Refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) have often been directly affected by the crimes truth commissions seek to expose, and have a major stake in the success of transitional justice processes, which can shape the stability of post-conflict communities as well as the prospects for safe, dignified, and durable solutions to displacement. However, in many cases displaced persons have not been recognized as critical stakeholders in truth-telling processes, and truth commissions have often failed to substantively address forced migration as a human rights violation. This paper examines the importance of—and obstacles to—including issues of forced displacement in truth-seeking processes.
This paper explores the intersection between displacement and one particular mechanism of transitional justice—justice-sensitive security sector reform (JSSR). It aims to identify various ways in which JSSR can contribute to the protection of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), and how applying the principles of JSSR can improve the prospects of developing durable solutions to displacement—that is, of meeting the long-term safety, security, and justice needs of the displaced.
Transitional justice has for the most part not prioritized issues related to displaced persons. Transitional justice measures do, however, have a bearing on displaced persons’ interests and on efforts to resolve displacement, in particular with regard to durable solutions, which include return and reintegration in one’s place of origin, local integration in one’s place of refuge, and resettlement elsewhere. This paper explores the contribution that transitional justice can make to achieving durable solutions, focusing specifically on some of the ways in which justice measures can facilitate the integration or reintegration of displaced persons into communities and societies.
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.