Source: (2010) The Rabat Report. New York: The International Center for Transitional Justice.

After transitions from armed conflict or repression, societies are often confronted by legacies of systematic or widespread human rights violations whose perpetrators remain unaccountable and whose victims remain unredressed. In some of these societies, political leaders and civil society organizations have used transitional justice mechanisms to pursue justice, establish peace, and promote reconciliation. These mechanisms have included criminal prosecution, truth commissions, and reparations programs, among others. In some cases, communities establish measures of remembrance, such as memorials, and make attempts at reconciliation. Among these transitional justice mechanisms, reparations programs are arguably the most focused on the rights and welfare of victims and survivors. Reparations programs—which are usually recommended by truth commissions or may be the result of litigation, but are generally administered by state institutions—are intended to acknowledge and dignify victims as bearers of human rights. They are also intended to create space for victim participation in rebuilding society post transition. Above all, reparations programs are meant to provide material and symbolic gestures that might help repair the harms and assuage the pain suffered by victims. (excerpt)