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In early May, the African National Congress (ANC) held on to power in South Africa’s general election. However, there is a widespread feeling that the party that oversaw the creation of the groundbreaking Truth and Reconciliation Commission has walked away from its obligations to the South African people.

2020 was a year of unforeseen hardships throughout the world. We may wish to write off last year as a loss and move forward. However, looking back on it as we do in this 2020 Year in Review, in which we highlight our most read content, we can find and take heart in important victories and apply lessons learned in 2021 and beyond.

In 2021, there were significant developments, some hopeful and some devastating, in the struggle for truth, accountability, and redress in countries around the world. ICTJ experts covered these events in commentaries and feature stories published on our website and in our newsletters. While 2022 is already underway and we at ICTJ are hard at work, we would like to pause a moment to take stock and reflect on the year that was.

Throughout 2023, ICTJ’s experts have offered their unique perspective on breaking news around the globe as part of the World Report. Their insightful commentaries have brought into focus the impact these events have on victims of human right violations as well as larger struggles for peace and justice. In this edition, we look back on the past year through the Expert’s Choice column.

ICTJ is launching a new multimedia page featuring projects that highlight the human perspective of issues in transitional justice and seek to engage a wide variety of audiences in a discussion on accountability for massive human rights abuses. Here's why we think multimedia can play a key role in deepening public understanding of transitional justice, and convey the guiding principles of ICTJ.

As Colombia marked International Justice Day, the importance of accountability for violations committed during the decades of conflict was underscored in the number of victims awaiting justice—376,000 registered in the Attorney General’s Office, more than 4 million in total. And while July 17 is celebrated as the date of adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, it is clear that in countries like Colombia accountability extends beyond criminal trials.

In an address to the UN Security Council, ICTJ President David Tolbert urged States to prioritize transitional justice as an integrated approach to seeking accountability for crimes against children in armed conflict.

The global COVID-19 pandemic forced many countries to impose emergency measures, such as curfews and community lockdowns, to stem the spread of the virus. To enforce these measures, some societies have given regular police forces increased power to enforce the measures, while others h...

In 2016, the Yemeni National Commission to Investigate Alleged Violations to Human Rights began documenting violations committed since the 2011 uprising and during the subsequent brutal civil war, which continues today. To date, the commission has documented more than 23,000 human rights abuses and referred over 2,000 cases to Yemen’s Public Prosecutor for prosecution. However, no verdict has been issued in any of these cases. To help the commissioners and members of Yemen’s judiciary advance accountability, ICTJ organized a workshop for them on transitional justice mechanisms. However, to deliver a justice that meets all the reparative needs of victims, these efforts must be an integral part of a broader, multifaceted transitional justice process.

The role of victim participation in international criminal proceedings, whether in international, hybrid, or national courts, has long been a matter of public deliberation among criminal justice practitioners and human rights activists. In the aftermath of mass atrocities and repression, the...

In meeting spaces in Goma, Bukavu, and Bunia, activists and magistrates are discussing ways that they can work together to improve the prosecution of international crimes in the region and address the concerns of local communities.

A new ICTJ report argues that in Africa's interconnected Great Lakes region, each country’s attempt to provide justice for past violations offers lessons for similar processes in others. We gathered civil society activists from across the region to discuss which strategies have worked for them, which have not, and opened up about the greatest challenges they face in securing justice.

This reference manual offers a template for developing and operating an internationally-assisted criminal justice institution. It provides a practical basis for setting up such an institution from an administrative perspective, drawing on numerous relevant practices currently used in ...

Invoking the principle of universal jurisdiction opens the door to the possibility of some accountability in circumstances where justice is not possible in countries where the crimes took place. This study considers the challenges facing the exercise of universal jurisdiction and asse...

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 partne...

A women in colorful African dress holds a megaphone to her mouth

In 2006, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) launched an unprecedented effort to document the violations of international humanitarian law in Afghanistan between 1978 and 2001. Though it has not yet been made public, the 1000-page AIHRC Conflict Mapping Report ...

In a major effort to promote accountability for serious crimes in Africa, ICTJ joined hundreds of human rights groups and transitional justice partners to ask the African Union to prioritize justice. Addressed to the new African Union (AU) Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the letter warns that strained relationships between the AU and the International Criminal Court (ICC) may put justice at risk.

In this editorial, Christopher Gitari argues that as the ICC case against Ruto and Sang comes to a halt, our focus must shift to other forms of justice in Kenya - including reparations for victims.

On August 7, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) found two senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, guilty of crimes against humanity. For many victims who have been waiting for 35 years, the judgment still felt like bittersweet justice.

Tunis, July 10, 2020—The Truth and Dignity Commission’s (TDC) final report was at last published on June 24, six year after the TDC began its work. It marks an important milestone in Tunisia’s transition, but the journey ahead to justice and democracy is a long one. Policymakers and practitioners now have the responsibility to take the next step forward.

Counterterrorism detainees held in U.S. custody were subject to widespread abuses, including prolonged, arbitrary detention, physical and sexual abuse, enforced disappearance by way of the secret transfer of prisoners to undisclosed locations (“extraordinary rendition”), and other cru...

With the publication of the much-delayed US Senate Intelligence Committee’s partial report on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, at long last the truth is out. In this op-ed, ICTJ's President David Tolbert asks the United States to acknowledge the truth, hold the perpetrators accountable and address its obligation to the victims of its detention policies.

This report examines the effectiveness of war crimes prosecutions in Serbia. While the War Crimes Chamber (WCC) and the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor (OWCP) have had some success, significant concerns exist - such as opposition from ethnic nationalists. Despite shortcomings, the...

On January 27, 2022, the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group will examine Uganda’s human rights record. The UPR process presents an important opportunity to spotlight the human rights situation in the country, and recommend actions that the government of Uganda should take to fulfill its human rights obligations.

A three-judge panel of Peru’s Supreme Court will announce a verdict before the end of this year in the trial of Alberto Fujimori, Peru’s president from 1990-2000, on charges of murder and kidnapping. Prosecutors hold him responsible for the deaths of 25 people at the hands of a death ...