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)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 (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.
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.
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia – News
This is a UK-based news service in partnership with numerous NGOs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dealing with the Past Conference Papers
The Need for a Survivor-Centred Approach to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Reflecting on the Truth: Has the media coverage of the TRC changed the way the public sees itself, its history and its responsibility?
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
Blood Feuds and Childbirth: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission as Ritual
Justice That Restores: How Reparation Must Be Made
Victims, Perpetrators and Healers at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Being in the Same Boat
Restorative Justice: When Justice and Healing Go Together
Truth and Reconciliation Commissions: A Review Essay and Annotated Bibliography
Selected Reading on Truth and Reconciliation
Media Creation: How the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Media Have Impacted on Each Other
The Truth and Reonciliation Commission: Human Rights and State Transitions - The South African Model
Haiti's Truth and Justice Commission
Truth Commissions: A Comparative Assessment
Selected Bibliography on Truth Commissions and Transitional Justice
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
Well known international NGO, which hosts an extensive library of material on humanitarian issues including truth and reconciliation, as well as ongoing international campaigns.
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
International Internet Bibliography on Transitional Justice
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.
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.
Khulumani Victim Support Group - South Africa
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.
Disclaimer: © INCORE 2010 Last Updated on Friday, 19-Mar-2010 15:50