In Focus

7/13/2011

“Residential schools affected everything about how we live. They targeted and destroyed our strong family unit, the basic foundation of our communities. They destroyed the glue that holds us together—love, respect and sharing.” These words, spoken by Charlie Furlong, a community leader of the Gwich'in people of Canada’s Northwest Territories, sum up the chilling legacy of the country’s policy of forced assimilation of indigenous cultures implemented through a system of Indian Residential Schools (IRS) from the 1870s to 1998.

7/7/2011

The second Latin American Conference on Transitional Justice closed July 8. In the concluding remarks, ICTJ Truth and Memory Program Director Eduardo Gonzalez stated that while this conference has focused on sharing the comparative experiences throughout Latin America, this has not been an academic exercise but a call to action.Read more on the conference blog

7/5/2011

Although Brazil's dictatorship ended years ago, focus on transitional justice there is peaking now, as debate stirs over how to best address its past. Recent developments - including the Brazilian government's proposal of a truth commission, the opening of national archives, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights' decision limiting the 1979 amnesty law - are at the core of the discussion. Eduardo Gonzalez, director of ICTJ's Truth and Memory Program, discusses the role accountability for the past can play in Brazil today.

6/23/2011

The Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) will hold its second of seven national events from June 28 to July 1 in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. The event will provide survivors of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools (IRS) and other participants an opportunity to contribute to documenting and publicizing what took place in this program of forced assimilation.

6/23/2011

The UN Human Rights Council and its mechanisms, notably the system of special procedures, have approached justice for mass atrocities in a piecemeal and sometimes politicized manner, according to a new ICTJ policy briefing.

6/16/2011

ICTJ has released One morning they came to our community: Stories of political violence in communities of Peru, a compilation of victims’ stories about Peru’s internal armed conflict from 1980 to 2000. The stories constitute an important form of recognizing the truth, as well as a demand for justice and reparations.

6/9/2011

The International Criminal Court (ICC) must better communicate what is driving its actions to the public of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and elsewhere around the world if it is to develop confidence in its capacity to act as a guardian of international criminal law.

6/8/2011

In April, the World Bank released its 2011 World Development Report (WDR) entitled Conflict, Security, and Development. It is the first WDR that links transitional justice to security and development and places human rights violations at the heart of its analysis of conflict. ICTJ has produced a fact sheet outlining the core findings of the report as they pertain to transitional justice.

6/6/2011

On May 11, the South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ) invited comments on new regulations governing the distribution of reparations to victims of the apartheid era in the form of medical and educational benefits. Civil society organizations and groups representing survivors’ interests have raised concerns regarding the scope of the regulations, as well as the DOJ’s overall failure to engage with survivors and consider their views when drafting reparations policies.

6/2/2011

The arrest of Ratko Mladic reignited debates on a wide spectrum of related issues, from its implications on the prospects for true reckoning with the past in the countries of the former Yugoslavia to the possible jolt it will give to Serbia’s hopes of joining the European Union. Beyond the immediate impact on the region, the strongest reverberations of Mladic’s transfer to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) will be felt in the discourse on international justice.

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