In Focus

6/24/2020

The role of police in society is to protect residents and enforce the rule of law. As a public institution, and particularly one whose function includes the state-sanctioned use of force, the effectiveness of the police depends on its integrity and legitimacy. When the police abuses its power, by brutalizing civilians and or engaging in corruption, it loses its credibility and the public’s trust. In Kenya, enforcement of measures to halt the spread of COVID-19 have been accompanied by acts of police brutality, of the kind that Kenyans have been through multiple times before. 

Executive Director

6/5/2020

It happened again. George Floyd’s name is now added to the tragic list—already far too long—of other people of color whose lives have been cut short as a direct result of the United States’ long history of racism and white supremacy. We at ICTJ are outraged by the cruel and senseless murder of an unarmed Black man by police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As we try to process this horrific act and grieve the tragic loss of another human life, we must also grapple with the hard truth that it is frankly unsurprising that this list of names continues to grow.

5/19/2020

Sparing almost no corner of the world from its wrath, the COVID-19 pandemic has now spread to every country. In an effort to slow the contagion, governments in most countries have been taking drastic measures requiring all residents other than essential workers to confine themselves in their homes, and shutting down vast sectors of their economies. The impact has been crushing. COVID-19 has profoundly affected every country where ICTJ currently works: Armenia, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Uganda. We recently caught up with ICTJ’s heads of country programs to learn more about the impact the pandemic is having on transitional justice and society more broadly.

Programs Expert

4/22/2020

For the past few months, ICTJ, along with our partners at the Center on International Cooperation at New York University, has been working on a comprehensive new policy paper on the situation of the many thousands of Syrians detained somewhere in the country’s vast network of prisons. The depravity that goes on inside these detention sites is already so appalling that it would have been hard to imagine when we started the project that the situation for the prisoners could get any worse. And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, upending all of our preconceptions, and our lives, in ways none of us ever expected.

Executive Director

3/27/2020

Today, we are facing a global public health crisis of unprecedented proportions. Only time will tell the devastating toll that COVID-19 will exact on human life. The breakneck speed at which the virus is spreading does not give us reason for optimism in the near future. We at ICTJ fully grasp the gravity of the situation, and we take our responsibility for the health and safety of our staff, partners, and communities where we work seriously.

3/24/2020

ICTJ held a two-day workshop on transitional justice for a group of university students in Beirut on February 14 and 15 as part of its ongoing support to the Committee of the Families of the Kidnapped and Disappeared in Lebanon. The students are currently serving as volunteers on a project to create an archive of the committee’s decades-long struggle and activism.

Head of Office, Uganda

3/13/2020

This week, the International Criminal Court heard closing arguments in the trial of Dominic Ongwen, a top commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda. Among the 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity he faces are 19 counts of sexual and gender-based crimes, including rape, sexual slavery, and forced marriage—the widest range of such crimes ever to be brought to trial before the court. The case thus marks a milestone in the jurisprudence of these international crimes.

2/21/2020

Youth activists in Tunisia have played a vital role in keeping corruption at the center of public debate since the country's revolution in 2011. Through decentralized, nationwide protest movements, young Tunisians have been calling for measures that root out systems of endemic corruption. ICTJ sat down with one youth leader to discuss her activism and views on Tunisia's transitional justice process.

Senior Expert, Programs

2/20/2020

Eminent human rights defender José Zalaquett passed away on February 15. “Pepe,” as he was known by many, helped pioneer the field of transitional justice and inspired countless human rights defenders around the globe.

12/18/2019

On December 12, ICTJ’s head of office for Colombia María Camila Moreno received the Alfonso López Michelsen Award for her dedicated work to advance peace and uphold international human rights and humanitarian law.

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