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The allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the final phases of the conflict in Sri Lanka, made in the Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka released on April 25, must be thoroughly investigated. This is the first comprehensive UN report examining the events in the Vanni region between January and May of 2009 and it alleges that “tens of thousands of civilians” were killed. The Government of Sri Lanka, but also the relevant international bodies, cannot claim credibility if these findings are ignored.

Women played a crucially important role in brokering peace in Solomon Islands but they still face significant barriers to inclusion in transitional justice initiatives. ICTJ has been working closely with women groups to facilitate their formal contribution to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

ICTJ hosted its third Intensive Course, Truth-seeking and the Challenge of Sustainable Peace, on September 26–30. Based on concrete field experience, the participants explored the relationship between truth-seeking and peace in societies that have experienced or are still experiencing armed conflict.

A report released today by ICTJ, together with the Indonesian Association for Families of the Disappeared (IKOHI) and the Coalition for Justice and Truth (KKPK), calls on the government to fulfill its obligations to provide reparations to thousands of victims of gross human rights violations.

As ICTJ co-hosts a discussion on complementarity on the margins of the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the principle of ensuring accountability for serious crimes has seen a major breakthrough at a recent high-level meeting at Greentree. The meeting brought together international justice actors, development practitioners, UN representatives, and national rule of law actors to discuss the practical implementation of complementarity and how to strengthen domestic systems seeking to investigate serious crimes.

As Nepal’s parliament enters the final discussions on a draft Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) bill, questions remain regarding the relationship between amnesty and reconciliation provisions within the bill.

Following a restive year, Indonesia's human rights record is one of the situations under review during the 13th session of the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process in May–June 2012.

Five years since the end of Nepal's brutal civil war, victims are losing patience waiting for truth, justice, and reparation. Last year ICTJ completed a six month research project to analyze the effects of the the government's Interim Relief Program and determine the steps still required for Nepal to fulfill its obligation to provide reparations to victims. The findings have been published in a report titled “ From Relief to Reparations: Listening to the Voices of Victims.”

In societies confronting the legacies of war, tyranny, or entrenched injustice, the experiences of indigenous people have often been marginalized. ICTJ has published a handbook offering guidance on planning truth commissions and commissions of inquiry that safeguard the interests of indigenous communities and address violations against them.

This joint report released today by the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and the Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (ELSHAM-Papua) provides important insight into the ongoing debate on steps required to achieve a sustainable peace in Papua. The report reviews Papua's recent history within a transitional justice framework, and provides expert recommendations on truth seeking, justice, reparations, institutional reform, and enforcing the rights of women victims.

ICTJ recently released its 2011 annual report, covering the period from September 2010 through August 2011. Our tenth anniversary year, it has also been a period of transition for ICTJ and for transitional justice, as we responded to new opportunities in North Africa and the Middle East, and refocused on our future by embarking on a new strategic planning process.

Why pursue transitional justice in the aftermath of massive human rights violations? “The Case for Justice” provides a window into the debate about the relevance of transitional justice in today’s world.

As we mark July 17, designated International Justice Day by the states parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC) just over two years ago, we should not limit our focus to the work of the court or criminal justice as such. Pursuing justice in the aftermath of atrocity presents an opportunity to do three crucial things: reaffirm a society’s shared values about basic ideas of right and wrong; restore confidence in the institutions of the state charged with protecting fundamental rights and freedoms; and recognize the human dignity of the victims of atrocities that have taken place.

The ICTJ Program Report is a new online feature that presents ICTJ’s work and impact around the globe. Through monthly in-depth interviews with our experts, the ICTJ Program Report will offer a view of ICTJ’s work on reparations, criminal justice, truth and memory and other transitional justice developments in countries where we work. To launch the series, we speak with Paul Seils, ICTJ's vice president and the head of our Program Office.

When 26-year old Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi incinerated himself on December 17, 2010, his act resonated across an entire region and sparked what is known as the Arab Spring. His cry echoed across the world because it was a universal call for justice, basic fairness, and equal treatment. Indeed, it was a call for the rule of law. In a new op-ed, ICTJ's President David Tolbert calls upon the UN General Assembly to prove its commitment to justice and the rule of law.

Nepal’s armed conflict ended six years ago, but commitments made to pursue accountability and establish oversight over security forces have yet to be implemented. ICTJ’s briefing paper “Building Trust and Strengthening the Rule of Law” examines how an ad hoc vetting mechanism for officers in senior command positions could help consolidate democracy in Nepal. Author Alexander Mayer-Rieckh says that as Nepal abandons its commitments to pursue accountability for serious crimes, it undermines the ability of its security forces to maintain the rule of law and protect a new era of peace.

On August 9, 2012, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation, and nonrecurrence Pablo de Greiff presented the first annual report to the Human Rights Council. The report provides an overview of key activities undertaken by the Special Rapporteur between May 1 and July 25, reviews the foundations of the mandate and outlines the strategy for its implementation.

As the world marks August 30, the International Day of the Disappeared, we are reminded that forced disappearances and transitional justice share a common history. Indeed, processes working in concert that came to form the field of transitional justice were born from the search for truth and justice about the disappeared.

Forced disappearance is a crime against humanity. The decisions made by politicians and officials authorizing such practices in different countries cannot be justified legally or morally. They must be held to account and be shown for what they are: enemies of a civilized society.

The Fourth Intensive Course on Truth Commissions, presented by ICTJ in partnership with the Barcelona International Peace Resource Center (BIPRC), focuses this year on the challenge of recognizing the experiences of vulnerable populations in the work of truth commissions. Practitioners and academics representing 17 countries will participate in the week-long course, including members of the Brazilian and Ivorian Truth Commissions, the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare TRC Process, and ICTJ experts from around the world.

Six years after a peace agreement formally ended the conflict in Nepal, the slow, painstaking process of building the country’s new democracy has yet to provide comprehensive reparation to victims. To fully acknowledge the experience of victims of the conflict, Nepal’s government should not mistake the issuance of relief through material benefits for the implementation of a comprehensive reparation program. This is one of the central recommendations of "Relief, Reparations, and the Root Causes of Conflict in Nepal," a major new report from ICTJ, and authored by Ruben Carranza.

On International Children’s Day, ICTJ reaffirms the importance of an active role of children and youth in transitional justice processes, such as truth-seeking, criminal accountability, and reparations programs. In the aftermath of societal upheaval, the voices of children and youth are often absent from peace negotiations and subsequent transitional processes. Though children and youth must be able to receive adequate care and necessary rehabilitation, they must not be regarded only as victims of massive human rights abuses: they are rights-bearing members of a society trying to confront the past, and active participants in the process of social change aiming for a new future. It is in the best interest of children and youth, as well as the societies in which they live, to participate in transitional justice processes, devised to reestablish rule of law and civic trust in the societies to which they belong.

On Monday, December 10, the International Center for Transitional Justice will help tell the stories of victims and human rights activists at the forefront of the struggle for human rights across the globe. Send us images and texts that portray efforts seeking accountability, truth, remembrance, and redress in your community: we will share them on ICTJ’s Facebook page, and feature a selection of these stories on our website.

Six years after the conflict ended, the government of Nepal has failed to initiate a comprehensive investigation into the past. As a result, it has failed to uphold the rights of victims and Nepali society to know the truth about abuses. Inaction is particularly cruel regarding the relatives of the disappeared, for whom lack of information on the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones equates to permanent anguish and extreme suffering.

As attested by the arrest on January 3, 2013 in the United Kingdom of Kumar Lama, a Nepali Army Colonel suspected of torture, the government of Nepal’s failure to pursue truth and accountability for conflict-era violations can have serious consequences. Rather than resisting UK efforts to implement its obligations under international law, the Nepali government should develop a full transitional justice programme and redouble its efforts to provide truth, justice and reparations inside the country.

In this edition of ICTJ's Program report, Kelli Muddell, director of ICTJ's Gender Justice program, reflects on ICTJ’s vision of gender justice, the challenges facing survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in times of transition, and how ICTJ is working to address inequality in countries like Colombia, Nepal, and Tunisia.

This year, ICTJ's campaign for the International Day for the Right to the Truth centers around the theme, “Truth is the Foundation of Justice.” This notion, fundamental to the idea of a comprehensive approach to justice, is explored through several new releases from ICTJ.

In our work providing assistance to societies around the world, we draw continual inspiration from individuals and communities who refuse to ignore the abuses of the past, and who often face great obstacles to expose it. To honor their courage, we invite you to read a selection of perspectives on truth and dignity from those who have used their words to convey a powerful idea: truth is the foundation of justice.

Reparations seek to recognize and address the harms suffered by victims of systematic human rights violations. ICTJ’s Reparative Justice program provides knowledge and comparative experience on reparations to victims' groups, civil society and policymakers worldwide. In this edition of the ICTJ Program Report, we look at ICTJ's work on reparations in dynamic transitional contexts such as Nepal, Colombia, Peru, DRC, and Uganda.

In the latest ICTJ program report, we speak with Patrick Pierce, head of ICTJ’s Myanmar program, who analyzes the state of transitional justice in the country. Pierce provides a look into the kind of technical assistance ICTJ is providing to civil society groups in Myanmar working to strengthen democratic institutions and increase confidence in the peace process.

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.

In the brutality of armed conflict or tyranny of a repressive regime, many who go missing are never found again: whether “disappeared” by agents of the state or abducted by an armed faction, the whereabouts of thousands are still unknown to this day. On this International Day of the Disappeared, ICTJ recognizes that enforced disappearances constitute crimes against humanity, and they affect women in ways unique from the impact on men.

Enforced disappearances are among the cruelest of crimes. To the kidnapping, torture, and in many cases, murder of the victim, perpetrators intentionally create fear and uncertainty about the fate of the missing person. Although men are predominantly targeted, the impact on women is severe and lasting.

ICTJ and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law are pleased to announce that Judge Thomas Buergenthal will be the speaker of the 7th Annual Emilio Mignone Lecture on Transitional Justice. Buergenthal is one of the world’s most distinguished jurists, whose name is synonymous with human rights and international justice. The lecture will be held on Thursday, December 12, from 6:00 to 7:30pm, in New York City.

In this opinion piece, Lucia Withers argues that Nepal's elected parties and their representatives should not limit their discussions to the establishment of a truth commission or whether it will provide for amnesties and/or prosecutions. Rather, they should focus on designing policies that are more comprehensive and that would better serve the rights and needs of conflict victims and contribute to broader peace-building efforts.

In this op-ed marking Universal Children’s Day, ICTJ's Virginie Ladisch explains why within transitional justice, the capacity to make positive choices and demonstrate moral agency are attributes that need to be encouraged and fostered in children, especially former child soldiers.

Dating back to the 1980s, when peace settlements were made across Latin America, truth commissions have become an important component of peace negotiations. In this opinion piece, ICTJ President David Tolbert calls for societies to give truth commissions a chance of fulfilling their potential by learning from their failures and success.

Can truth commissions help secure a just peace following a violent conflict in which massive human rights abuses are committed? In this special series of the ICTJ Forum, we present a series of conversations with some of the world’s top peace mediators and truth commission experts, whose collective experience include years on the front lines of critical peace agreements in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

ICTJ mourns the passing today of Nelson Mandela, a luminary in the struggle for equal rights in South Africa and around the world. “Nelson Mandela’s courage in the face of oppression, his steadfast commitment to his principles and his magnanimous leadership during a difficult period of transition have long been an inspiration to me personally as well as to millions around the world. As we mourn our loss today, we celebrate a life of true greatness, dedicated to justice, without rancor or bitterness,” said David Tolbert, president of ICTJ.

To mark International Women’s Day, we invite you to read about four countries at the top of our gender justice priorities in the coming year, each with its own history, context, and complex sets of challenges.

ICTJ is pleased to announce it will host a series of online debates on new challenges and cutting-edge issues in transitional justice.

Seven and a half years after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Nepal's Parliament voted to establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a Commission of Investigation on Disappeared Persons. In this op-ed, ICTJ's Eduardo González Cueva explains why many victims have rejected the bill.

During Nepal's armed conflict, more than 13,000 people were killed and 1,300 forcibly disappeared. Today, a new government has voted to create a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as a Commission of Inquiry on the Disappearance of Persons. Many victims have protested the flaws in the proposals; meanwhile, no comprehensive reparations have been provided for those left most vulnerable by conflict. In this interview with ICTJ's Santosh Sigdel, we discuss developments related to ICTJ's work in Nepal.

The recent re-election of Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, brings hope to a country seeking to end a half-century of conflict. But, as with so many peace processes, finding a balance between creating a stable accord and acknowledging the terrible injustices that occurred during the conflict can be difficult to achieve.

In this op-ed, ICTJ Vice President Paul Seils argues that the front line of justice must always be national courts and justice systems. "Citizens must see social institutions at work in their home countries, as it is there that courts can repudiate wrongdoing and reaffirm the most fundamental elements of the contract that binds a society together. It is there that having the dignity of a citizen can have its fullest meaning," writes Seils on International Justice Day.

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.

In this edition of the ICTJ Program Report, ICTJ Senior Associate Felix Reátegui discusses the principles behind the Truth and Memory program, and explains the imperatives of uncovering, acknowledging, and memorializing the past.

ICTJ hosts human rights scholar Michael Ignatieff and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein for an online debate whether the international community is abandoning the fight against impunity.

70-94% of the victims of enforced disappearances are men. But what happens to the women left behind? ICTJ's Amrita Kapur explains why women are uniquely impacted by the crime, and how transitional justice can help.

The new film "Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll" explains the events of 1960s and 70s through the eyes of the musicians and artists who ushered in a new era of sound, only to be silenced too soon. As the world commemorates the 40th anniversary of the genocide in Cambodia, the new documentary presents the untold story of how their music managed to survive.