Conflict & Justice

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Preventing and ending conflict, and rebuilding in its aftermath is a complex, context-specific process. During and after violent conflicts, what strategies and tactics are most effective in creating both justice and sustainable and lasting peace? What lessons can we learn from past experiments with transitional and restorative justice mechanisms? How can human rights actors be more effective at reducing and preventing acts of violence, and what does that mean for the human rights movement’s relationship to both victims and perpetrators of violence?

 

From impunity to justice and back again in Guatemala

By: Rachel Lopéz
Español

Guatemalan citizens must unite to resist the efforts of Guatemala’s clandestine powers to dismantle justice—but they cannot do it alone.

The right to reparation: laudable goal or empty promise?

By: Bojan Gavrilovic
العربية

Human rights activists argue that victims of mass atrocities have a right to reparations, but the international community still struggles around how to fulfil this ...

Transitional justice—time for a re-think

By: Paul Seils
Español

The transitional justice toolkit was developed for circumstances unlike most of today’s violent conflicts. It needs to be re-thought to provide results on issues ...

The moral hazards of conflating what is useful with what is right

By: Mythri Jayaraman

To suggest that we should only seek to understand perpetrators if it’s “useful” is contrary to the universality of human dignity.

Engage when we can, confront when we must

By: Navaz Kotwal

Indian human rights workers do not want to engage with the police, but to enact real change, both sides must work together.

Accountability versus access: collaborating with rights violators in conflict zones

By: Christine Monaghan
Français

In health care, both access and accountability require understanding and collaborating with rights violators.

Why engaging with perpetrators isn’t possible in Iran (yet)

By: Mahmood Monshipouri
فارسی

Engagement with Iranian human rights perpetrators might help someday, but in the current political climate it’s simply not possible.

Navigating the minefield of working with perpetrators

By: Danielle Celermajer
Español

Judgments about when collaboration becomes cooptation are too easily made in the abstract, based on moral tastes rather than evidence.

To understand perpetrators, we must care about them

By: James Dawes
Español

Preventing future atrocities requires empathetic understanding of how regular people transform into monsters.

To change torture practices, we must change the entire system

By: Kiran Grewal

Preventing torture goes beyond understanding individuals—it requires changing an entire system that allows for extreme violence.

Working with the enemy: the pros and cons of collaborating with perpetrators

By: Rachel Wahl
Español | हिन्दी

What is the best way for human rights activists to engage with perpetrators? There are ethical and strategic reasons to focus on accountability over understanding, ...

Imagining justice for ethnic communities in Colombia

By: Helen Kerwin
Español

Reparations for conflict-related harms as set out in the peace accords are only a fraction of many pending debts owed to Colombia’s ethnic communities.

Why America needs a truth commission

By: Todd Landman 

In the United States, gun deaths over the last three decades far exceed those reported in truth commissions and civil wars around the world in the 1970s, 1980s ...

When international agendas trump the people’s demand for reform, no one wins

By: Ahilan Kadirgamar & Swasthika Arulingam 

As Sri Lanka moves on a new constitution and transitional justice process, it must prioritize local concerns of deepening economic inequalities over an international ...

Action on justice facilitates political solutions to conflict

By: Niran Anketell

Taking decisive steps towards accountability will be critical to reconciliation in Sri Lanka before frustrations rise again.

Holding businesses to account in Latin America

By: Nelson Camilo Sanchez
Español

Colombia and Argentina are taking steps to hold businesses accountable for human rights abuses – will they be effective?

The ‘soft vengeance’ of peace in Colombia

By: César Rodríguez-Garavito
Español

An agreement recently concluded between the Colombian government and the FARC rebels promises both peace and justice, and deserves support by human rights advocates.

Paying for human rights violations: perceptions of the Colombian peace process

By: Ryan E. Carlin & Jennifer L. Mccoy & Jelena Subotic
Español

New research shows that providing context for human rights issues yields a broader range of responses to peace talks in Colombia.

Reframing the justice debate in Colombia

By: Paul Seils
Español

The debate about whether or not—or how—to punish the crimes committed in Colombia’s long civil war should focus instead on the objectives punishment might achieve.

 
 
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