In Focus


A groundbreaking new book from the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and UNICEF examines the complicated relationship between education, justice and peacebuilding in societies grappling with a legacy of violent conflict. It offers lessons on how education can be harnessed in a divided society to overcome the past and create the conditions for peace, often under very difficult circumstances.


“I hesitated a lot before giving this testimony. But after much debate I decided to. History is not to be written in the palaces." That’s how Bechir Laabidi opened testimony on day two of public hearings at Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission, where Tunisians continued to write the history of the country from the victims’ perspective. This final day of testimony focused on torture perpetrated by the dictatorship, with eight victims sharing their stories into the early hours of the morning.


Victims of Tunisia’s dictatorship shared their stories publicly on November 17 in a historic moment for the country. The Truth and Dignity Commission (TDC) - charged with investigating gross human rights violations in the country since 1955 committed under the dictatorship - held its first public hearings in Tunis, gathering victims to testify to their experiences under dictatorship. The hearings present an essential opportunity for the country to confront its painful past. Since its inception in 2014, the TDC has received over 62,000 submissions and heard testimony from about 11,000 people.


ICTJ welcomes the announcement the government of Colombia and the FARC-EP have agreed on a series of modifications to the peace accords, after the original version was narrowly rejected in the October plebiscite vote.


Later this month, Tunisians will have an opportunity to hear the truth about the dictatorship's abuses directly from victims in a series of public hearings hosted by the Truth and Dignity Commission. However, in order for these public testimonies to be effective, the media must cover victims' stories fully and explore the issues underpinning their experiences. South African journalist Max du Preez spoke with his Tunisian counterparts to help prepare them for the challenges they will face. We sat down with him afterwards to discuss the role of media in transitional justice processes.


In Cote d’Ivoire, avenues for education system reform are limited. To help youth find their voice, ICTJ and UNICEF facilitated an innovative truth-telling project led by Ivorian young people themselves. The result: an exploration of the unique experiences of young people during the conflict, told through radio broadcasts, public discussions and reports to government officials.