While contemporary understandings of restitution have been shaped by international responses to displacement and are primarily humanitarian in nature, restitution has its conceptual roots in traditional rules governing remedies for breaches of international law and is related to transitional justice measures involving reparations for victims of human rights abuses.
Humanitarians, development agencies, human rights organizations, and peacebuilding actors are commonly drawn to the same flash points of conflict, human rights violations, and states in need of rebuilding. Operating in common country contexts leads to increased interactions between these actors, creating tensions as well as opportunities for collaboration and cooperation. This paper focuses on the specific concerns of humanitarian actors regarding transitional justice in contexts of displacement, and offers some suggestions for bridging the apparent divide between humanitarian and transitional justice actors.
Although transitional justice processes are intended to help heal and restore society after conflict or authoritarian rule, marginalized groups often struggle to make their voices heard. These groups include those who have been displaced by conflict and, within that category, those who have specifically faced gender-based violence and injustice within the trajectory of displacement. This paper explores the relationship between transitional justice and forced migration from a gendered perspective.
This paper examines the crime of forced displacement from the perspective of both international and national legal frameworks. The crime of forced displacement is a notion that comes from international law. Indeed, an international legal framework has developed with the instruments and jurisprudence to criminally prosecute forced displacement as a war crime or a crime against humanity, whether the displacement in question is internal or across international borders. When it constitutes a serious crime under international law, forced displacement should be prosecuted for the same reasons as other serious crimes.
Following field research in late 2009 and a 2010 workshop in Kinshasa, ICTJ produced a report in French on the challenges of enforcing court-ordered reparations. This briefing paper outlines and summarizes the challenges and recommendations discussed in the report. It also proposes additional steps that the government, international community, victims and civil society organizations can take to address the failure of the DRC to fulfill outstanding orders for reparations, as well as broader measures that can be implemented, including non-judicial reparations measures. (French)
This briefing paper sets out the obligations of the state and international best practice with respect to the right to truth, both as a key element of a transitional justice strategy and as a critical component of providing effective remedy to victims of gross violations of human rights and grave breaches of humanitarian law. It reiterates ICTJ’s long-standing belief that a truth commission is necessary in Nepal and that the search for the disappeared is an urgent obligation. The creation of effective truth-seeking policies and instruments is important due to elements of the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement and obligations contained in the 2007 Interim Constitution; but above all, it is essential as a means to realize the right to the truth. However, for truth-seeking to be successful, the instrument or instruments established to realize it must ensure its effectiveness.
The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with support from the Governments of Denmark and South Africa, and in close consultation with the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute (ASP), held a high-level retreat on “Supporting Complementarity at the National Level: From Theory to Practice,” at the Greentree Estate, in Manhasset, New York, on October 25 and 26, 2012. This report provides a summary of the principal discussions at the retreat without attributing views to individual participants.
National healing and reconciliation in Uganda requires a multilayered truth-telling process comprised of community and national processes that are mutually reinforcing and should not be mutually exclusive, as proposed by the JLOS report. A national truth-telling body should address issues of state responsibility. Importantly a national truth-telling process would be in a strong position to solicit and consider submissions for institutional reforms and reparations proposed by community-based processes throughout Uganda. Additionally it could recommend the necessary measures to redress the suffering of victims and prevent the reoccurrence of conflict and abuse.
Since independence Ugandans have endured episodes of violence and human rights abuses across successive political regimes and transitions with devastating consequences. During two decades of conflict in the northern Uganda involving the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the government forces, human rights abuses were perpetrated against individuals, families, and communities. With the return to peace, the government, victims’ groups, and civil society are now considering how to move forward with a national policy on transitional justice that includes reparations for victims in the north given the magnitude of serious violations that were committed.
Transitional Justice is often pursued in contexts where people have been forced from their homes by human rights violations and have suffered additional abuses while displaced. Little attention has been paid, however, to how transitional justice measures can respond to the injustices of displacement. Transitional Justice and Displacement is the result of a collaborative research project of the International Center for Transitional Justice and the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement. It examines the capacity of transitional justice measures to address displacement, engage the justice claims of displaced persons, and support durable solutions, and analyzes the links between transitional justice and the interventions of humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding actors. The book makes a compelling case for ensuring that justice measures address displacement and that responses to displacement incorporate transitional justice.