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This volume examines the effects, risks, and potential of extending the field of transitional justice to cases that do not present a key moment of political transition to peace or democracy and instead are defined by political continuity and ongoing conflict. It begins with analyses o...

President Obama’s long-awaited plan to increase the number of US troops in Afghanistan is meant to include a number of benchmarks aimed at stabilizing Afghanistan as part of an overall strategy to defeat or contain Taliban/al-Qaeda extremists.

After several years hiatus, ICTJ has recently resumed work in Afghanistan. Last month, ICTJ’s communication intern, Edward Mercado-Gumbs, sat down with expert and cohead of ICTJ’s program in Afghanistan Reem El Gantri to discuss ICTJ’s latest engagement in the country, as well as the prospects for justice and peace.

It only takes a quick skim of the daily news to see how the world has yet again failed Afghan civilians. Afghanistan has not had many good years in the past four decades of war, but the past 15 months have been decidedly fraught. The current chaos and spiking violence are proof that, despite what the US government has proclaimed, the “forever war” rages on. Peace and meaningful, victim-centered justice remain elusive.

Afghanistan is a tragic example of how a country in transition can dramatically reverse course on the arduous path toward peace and democracy and return to an abyss of violence and repression at breakneck speed. In the span of a few short weeks, the Taliban regained control over the country. When they finally entered Kabul, the internationally backed Afghan government collapsed. Now in charge, the Taliban has lost no time in demonstrating their goal to re-impose the same extremist and oppressive rule, despite initial declarations affirming a commitment to peace and human rights.

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.

In Afghanistan's nation-building process, security has been prioritized over justice. Slow progress on crucial institutional reforms continues to impede efforts to create a competent and professional police force, a functioning civil service, and an accountable judiciary; all thr...

In Afghanistan's nation-building process, security has been prioritized over justice. Slow progress on crucial institutional reforms continues to impede efforts to create a competent and professional police force, a functioning civil service, and an accountable judiciary; all thr...

This study explores a transitional justice approach to the dilemma of foreign fighters in violent conflict. Such an approach can help center human rights in comprehensive responses to foreign fighters, and shift the current focus from security and punishment to justice and long-term p...

Image of Children looking through holes in a tent at al-Hol displacement camp in Hasaka governorate, Syria, on April 2, 2019.

New York, December 10, 2021—In contexts such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Iraq, Somalia, and Syria, hundreds, sometimes thousands, of individuals have crossed national borders to engage in violent conflicts in which serious human rights violations and mass atrocities have been committed...

Since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in August 2021, the regime has put in place a series of policies severely restricting independent media and giving it all but total control over news outlets and their content. Kobra Moradi is a lawyer and researcher working with Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization and author of the recent report, Afghan Media Under the Taliban: Restrictions and Violations. ICTJ sat down with the author to learn more about what impact these restrictions have had on journalists and the free press, and the important role media can still play in such a repressive regime.

ICTJ’s partner Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization (AHRDO) recently opened a new virtual museum and database dedicated to Afghan victims of conflict and human rights abuses. “The Afghanistan Memory House” not only preserves the memory of these victims but helps pave the path for truth and justice. To launch the virtual museum, ICTJ and AHRDO cohosted a panel discussion on memorialization, moderated BBC journalist Lyse Doucet, in ICTJ’s office in New York this past December.

On August 20, 2009, Afghans went to the polls for the third time since the U.S.-led military intervention in 2001. Accountability and justice were underlying themes in the election, as made clear by many of the issues that attracted public attention. Nonetheless “calls for justice” re...

While Afghanistan goes through tremendous transition, it is important for justice and reconciliation actors to build transitional justice and gender initiatives based on experiences in other postconflict contexts.

Background on the rise in instability and deterioration in security in Afghanistan since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001. ICTJ summarizes the actions of the Karzai government in implementing transitional justice reforms based off findings of the Afghanistan Independent Human Righ...

Political choices made early on in the state-building process have contributed to the current governance and rule of law deficit in Afghanistan. European actions have been marked by a lack of coordination between political and development assistance as well as diverse – and sometimes ...

In the lead up to Afghanistan's second cycle of elections in 2009 and 2010, this report aims to analyze the legal and operational framework for vetting candidates in the upcoming elections; describe and assess the challenges to the vetting process in the previous elections; map out po...

Although the inclusion of an amnesty clause was avoided in the stabilization and state-building agreement signed in December 2001, the Afghan government has shown little political will to promote transitional justice.

In Afghanistan, community theater has begun to be used as a method of transitional justice to give victims a voice and create positive impulses for peacebuilding. According to a new briefing paper released by ICTJ, through theater, victims are able to create a “safe space” to discuss ...

This briefing note provides a short overview of the conflict in Afghanistan's recent history, and the ongoing discussions and initiatives to address human rights violations and war crimes there. The state-building process, launched in 2001 after the ousting of the Taliban regime, has ...