This briefing paper summarizes the findings of an ICTJ report (by the same name) on the judicial response to international crimes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It makes substantive recommendations to justice stakeholders in the DRC on how to advance prosecutions of international crimes in domestic courts, based on the finding that the number of open investigations related to serious crimes remains very low compared to the magnitude of atrocities committed in the DRC.
This report analyzes the response of Congolese judicial authorities to international crimes committed in the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2009 to 2014, with a particular focus on the war-torn East (North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri). It finds that the number of open investigations into international crimes remains very low compared to the number of atrocities being committed.
The government of Uganda has been slow to address and remedy serious human rights abuses committed against civilians throughout the country, despite its commitment under the Juba peace talks. This paper analyzes some of the underlying factors that seem to impede the implementation of transitional justice measures in Uganda, such as waning political support and an overly bureaucratic process, and offers practical recommendations on how to advance the process.
This paper weighs the possible modes and competing policy objectives of punishing FARC members for serious crimes in the context of Colombia’s ongoing peace negotiations. It argues that punishment has to occur in a way that does not damage one of the underlying objectives of the peace process, transforming the FARC from an insurgent group into a political actor.
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.