In Focus


Nepal’s new local government structure – comprised of districts, municipalities, sub-municipalities, and wards formed within the new federal system under the 2015 Constitution – offers the possibility of some individualized redress for victims at the community-level.  This article by Elena Naughton was published in the Kathmandu Post on May 6, 2018.




Members of parliament from political parties opposed to extending the work of Tunisia’s truth commission today voted to end the commission’s mandate. This came after parliamentarians from parties that support the extension walked out of the proceedings because their position is that the Organic Law that created the Truth and Dignity Commission (TDC or Instance Vérité et Dignité in French) authorized the TDC to extend its mandate. Earlier, the TDC had voted to extend its mandate by a year in order to complete its work. In a position paper distributed to members of parliament and civil society activists, ICTJ and the Victims’ Coalition for Dignity and Rehabilitation jointly said that they supported the extension of the TDC’s mandate, despite internal issues among its commissioners. ICTJ pointed out that other truth commissions elsewhere have sought and been given extensions in order to carry out key parts of their work, such as public hearings, or to complete writing their reports. Both ICTJ and the Victims’ Coalition said that an extension would allow the TDC to hold public hearings on marginalization and unemployment – which was one of the grievances that drove the Arab Spring in Tunisia. It would also give the Commission time to finalize its report and recommendations, including those on reparations.


On Friday, the United Nations hailed the progress made since 2014 in Tunisia in terms of transitional justice, underlining the importance of “enabling the transitional justice process to achieve its objectives."

"The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Tunis, Diego Zorilla, congratulates all Tunisians on the progress made with regard to the transitional justice process since the enactment of Law No. 53-2013 on Transitional Justice and its organization by the National Constituent Assembly on 24 December 2013.


On March 22 in Geneva, we listened to the experiences of Syrians affected by attacks on schools. The Save Syrian Schools project presented the results of its one-year-long research—an unprecedented collaboration of 10 Syrian human rights organizations and the ICTJ.


Societies seeking to grapple with the past have much to gain by speaking with young people about their experiences and ideas more effectively. But by the same token, they have a responsibility to gather those statements in a way that both protects and respects youth voices. We sat down with Valerie Waters, author of a new report on taking statements from young people, to discuss the guide and clear up common misconceptions about the statement-taking process.


Given the positive feedback and enormous interest in the Intensive Course on Transitional Justice and Peace Processes held in Barcelona in October 2017, ICTJ is hosting a similar course in New York in March 2018. The course will continue to focus on practical examples of current, recent, or paradigmatic peace processes where the question of justice formed a significant part of the negotiating context.


To mark the launch of our new publication, "Forms of Justice: A Guide to Designing Reparations Application Forms and Registration Processes for Victims of Human Rights Violations", we sat down with Karl Gaspar to talk about his experience participating in the reparations process as a victim in the Philippines.


To mark the launch of our new publication, "Forms of Justice: A Guide to Designing Reparations Application Forms and Registration Processes for Victims of Human Rights Violations", we sat down with Jairo Rivas about his work in designing reparations forms in Peru and Colombia.


Constitutional reforms can be valuable in a transitional justice process, but their effectiveness depends on the degree to which they are woven into the social and cultural understanding of the country's legal framework.


Anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol died in South African police custody in 1971, and his family continues to demand justice. While police claimed Timol died by suicide, evidence indicated that he was tortured and murdered. The family’s tenacious efforts led to the reopening of an inquest into Timol's death this year, with ICTJ senior program advisor Howard Varney representing the family.

Last month the Pretoria High Court ruled in the family’s favor, finding that Timol did not kill himself but was indeed murdered while in police custody. ICTJ’s Sam McCann sat down with Varney to discuss the ruling, what it means to Timol’s family, and its significance for the fight for justice in South Africa.