Panel Discussion: "Justice for Victims in Very Fragile Contexts: Central African Republic"

Date and time: 
Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 09:00 to 10:30

In very fragile and conflict-affected countries, state and society often struggle to address the injustices experienced by victims of mass violence and human rights abuses. In such contexts, how can meaningful justice be provided to victims?

The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and Cordaid invite you to join a multisectoral discussion of a forthcoming report from the perspectives of justice, development, and peacebuilding, focusing on policy-relevant insights and recommendations of relevance in the Central African Republic (CAR) and globally, especially in relation to progress toward SDG16+. The study was possible with the support of the of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


In CAR, justice institutions such as the national justice system, customary and informal justice, the Special Criminal Court, and the Truth, Justice, Reparation and Reconciliation Commission offer avenues for justice but face significant challenges. The study by ICTJ and Cordaid examines the potential to provide justice to victims in CAR.

The study shows how lack of capacity and reach as well as corruption lead to the exclusion of most victims, especially outside the capital Bangui, as regions remain under the control of armed groups and unable to access consultative processes. It also highlights polarization as an obstacle to justice, as victims often perceive institutions to be for certain groups and not others. The report contends that taking into account the root causes of conflict, responding to victims’ needs, and ensuring meaningful participation are prerequisites to advancing justice.

The study sheds light on opportunities for victims’ inclusion and participation in justice processes, including those driven by victims and civil society. While women face obstacles in the form of social norms, inadequate legal protections, prohibitive costs, and insecurity, women’s associations and legal clinics are actively working to improve gender justice. While discussions about justice neglect young people and institutions to exclude them, young people seek other venues for expression, including civil society and the media.


Opening Remarks: Fernando Travesí, Executive Director, ICTJ

Opening Remarks/Moderator: Heleen van der Beek, Program Director, Cordaid

Presentation of Report Findings:

  • Rim El Gantri, Head of Libya Program, ICTJ
  • Arnaud Yaliki, Lecturer at the University of Bangui and Researcher


  • Hervé Sévérin Lidamon, President, Association des Victimes des Evènements de 2012-2014 (AVED)
  • Enrica Picco, International Lawyer and Researcher
  • Antje Kraft, Chief Technical Advisor, Rule of Law, UNDP CAR
  • Marianne Peters, Senior Policy Officer Rule of Law, The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Simultaneous English-French translation will be available.

Register for this event here.