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INCORE guide to Internet sources on Truth, Reconciliation and Conflict

Resources compiled by Niall Whelehan (March 2005)


The aim of this INCORE thematic guide on Truth and Reconciliation is to provide full-text publications and resources for those interested whether academically or practically in truth commissions and historical clarification. This list does not imply an endorsement by INCORE of the views expressed in any of these sources.

Primary sources (A select list drawn from the categories below)

News Sources

Truth and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland

Academic Centers, Programs and Institutes

Academic Articles

Non Governmental Organisations




Primary Sources

This is a short list of internet sources which have a lot of content relating directly to truth and reconciliation. This list does not imply a recommendation of the sources or an endorsement of the views expressed in any of these sources. It is a select list drawn from the other categories in this document.


Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation-South Africa

The CSVR is currently affiliated to the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and functions as a multi-disciplinary non-governmental organisation. Since its inception in 1989, the CSVR has been dedicated to making a meaningful contribution to peaceful and fundamental transformation in South Africa, and in the Southern African region Its aim is 'to utilise its expertise in building reconciliation, democracy and a human rights culture within South African governance and society'. Currently it holds a wide variety of material in relation to truth and reconciliation.



Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor

The Commission in East Timor is an independent statutory authority inquiring into human rights violations committed on all sides, between April 1974 and October 1999, and facilitating community reconciliation with justice for those who committed less serious offences. The commission has established a truth-telling mechanism for victims and perpetrators to describe, acknowledge, and record human rights abuses of the past. Their website provides key documents on how the mechanisms of a TC function.




Global Policy Forum’s mission is to monitor policy making at the United Nations, promote accountability of global decisions, educate and mobilize for global citizen participation, and advocate on vital issues of international peace and justice. Their website provides reports and publications on several existing truth commissions and the international structures that govern them.



Guatemalan Commission for Historical Clarification

Conclusions of the Commission for Historical Clarification in Guatemala that treats the forces responsible for humanitarian law violations and the geographical areas where massacres occurred. Background information and details of the mechanics of the commission are also provided.



International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
This is the official UN site, although NOT an official Tribunal site. It includes up-to-date information including latest developments in the tribunal, cases and judgements, legal documents and publications.


International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

Recognizing that serious violations of humanitarian law were committed in Rwanda, and acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council created the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The purpose of the ICTR is to contribute to the process of national reconciliation, the maintenance of peace in the region, and the prosecution of persons responsible for genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994. This website hosts several legal documents, publications of the tribunal and a database of judicial records.



Memoria del Silencio
In Spanish, this report was written by the Historical Clarification Commission established in Guatemala in 1994.


National Reconciliation Process in Ghana

Website of the NRP in Ghana that offers introductory material and further documentation regarding the legal mechanics of the NRP in Ghana, submissions made, membership bodies, and the powers and objectives of the commission.



Rapport de la Commission Nationale de Verite et Justice
In French, this is the report published by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Haiti, established in 1995.


Special Court for Sierra Leone

The Special Court for Sierra Leone was set up jointly by the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations. It is mandated to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed in the territory of Sierra Leone since 30 November 1996. The document section of the webpage provides a good starting point for those investigating the field.



Truth Commission Project

The Truth Commissions Project is a collaboration between the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, Search for Common Ground (an international NGO), and the European Centre for Common Ground (in Brussels). The TCP aims to combine resources and interests to identify the best research that has been done to date on five key Truth Commissions, and to present it in a format that will be usable by decision-makers in designing future Commissions. The TCP has drawn on a variety of sources for the data presented on the website, all of which are listed in the bibliography.



Truth Commissions in Central and South America

Ko’aga Rone’eta, the online journal published by Derechos, has provided detailed assessments of truth commission and historical clarification projects in Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay. This is a valuable source, in Spanish, for researchers interested in the TC projects on the continent.



United States Institute of Peace – Truth Commissions Digital Collection

The Truth Commissions Digital Collection is a large online collection constantly under development that contains decrees establishing truth commissions and similar bodies of inquiry in over twenty-five countries, and the reports issued by such groups. This collection is an invaluable resource for researchers in the field as it provides both background information and detailed documents relevant to truth seeking initiatives worldwide.





News Sources


Agencia de Información Fray Tito para América Latina (Adital)

Adital strive to bring up to date reports and commentaries on humanitarian issues, popular movements, and the truth commissions in Latin and South America. Their site is available in Portuguese and Spanish.



Amnesty International Country Reports

Up-dated reports and analysis from the well known international NGO.




Weekly summaries of the most important and perhaps less reported human rights news, as reported by wire services, newspapers and international organisations. To join write to hrb@derechos.org with a message saying 'subscribe briefs'.

Derechos provides a good insight and information on the Truth Commissions in Latin America, available in Spanish.



Digital Freedom Network: News Articles and Press Releases

Digital Freedom Network (DFN) is a non-profit group that seeks to promote human rights and for all countries. This site contains regular reports and commentaries on contemporary humanitarian issues, conflict situations and peaceful resolutions.



Human Rights Watch

HRW is a NGO that strives to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice. It investigates and exposes human rights violations and holds abusers accountable.
The HRW site contains regularly updated news releases.



International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia – News
A news bulletin dealing with information relating to the cases underway at the tribunal.



One-World News Service

This is a UK-based news service in partnership with numerous NGOs.



Polity.org.za – News

Helpful news resource that provides comment, analysis and opinion on contemporary global issues. The policy documents section is useful and official reports, such as the one relating to the South African Truth Commission, are available to view.



Note: Other sources described in this guide which are not primarily news sources also provide news.






Truth and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland.


INCORE's “Dealing with the Past” Research

In 1998 INCORE held a conference on reconciliation processes and peace-building dealing with the complex issue of remembering the past and historical clarification while continuing the forward progress of peace initiatives. The conference papers, found on this website, touch on the difficulties in engaging with a truth and reconciliation process.



“Repairing the Irreparable: Dealing with double-binds of making reparations for crimes of the past”,

Article by INCORE’s 1997/98 Tip O'Neill Fellow - Brandon Hamber - who has conducted extensive research on the subject of dealing with the past.


“A Truth Commission for Northern Ireland?”

On the specific subject of a Truth Commission for Northern Ireland, see this further article by Hamber. For other publications relating to Truth Commissions see www.brandonhamber.com.



Consultation on the Next Phase of Victim Policy in NI.

The possible benefits and pitfalls of a truth commission in Northern Ireland is a subject that has been raised in the House of Commons. During the course of 2003 and 2004, Angela Smith, Minister with Responsibility for Victim’s Issues, sought views and opinions from interested parties on the development of the next phase of victim policy in Northern Ireland.



Bloody Sunday Trust

The Bloody Sunday Trust is a community based education and history organization that was established in 1997 with the aim of exploring the recent troubled history of the City of Derry as a means of enhancing respect and understanding for Human Rights, and promoting mutual understanding through the honest examination of the past, with particular reference to events during the past 30 years.



Healing Through Remembering, NI.

This Project seeks to identify and document possible mechanisms and realisable options for healing through remembering for those people affected by the conflict. Building on a range of previous and current local, national and international initiatives, the Project will undertake a range of in-depth discussions with organisations, communities, politicians and individuals on the issues of truth-telling and healing.



Transitional Justice Institute

For further information regarding reconciliation and peace see the publications webpage of the Transitional Justice Institute at the University of Ulster.





Programmes, Institutes and Academic Centres.


Instituto de Derechos Humanos de la UCA

Based in San Salvador, the Insititute for Human Rights was founded in 1985 to contribute to education and awareness of humanitarian issues in Central America, the to forward the progress of truth and clarification seeking initiatives in el Salvador and in the greater Latin America region. This site contains some useful links to information and articles on justice for victims and the reconciliation process.


Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation-South Africa

The CSVR is currently affiliated to the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Its aim is 'to utilise its expertise in building reconciliation, democracy and a human rights culture within South African governance and society'. Currently it holds a wide variety of material in relation to truth and reconciliation including information relating to,



Centro de Derechos Humanos, Chile

The Human Rights Centre in Chile holds graduate programme in human rights law and other courses and trainings. The HRC webpage offers some useful links to the history and state of human rights abuses in the country and the South America in general.



Conflict Research Consortium – Colorado

This website contains a set of materials and outlines of courses designed to help people work towards reconciliation and better deal with difficult, long-lasting, and resolution-resistant conflicts. Some of the materials are theoretical -- they discuss the nature of conflicts and conflict processes. Other materials are practical. They discuss typical conflict problems and potential solutions. While the practical material draws upon theory, it is largely based on practical experience and is designed to provide solutions to particular problems.



World Institute for Non-Violence and Reconciliation

The Institute is a non-profit organisation operating from Tasmania. Its aim is to contribute in an effective way to the reduction of violence in communities and to promote a coordinated and strategic protocol for peacebuilding by non-violent actions.


International Centre for Transitional Justice

A centre founded in New York in March 2001 to assist societies pursuing accountability for human rights abuse arising from repressive rule, mass atrocity or armed conflict. The Centre provides comparative information, legal and policy analysis, documentation, and strategic research to justice and truth-seeking institutions, nongovernmental organizations, governments and others.



United States Institute of Peace Library
The website offers an updated list of Truth Commissions, as well as supporting documents.


Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research

The TFF is an international think tank in peace research and conflict mitigation. An aspect of their work focuses on reconciliation in conflict societies, notably in the “Reconciliation and Forgiveness Project” of 2000.






Academic Articles


Dealing with the Past Conference Papers
A 'Reconciliation Processes and PeaceBuilding' conference was held in Belfast on 8 - 9 June 1998. The papers presented deal with the South African, Northern Ireland, and Guatemalan experiences.


The Need for a Survivor-Centred Approach to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Article by Brandon Hamber (1996) which examines the two main discourses which exist concerning survivors and their potential experience of the TRC.


Reflecting on the Truth: Has the media coverage of the TRC changed the way the public sees itself, its history and its responsibility?
Paper presented at The TRC and Human Rights Journalism in South Africa Workshop (1997). Brandon Hamber argues that despite a greater sensitisation to violations of the past, entrenched beliefs remain and these will only change gradually.


Reconciliation after Violent Conflict

This policy summary is a distillation of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) publication Reconciliation After Violent Conflict: A Handbook (2003). Presented is a summary of the key points for policy formation in the design of an appropriate process to address the legacy of past violence.



Truth Commissions and National Reconciliation: Some Reflections on Theory and Practice
Article by Charles O. Lerche which explores the concept of reconciliation.


Blood Feuds and Childbirth: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission as Ritual
Track Two article by Fiona Ross, in which she assesses the TRC's frameworks for creating a 'shared past' and its capacity for conflict resolution.


Justice That Restores: How Reparation Must Be Made
Track Two article by Russel Botman, in which he explores reparation to victims of the Apartheid regime.


Victims, Perpetrators and Healers at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Being in the Same Boat
Article by Trevor Lubbe. The author worked for the South African TRC and highlights some of the difficulties that have arisen during the process.


Restorative Justice: When Justice and Healing Go Together
Article by Howard Zehr. Zehr argues that the TRC represents an attempt to do justice restoratively, but an incomplete attempt. Only time will tell whether the gaps will be fatal.


Truth and Reconciliation Commissions: A Review Essay and Annotated Bibliography
Article by Trevor Avruch and Beatriz Vejarano, published in the Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution.


Selected Reading on Truth and Reconciliation
Short list of bibliographic resources compiled by Sally Schramm for Track Two.


Media Creation: How the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Media Have Impacted on Each Other
Short Track Two article by Anthea Garman.


The Truth and Reonciliation Commission: Human Rights and State Transitions - The South African Model
Article by Patricia J. Campbell, written for the African Studies Quarterly. Campbell poses the question whether the TRC is a viable model for justice and reconciliation in a post-authoritarian society.


Haiti's Truth and Justice Commission
An insight into the Truth and Justice Commission in Haiti, and recommendations for the future.
By Fanny Benedetti The Human Rights Brief, 1996


Truth Commissions: A Comparative Assessment
This article has been created through an interdisciplinary discussion held at Harvard Law School in May 1996. The discussion involved academics from the Human Rights Program of the Harvard Law School as well as members of the World Peace Foundation.


Selected Bibliography on Truth Commissions and Transitional Justice
Bibliography which offers general information as well as information on South Africa and Latin America. Furthermore, inks to truth commissions reports are provided.


Reconciliation After Violent Conflict - A Handbook

Published by the International Institute for Democracy & Electoral Assistance (IDEA), this offers practical advice for those engaged in building reconciliation processes in post-conflict societies, based on the principle that democratic processes and structures provide the best means to prevent and manage conflict.






Non Governmental Organisations and Independent Resources


Amnesty International

Well known international NGO, which hosts an extensive library of material on humanitarian issues including truth and reconciliation, as well as ongoing international campaigns.



Beyond Intractability.org

Online information resource on conflict management that provides a guide to articles, interviews, statistics and teaching materials. Included is a useful section on Truth and Reconciliation which provides an explanatory essay by Eric Brahm, a guide to additional and indepth information, and published sources.



Strategic Choices in the Design of Truth Commissions
A collaboration of the Program on Negotiation at HarvardLawSchool and the European Centre for Common Ground, this website is designed to guide countries in developing a Truth Commission that fits their unique needs. The website uses lessons learned from the Truth Commissions established in Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala and South Africa to develop guidelines for future Truth Commissions.


International Internet Bibliography on Transitional Justice
An excellent ongoing database project which currently holds details on about 1.500 recently published monographs, book chapters and periodical articles relating to Amnesty, Reparation, Prosecutions, Truth Commissions, International Criminal Tribunals, Victims, Perpetrators, and Public Memory.


Australians for Native Title & Reconciliation (ANTaR)

ANTaR began in 1997 in response to a swell of public anger towards Federal Government moves to wind back Indigenous native title rights. ANTaR is an independent, national network of mainly non-Indigenous organisations and individuals working in support of justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.



One-World Service

This is a UK-based service in partnership with numerous NGOs. This site provides a comprehensive directory to NGO’s involved in the field.



Victim Offender Mediation Association (VOMA), an international membership association, supports and assists people and communities working at restorative models of justice. VOMA provides resources, training, and technical assistance in victim-offender mediation, conferencing, circles, and related restorative justice practices.



Human Rights Watch International
Has a number of substantial reports relating to Truth Commissions, which can be ordered on-line including reports on Chile, El Salvador, and Haiti.



The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes is a South-African based non-governmental conflict management organisation.


Khulumani Victim Support Group - South Africa
KVSG is a victim and survivor support group established in 1995 in response to the setting up of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission


Karuna Center for Peacebuilding

In regions experiencing protracted social conflict, the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding offers training programs in conflict prevention, transformation and management, with a special focus on inter-communal dialogue and reconciliation.




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