Displacement is one of the most widespread and tangible consequences of conflict, and has been chronically high in Africa’s Great Lakes region by any standard. This paper focuses on three salient gender-specific dynamics of conflict and displacement in the region that need to be incorporated within any post-conflict reconstruction or transitional justice effort.
As with most post-conflict challenges, the issues of displaced populations and weak security institutions each have profound effects on the other. A common cause of displacement in post-conflict environments is a lack of physical security, either because formal security institutions fail to ensure it, or, in some cases, because those institutions themselves undermine it. Displaced individuals will not voluntarily return in great numbers if the same security threats that made them leave (or new ones) are present in their home areas.
The reparations policy for victims of Peru’s internal armed conflict, which lasted from 1980 to 2000, includes the internally displaced population among its beneficiaries under the Official Register of Victims. However, displaced persons are given lower priority than the other categories of victims also included in the program, such as those who were killed or who suffered disappearance, torture, or other types of attacks on the right to physical well-being and life.
The crime of forced displacement has been a widespread practice in Colombia’s internal armed conflict for several decades. However, forced displacement cannot be reduced to an inherent or unintended effect of the conflict. The armed actors in the Colombian armed conflict—the army and its paramilitary groups, on one hand, and the guerrilla groups, on the other—have used the practice of forced displacement of civilian populations as part of their military strategies to take control of or maintain a presence in certain territories.
In 2006, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) launched an unprecedented effort to document the violations of international humanitarian law in Afghanistan between 1978 and 2001. Though it has not yet been made public, the 1000-page AIHRC Conflict Mapping Report is the most comprehensive documentation of this period in Afghanistan to date. As new evidence of past violations comes to light, Afghanistan must prioritize transitional justice measures to break the cycle of abuse. The briefing paper entitled “Afghanistan: The Past as a Prologue,” provides analysis of past reports identifying the patterns of abuses and puts forth recommendations to the government of Afghanistan as it confronts new evidence of the past.
Following field research in late 2009 and a 2010 workshop in Kinshasa, ICTJ produced a report in French on the challenges of enforcing court-ordered reparations. This briefing paper outlines and summarizes the challenges and recommendations discussed in the report. It also proposes additional steps that the government, international community, victims and civil society organizations can take to address the failure of the DRC to fulfill outstanding orders for reparations, as well as broader measures that can be implemented, including non-judicial reparations measures.
The conviction of Thomas Lubanga is a milestone for the international criminal justice system established by the Rome Statute, and may make an important contribution to the development and definition of the right to reparations in international human rights law. ICTJ has produced a briefing note examining the practical and legal issues surrounding the ICC's decision in regards to reparations in the Lubanga case, as well as what lessons the ICC can learn from the broader experiences of the transitional justice field.
“We women of Papua have been bruised, cornered, besieged from all directions. We are not safe at home, and even less so outside the home. The burden we bear to feed our children is too heavy. The history of the Papuan people is covered in blood, and women are no exception as victims of the violence of blind military actions. We have experienced rape and sexual abuse in detention, in the grasslands, while seeking refuge, no matter where we were when the army and police conducted operations in the name of security.”
Based on interviews with 1,200 people, this study assesses conflict victims' experience with the government's Interim Relief Program since its inception in 2008. The findings are intended to inform a future reparations policy that would seek to help those whose human rights were violated during the conflict period of 1996 to 2006.
The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and the United Nations Development Programme, with the support from the governments of Denmark and South Africa, held a retreat on Supporting Complementarity at the National Level: An Integrated Approach to the Rule of Law, at Greentree in Manhasset, New York, from December 7 through 9 in 2011. The retreat was conducted according to the Chatham House Rule, and this report provides a summary of the principal discussions without attributing views to individual participants.