We work side by side with victims to obtain acknowledgment and redress for massive human rights violations, hold those responsible to account, reform and build democratic institutions, and prevent the recurrence of violence or repression.
Advancing Victims’ Rights and Rebuilding Just Communities: Local Strategies for Achieving Reparation as a Part of Sustainable Development
This comparative study examines strategies used by local actors to help operationalize reparations for victims of widespread human rights violations, while highlighting the synergies between these efforts and sustainable development. It is based on the fieldwork of ICTJ and its partners in four contexts: Colombia, The Gambia, Tunisia, and Uganda. The report presents findings from the comparative study and offers practical guidance and policy recommendations on how to advance both reparations and sustainable development.
This comparative study examines strategies used by local actors to facilitate the operationalization of reparations for victims of widespread human rights violations, while highlighting the synergies between these efforts and sustainable development. The study is based on the fieldwork of ICTJ and its partners in four contexts—Colombia, The Gambia, Tunisia, and Uganda. These countries represent a range of different situations, where the progress made, challenges faced, and overall political and institutional contexts vary significantly. Nonetheless, comparison of the approaches used across the cases offers valuable insights for those working in these and other contexts.
In The Gambia, the truth commission and legislation for reparations have created expectations among victims, but a program has yet to be implemented. In Uganda, the legal and policy framework for reparations exists, but there is no enabling legislation or mechanism to provide them as a result of stalled political will. In Tunisia, the truth commission recommended reparations, but the political and economic situation make operationalization unlikely. In Colombia, challenges faced by reparations have informed the design of restorative sanctions that include reparative projects but are yet to be implemented.
The major insights gained from this comparative study relate to the specific ways in which reparations can contribute to individual and community well-being and development; innovative and effective approaches to ensuring victims and communities receive reparations and support, including through collective action, engagement with government, and grassroots initiatives; the integration of victims’ needs and priorities into development policies and models; and the reparative elements of complementary accountability and reform measures that are participatory, address corruption and marginalization, and contribute to gender justice and equality.
The report offers practical guidance and policy recommendations for advancing reparations as an integral element of broader societal efforts to facilitate inclusion, justice, peace, and development.