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The concept and challenges of collective reparations.

Guillerot, Julie
June 4, 2015

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
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)


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