In Focus

Senior Expert, Programs


ICTJ's Virginie Ladisch spoke with Heythem Guesmi, a young Tunisian activist who is fighting systemic oppression, economic exclusion, and impunity that persist despite the Revolution’s initial success, and Thenjiwe McHarris, a young organizer working with Black Lives Matter in the United States—a movement whose urgency also stems from historic marginalization leading to widespread impunity and systematic failures in law enforcement.


TUNIS—ICTJ hosted a conference on May 2 and 3 to address the current challenges facing Tunisia’s Specialized Criminal Chambers (SCC) as it proceeds to adjudicate cases of serious human rights violations committed under the former regime. The 90 guests who attended included members of Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission (Instance Vérité et Dignité, IVD), judges, lawyers, representatives from victims’ groups, and international transitional justice experts.


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.