Truth and Memory


ICTJ Dispatch is a podcast series to present expert political, social, and legal analysis of recent developments in transitional societies. In this edition, Eduardo Gonzalez, Director of Truth and Memory Program, who reports on his recent mission to Sri Lanka.


In our latest podcast, ICTJ Senior Program Advisor Howard Varney discusses the Nokuthula Simelane case and its implications for justice in South Africa.

Truth commissions, criminal prosecutions, exhumations, coroner’s inquests, reparations, and compensation procedures can all contribute to exposing the practices and effects of serial violations of human rights. A significant role is also played by cases before regional and international human rights bodies (like the Inter-American Court of Human Rights), and exposure of corrupt institutions. A thorough examination of institutional archives can expose the twisted mindset, and practices, of those who directed state security forces or government agencies.


Perspectives of Colombians particularly affected by the country's conflict – women, young people, and indigenous peoples – who are demanding truth.

In the northeastern corner of the United States, the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is hearing from all those affected by the practices of the state’s child welfare system. The TRC's operations might seem small in scale, but the story of its creation is a story of transformation in its own right. It’s a story of unlikely bi-partisan political agreements, and unprecedented cooperation between Native and non-Native communities, all towards the goal of bringing a painful past to light.


In this edition of the ICTJ Forum, Virginie Ladisch, head of ICTJ's Children and Youth program, speaks with Marie Wilson, a Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

In 2011, to help open new possibilities, ICTJ initiated a multiyear project—under the name “Addressing the Legacy of Conflict in a Divided Society”— aimed at sparking debate on how to break the cycle of political violence in Lebanon and bring about accountability, the rule of law, and sustainable peace.