UN Human Rights Council: NPWJ statement on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence

14 Sep, 2023 | Press Releases

Brussels-Geneva, 14 September 2023

On the occasion of the Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, held at the 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) would like to praise and thank the Special Rapporteur for his tremendous work, not least the report on international legal standards. The first question the Special Rapporteur correctly answers is “transitional” towards what? Transitional Justice cannot mean “ephemeral justice”. Transitional Justice is justice that realises the rights of victims and survivors and serves their empowerment, sustainable peace and security. Assurances of non-repetition require that the political dynamics of impunity be demolished by accountability and transparency, and for those who bear the greatest responsibility for atrocities to be held to account. Victims and affected communities perspectives and expectations can shape integrated transitional justice process, with all pillars working in harmony.

We appreciate the Report’s emphasis on gender. Children are a large percentage of the population in many transitional justice situations, such as Tunisia and Libya. Children should also be involved in the design and operation of Transitional Justice processes. Their rights should be a primary consideration at all times, whether they are direct victims or witnesses, or children of victims, witnesses or alleged perpetrators.

NPWJ also takes this opportunity to highlight the connection between impunity and State action or inaction, which appears to be increasing throughout the world. The use of institutional powers to deny violations continues to happen to Hatice Cengiz, widow of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Domestic proceedings are wielded against human rights defenders, seemingly to silence them, recent examples of which include the Philippines and Belgium. These avenues to impunity need to be exposed, lest they defeat the full enjoyment of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.