In Focus


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


May 24, 2011 – The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), Curious Pictures and Pivot Pictures hosted the premier of The Axe and the Tree: Zimbabwe’s Legacy of Political Violence at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton, South Africa.


Brazil’s new government is showing strong support for the passage of a bill creating a National Truth Commission investigating past human rights violations, writes Eduardo González, director of ICTJ's Truth and Memory Program. ICTJ also spoke with Marlon Weichert, human rights activist and regional prosecutor for Brazil's Federal Public Ministry, on the current debate surrounding truth-seeking and accountability in Brazil.