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TUNIS/NEW YORK, April 12, 2011—The proceedings at the ‘Addressing the Past, Building the Future: Justice in Times of Transition’ conference, which is to be held in Tunis April 14-15, will be reported on a conference blog set up by the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). The...

TUNIS, Apr. 14, 2011—The international conference on transitional justice, Addressing the Past, Building the Future, opened this morning in Tunis with more than 150 participants from Tunisia and other countries of the Middle East and North Africa. In sessions dealing with transitional justice...

The international conference on transitional justice 'Addressing the Past, Building the Future: Justice in Times of Transition' concluded today in Tunis, following two days of discussions on justice models and measures implemented in transitions. View the conference blog The conference explored...

Transitions focuses on unrest in Middle East and North Africa.. Hanny Megally, ICTJ Vice President for Programs, talks about demonstrations and upheaval in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and elsewhere.

Some habits die hard. This is especially true of ways of thinking. Despite significant changes in national and international law and practice in the last thirty years—the period that corresponds with the emergence of transitional justice as a field—the recent upheaval in the Middle East and Northern Africa region has provoked proposals that hearken back to a period that we may have thought long gone.

As the number of victims of violence against demonstrators in Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere in the region rises, a question emerges for the government of Bashar al-Assad of Syria, but also those of Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifah of Bahrain and the vacillating international community: Can impunity for such crimes be permitted in this day and age?

ICTJ’s Middle East and North Africa Program, in partnership with the Arab Institute for Human Rights, the Tunisian League for Human Rights, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, convened an international conference entitled “Addressing the Past, Building the Future...

The International Criminal Court (ICC) must better communicate what is driving its actions to the public of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and elsewhere around the world if it is to develop confidence in its capacity to act as a guardian of international criminal law.

This year’s Annual Emilio Mignone Lecture on Transitional Justice, coordinated by ICTJ and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at the NYU School of Law, focused on the intersection between transitional justice and international development.

The National Conference to Launch a Dialogue on Transitional Justice in Tunisia was held on Saturday, April 14 in Tunis, initiating a process which should result in the adoption of a comprehensive law on transitional justice by the country’s National Constituent Assembly. ICTJ president David Tolbert delivered a keynote address.

Transitional justice, at the core of its mission, strives to “break the ground on a future of peace and stability.” For countries with a violent or repressive past—and this can be said of most—implementing truth-seeking, criminal justice, reparations, and institutional reform measures forms the basis for establishing a culture of justice and respect for the rule of law.

The latest ICTJ Program Report explores transitional justice issues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and charts our work in this important and dynamic region. Claudio Cordone, ICTJ’s program director covering the MENA region, discusses individual country scenarios, prospects for transitional justice processes and explains ICTJ’s involvement and impact. Cordone speaks about transitional justice principles being at the root of popular uprisings referred to as “Arab Spring” and the challenges facing societies in their efforts to reckon with legacies of dictatorships and recent violence. He describes ICTJ’s efforts to address the impact of violence on women and promote their participation in transitional justice initiatives. The interview provides a thorough overview of ongoing initiatives and future prospects in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Transitional justice measures should serve to rectify, not replicate, patterns of discrimination against women. These mechanisms can challenge structural causes of gender inequality, by publicly acknowledging the factors that made such abuse possible. In the Middle East and North Africa, like in many other contexts, it is a challenge to ensure transitional justice measures do not further entrench the invisibility of gender-based abuses. As different countries consider the ways to confront the legacies of past abuses, ICTJ works with women’s groups across the region to build their capacity to engage in discussions around transitional justice and gender.

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.

The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) signed a cooperation agreement with the Tunisian government on January 16 to provide further technical assistance in establishing transitional justice mechanisms in the country. The development comes two years after protests forced President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to step down and flee the country in January 2011.

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.

ICTJ’s president David Tolbert will be one of the featured speakers at this year’s Al Jazeera Forum in Doha, Qatar, which aims to explore the complex transformation of the socio-political and media landscapes of the Middle East and North Africa.

This opinion piece by Eduardo González, director of the Truth and Memory program at ICTJ, asks: can you build a solid, legitimate democracy on the sands of silence, or does truth provide a more trustful foundation?

An ICTJ immersion course brought together women from Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and Libya to closely observe Tunisia’s emerging experience in transitional justice, including the ways in which issues of gender-based violence and the experiences of women are being addressed.

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.

As Tunisia concludes its final deliberations on the new constitution, transitional justice issues such as reparations for victims, truth about the past and the rights of women have been central to the legislative debates. Over the past month, ICTJ’s leading experts have been engaged with stakeholders on the ground on a variety of issues under deliberation, including truth-seeking, reparations, gender justice, and the role of children and youth.

Children and youth are especially vulnerable to the effects of conflict and gross human rights violations. In this edition of the ICTJ Program Report, ICTJ's Children and Youth Program Director Virginie Ladisch talks with us about the importance of integrating child and youth sensitivity into transitional justice mechanisms.

To offer assistance and international expertise to Tunisian civil society groups, ICTJ partnered with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for a training on public engagement in truth seeking processes. Titled “The Role of Civil Society in Truth Commissions: Participation and Advocacy for Victims in Tunisia,” the training offered around 65 participants the opportunity to examine the role of truth commissions in contexts of transitional justice, and to assess future engagement of their organizations in Tunisia’s proposed truth commission.

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 welcomes the historic passage of the Draft Organic Law on the Organization of Transitional Justice Foundations and Area of Competence by the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly (NCA). In a nearly unanimous vote on Sunday, 125 of 126 deputies voted in favor of the law.

Three years after Tunisia's revolution, victims in the south of the country are still facing severe economic and social marginalization. In recent workshops with ICTJ, they explain why collective reparations and development are both central parts of their vision of justice.

Marking three years since Tunisia's revolution, ICTJ President David Tolbert argues that transitional justice developments in the country are not only worthy of attention, but serve as useful markers for transitions in the region and beyond.

As the Tunisian government takes firm steps to investigate human rights abuses committed since 1955, including under the Ben-Ali regime, ICTJ calls for care and attention in appointing members to the upcoming Truth and Dignity Commission.

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.

In the span of only one month, Tunisia has witnessed the historic passing of a transitional justice law and adoption of a new constitution. A key actor in the country's transition is the media.

After emerging from its revolution with a new constitution and a comprehensive transitional justice law, Tunisia is setting into motion a process to learn the truth about the country’s time under repressive rule.

ICTJ President David Tolbert will be a featured speaker at this year’s Al Jazeera Forum in Doha, Qatar. Al Jazeera Forum is the flagship event of Al Jazeera Media Network, at which Al Jazeera showcases its contribution to the world of media and politics.

Since the uprising that sparked the "Arab Spring," Tunisians have demonstrated unwavering commitment to transitional justice. In this interview, ICTJ's Head of Office Rim El Gantri gives an overview of the country's efforts to address the truth about the past, seek justice for abuses committed under decades of repression, and provide reparations for harm suffered under the former regime.

Three years after the so-called the “Arab Spring,” the post-revolution era has so far been marked by a mix of hope and hardships. At the 8th Al Jazeera Forum, ICTJ President David Tolbert explains what went wrong.

ICTJ welcomes the launch of Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission (TDC), a momentous step in the country’s effort to establish the truth about past human rights violations.

Tunisia has faced many challenges since the launch of the National Dialogue on Transitional Justice two years ago, including political assassinations that rocked the process as well as a number of political blockages. Yet the Tunisian people came through a complex and challenging process and achieved important results — results that can provide the foundation to confront a long legacy of human rights abuses and pave the way towards a democratic transition built on the rule of law and trust between citizens and the state.

In this interview, Judge Walid Melki explains how Tunisia's Specialized Judicial Chambers will investigate and prosecute serious human rights violations.

In this op-ed, ICTJ President David Tolbert says states are backsliding on their human rights commitments, and urges the international community to redouble its resolve for justice and accountability.

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.

Transitional justice practitioners and activists from 18 different countries gathered in Barcelona to attend the 6th Intensive Course on Truth Commissions, organized by the ICTJ and the Barcelona International Peace Resource Center on September 29 - October 3.

In this analysis piece, director of ICTJ's Reparative Justice program Ruben Carranza talks about the challenges Tunisia is facing in implementing individual and collective reparations measures since the fall of the Ben Ali dictatorship.

As Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission (TDC) prepares to hear the testimonies of thousands of citizens, ICTJ is assisting women’s groups in ensuring that their voices are heard in the process.

In this op-ed, ICTJ's President David Tolbert expresses concern about the new "Reconciliation Bill" proposed by the Tunisian government, which would grant amnesty to corrupt business people and Ben Ali-era officials in the guise of "reconciliation." "Massive corruption and violent human rights violations are mutually reinforcing, and unless this linkage is exposed and broken, it can lead to mutually reinforcing impunity," writes Tolbert.

In collaboration with 11 Tunisian human rights organizations from nine regions, ICTJ recently established the network “Transitional Justice is also for Women” to engage women as active participants in transitional justice initiatives.

This briefing paper details and analyzes the progress made so far in Tunisia to implement its historic Transitional Justice Law, with a particular focus on the Truth and Dignity Commission, created one year ago.

Tunisia continues to take steps to fulfill its commitments under its ground-breaking Transitional Justice Law and realize the goals of the 2011 revolution. But a rocky start to the country’s new truth commission and proposed reconciliation-cum-amnesty legislation could undermine these efforts, according to a new paper by ICTJ.

ICTJ welcomes the award of the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize to Tunisia's National Dialogue Quartet for helping the country transition to democracy. With the award, the Nobel committee acknowledges the "decisive contribution" made by the group of civil society organizations after Tunisia’s 2011 revolution.

In this op-ed, Rim El Gantri, head of ICTJ's Tunisian office, discusses the challenges facing Tunisia's transitional justice process and argues that the government's failure to provide accountability for crimes committed under past regimes threatens the country's transition to democracy.

ICTJ joins groups calling for an anti-terrorism approach that respects citizens' rights in Tunisia. “Institutional reform can be a strong tool to prevent recurrence of human rights abuses and build a strong and credible democracy in Tunisia," said Salwa El Gantri, ICTJ Head of Office in Tunisia. "The current transitional justice process aims to shed light on similar violations that took place under the dictatorship, and we don’t want them to be committed again under the ‘fight against terrorism’ slogan.”

For decades, veiled women in Tunisia were deprived of their rights and discriminated against because of their religious beliefs. Now, they’re joining together to tell their stories and seek justice from the Tunisian government.