This report canvasses 31 countries to see how the crime of enforced disappearance affects women as both the disappeared and the female relatives of the disappeared. It finds that across cultures, women face serious barriers to seeking relief due to discriminatory laws and practices. It reviews common strategies that transitional justice mechanisms use to deal with enforced disappearance and reflects on their ability to meet the specific needs of women. As a set of recommendations, it presents lessons from around the world about the need to consider women’s experiences, including when implementing measures like truth commissions, prosecutions, and reparations.
This report examines the impact on women of enforced disappearances committed during Lebanon’s civil war, focusing in particular on the effects on wives of the missing or disappeared—and their children. The research is based on interviews conducted by ICTJ with 23 wives of missing or disappeared persons of varying backgrounds. The women described the continuing legal, social, financial, and psychological hardship they face, because the state has provided inadequate redress to family members as direct victims. Drawing on comparative global experiences, it makes recommendations for how enforced disappearance should be addressed by Lebanese policy makers and civil society.
This briefing paper is the summary of “The Disappeared and the Invisible: Revealing the Enduring Impact of Enforced Disappearances on Women,” a comprehensive study by ICTJ that identifies the impacts and government responses to enforced disappearances as they relate to women in 31 countries. It answers two key questions: 1) How Do Enforced Disappearances Impact Women? and 2) How Can and Do Transitional Justice Mechanisms Respond? Its eight key recommendations are intended to help governments design programs and set up institutions to successfully address the enduring impact on women victims and their communities.
This paper describes proceedings in Uganda’s national courts against Thomas Kwoyelo, a former mid-level commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army, for war crimes and crimes against humanity. It analyzes the opportunities and challenges for the prosecution of serious crimes in Uganda and concludes with recommendations to enhance accountability in the country. In particular, it recommends that Uganda’s Amnesty Act of 2000 be repealed or amended to exclude individuals who bear responsibility for international crimes.
This document presents wide-ranging recommendations for political and social reforms in Lebanon developed by a consortium of Lebanese civil society actors, as part of an ICTJ project. Directed at Lebanese authorities, the recommendations address the well-documented and widespread violations committed against civilians in Lebanon since the beginning of the civil war in 1975, including killings, enforced disappearance, displacement, torture, and illegal detention. If followed, it is hoped these measures will help to foster greater public trust in state institutions and curb Lebanon’s ongoing vulnerability to political violence.
This report presents qualitative data collected by ICTJ on how individuals in Greater Beirut talk about the Lebanon wars and the need for truth, justice, and an end to violence in their country. For the study, 15 focus group discussions were held in 5 neighborhoods in Greater Beirut, to capture the views of a broad cross-section of residents: young and old, men and women, members of the main confessional groups, Palestinians, and victims of direct and indirect violence. The study revealed the dominant, yet unsurprising, perception that the “war is not over” and that Lebanon is far from being in a meaningful transition because of ongoing regional instability and a lack of institutional reforms.
This report presents the findings of an in-depth survey of more than 400 conflict victims in 10 districts of Nepal, researching their immediate and long-term needs and aspirations. Participants included those who had received benefits through the government’s Interim Relief Program and those who had been ineligible (such as survivors of torture and sexual violence). It concludes that victims continue to have acute needs and that the government should carry out a comprehensive reparations program immediately.
This briefing paper analyzes and reflects on the development of the ICC prosecutor’s strategy and application of procedural rules, since operations began at the International Criminal Court more than a decade ago. The mixed results of the court’s first cases, which arise from the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, underscore that the ICC, as a complementary forum, is not mandated to investigate and prosecute all international crimes. National courts must step in. The paper recommends, among other reforms, that the court explore new ways to adapt the Rules of Procedure and Evidence to take into consideration the important role and participation of civil society.
This briefing paper examines the potential in Mali for appropriate and effective transitional justice approaches that are reflective of the primary concerns and demands of citizens. Over 30 interviews were conducted with a wide range of actors in Bamako, including representatives of the state, judiciary, religious organizations, civil society, and international organizations. It concludes that positive steps have been taken toward advancing accountability in the country, but victims and civil society remain critical of the lack of integration among different transitional justice mechanisms as well as the government's top-down approach in a context where the local and communal are of primary importance.
This briefing paper assesses the situation in Ukraine with respect to democratic reforms being undertaken in the country following the mass uprising that ousted former President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014. It examines issues of corruption and impunity, as well as the historical divide between eastern and western Ukraine at the root of ongoing conflict in the country. It is based largely on extended interviews conducted with representatives of government, civil society and international organizations in Kyiv.