of a collaborative research project of the International Center for Transitional Justice and the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement. It examines the capacity of transitional justice measures to address displacement, engage the justice claims of displaced persons, and support durable solutions, and analyzes the links between transitional justice and the interventions of humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding actors. The book makes a compelling case for ensuring that justice measures address displacement and that responses to displacement incorporate transitional justice.

  • Date published: 9/11/2012

    Restitution and Legal Pluralism in Contexts of Displacement

    Author: Barbara McCallin

    Recent years have seen an increased recognition of the need to address the housing, land, and property (HLP) rights of displaced populations in post-conflict situations; however, the implementation of restitution programs is challenged by the fact that in most countries affected by internal displacement, access to land is regulated under customary law and held under informal tenure.

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  • Date published: 9/4/2012

    Transitional Justice Responses to Palestinian Dispossession: Focus on Restitution

    Author: Leila Hilal

    The protracted displacement of Palestinian refugees presents a complex set of challenges for the international refugee, humanitarian, and transitional justice fields. For the most part, these global movements have treated the Palestinian situation as a case apart: Palestinian refugees living in the areas where the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) operates are excluded from the 1951 Refugee Convention, and policies regarding restitution as a component of durable solutions to displacement have not typically been viewed as relevant to the Palestinian case. This paper explores the conceptual and practical challenges that arise when considering restitution for Palestinian refugees, and addresses these challenges in order to highlight the legal, practical, and political relevance of property restitution to reaching a viable settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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  • Date published: 8/23/2012

    In the Presence of Absence: Truth-Telling and Displacement in Liberia

    Author: Awa Dabo

    Displacement was a major tactic used by armed groups during the brutal conflict in Liberia from 1989 to 2003. It is estimated that during this time, half the country’s population experienced displacement as a result of warfare. The large numbers of people forced from their homes meant that the displaced played a central role in the agreements ending the conflict. However, while the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was groundbreaking in its engagement with the diaspora community, no attempt was made to address internally displaced persons and their distinct needs. This paper discusses the challenges that the TRC faced in including IDPs and issues of concern to them in its work, and argues that displaced communities need to be engaged as early as possible in peacebuilding processes.

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  • Date published: 8/23/2012

    Building Trust and Strengthening the Rule of Law

    Author: Alexander Mayer-Rieckh

    ICTJ’s briefing paper “Building Trust and Strengthening the Rule of Law” examines how an ad hoc vetting mechanism for officers in senior command positions could help consolidate democracy in Nepal. Author Alexander Mayer-Rieckh says that as Nepal abandons its commitments to pursue accountability for serious crimes, it undermines the ability of its security forces to maintain the rule of law and protect a new era of peace.

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  • Date published: 8/7/2012

    The CAVR and the 2006 Displacement Crisis in Timor-Leste: Reflections on Truth-Telling, Dialogue, and Durable Solutions

    Author: Luiz Vieira

    This paper considers the efforts of Timor-Leste’s Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation to address the forced displacement that occurred during the period of Indonesian occupation and in the post-Popular Consultation violence of 1999. It examines linkages between the work of the commission, which concluded in October 2005, and the government’s response to the 2006 displacement crisis.

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  • Date published: 8/7/2012

    Truth-Telling and Internal Displacement in Colombia

    Author: Roberto Vidal-López

    An internal armed conflict involving the government, leftist guerrillas, and a variety of paramilitary groups and criminal bands has endured in Colombia for the last 60 years, generating massive levels of displacement. A comprehensive truth commission that investigates major human rights violations, including the uprooting of millions of Colombian citizens, will be essential to a transition to peace.

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  • Date published: 8/7/2012

    Dealing with the 2006 Internal Displacement Crisis in Timor-Leste: Between Reparations and Humanitarian Policymaking

    Author: Peter Van der Auweraert

    The 2006 crisis in Timor-Leste saw close to 15 percent of the population displaced from their homes, threatening to sink the country into protracted instability and violence. Remarkably, five years later the country was back on track, with the internal displacement issue largely resolved. This paper looks at the National Recovery Strategy (NRS) that the government adopted to resolve internal displacement in Timor-Leste. Following a discussion of the NRS, the paper considers whether or not its cash-grant scheme qualifies as a full-fledged reparations effort.

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  • Date published: 8/7/2012

    Police Reform in Situations of Forced Displacement: Chad, Eastern Zaire, and Kosovo

    Author: William G. O’Neill

    In cases other than those of environmental disasters, some mix of persecution and fear of violence based on ethnicity, race, or religion, plus violations of human rights and repression based on political beliefs and opinions often characterizes forced displacement for both internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees. The actions and structures of the security sector—especially the police, military, paramilitary groups, intelligence, border patrols, and prison guards—often play a crucial role in this persecution and repression.

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  • Date published: 8/7/2012

    Forced Displacement and Gender Justice in Colombia: Between Disproportional Effects of Violence and Historical Injustice

    Author: Donny Meertens

    This paper examines the relationship between forced displacement and transitional justice in Colombia from a gender perspective. The text focuses on three main themes: first, the gendered impacts of forced displacement; second, the ways that official policy, as it has evolved from providing humanitarian assistance to seeking durable solutions, has dealt with the gender dimensions of displacement, and the role that the Colombian Constitutional Court has played in this process; and third, the gendered dimensions of the (incomplete and debated) process of transition—from the Justice and Peace Law of 2005 to Law 1448 of 2011 on Victims and Land Restitution. Finally, the conclusion brings these two processes together in an examination of what gender justice should look like for displaced women, particularly in the critical area of policies for land restitution.

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