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Ten Syrian human rights organizations have been working in partnership with the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) to document and expose the long-term impacts of the attacks to and the destruction of schools in Syria. The project, Save Syrian Schools, will present its findings in a public hearing-style event in Geneva on March 22nd, at Forum Genève. The project works creatively to document human rights abuses and includes a public hearing-style event, multimedia, and high-level dialogue.

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.

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...

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the hip hop movement. To honor its contributions to the struggle for justice, truth, and equality, the Skoll Foundation hosted a panel discussion and concert event featuring hip hop artists, including cofounder of the legendary rap group Run-DMC Darryl McDaniels and Colombian rapper and producer Ali aka Mind, as part of its 20th World Forum held in April in Oxford, United Kingdom. ICTJ, which received the Skoll Award for Social Innovation in 2009 and has partnered with the Skoll Foundation since, invited Ali aka Mind as a representative of Rexistencia Hip Hop, an artistic mentorship and creation lab led by ICTJ’s office in Colombia and the Latin American media outlet and foundation Cartel Urbano.

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.

It is an honor and a privilege for me to be with you for this important national conference. One year ago, on this exact same date, just three months after the Tunisian people impressed the world by peacefully ending decades of repression, I had the pleasure to speak at a conference ICTJ organized here in Tunis together with the Arab Institute for Human Rights, the Tunisian League for Human Rights and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. It was an important and lively debate on how to address the legacy of the past and move forward.

The removal of monuments to Confederate heroes is an important blow to the white-supremacy ideology that underpins ongoing racial injustices in the United States today, from mass incarceration to institutional violence. ICTJ President David Tolbert calls for a reckoning with these haunting injustices through memorials, acknowledgements and more.

As new evidence of past violations comes to light, Afghanistan must prioritize transitional justice measures to break the cycle of abuse. ICTJ's new briefing paper provides analysis of past reports identifying the patterns of abuses and puts forth recommendations to the government of Afghanistan.

In today’s United States, civic trust that has been systematically eroded among many communities of color. There is little basis, either historically or in the current political atmosphere, for African Americans and other minorities to have this essential trust in government institutions, particularly in the police. To build that relationship, there must first be a reckoning, writes ICTJ President David Tolbert.

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.

ICTJ spoke with Patrick Walsh, an Australian human rights advocate who helped establish and advise East Timor's Commission for Reception, Truth, and Reconciliation (CAVR).

Carlos Martín Beristain is part of the panel investigating the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico. We sat down with him to discuss his work, the resistance the investigation has faced from the Mexican government and whether transitional mechanisms have a role in this context.

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.

In this op-ed, ICTJ's Aileen Thomson and Bo Kyi argue that in the wake of Myanmar's historic elections, the release of all political prisoners held by the government would be an important step towards national reconciliation.

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.

Is reconciliation a central aim of transitional justice processes? Or does it have different bearings in different settings? A new paper presents possible understandings of the concept of reconciliation as well as its relationship to the field of transitional 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.