On Tuesday April 26, UN Special Rapporteur and CHRGJ Director of the Transitional Justice Program, Pablo de Greiff, presided a panel on the issue of victims’ participation in Transitional Justice measures at the headquarters of UNDP. The panel aimed at helping move the discussion of victims participation in transitional justice from something akin to a mantra to a subject of planning, implementation, and monitoring, examining the contribution that participatory methods in development programming can teach transitional justice.
The discussion will feed into a report that the Special Rapporteur will present to the Human Rights Council on this topic in September 2016. Speakers and participants highlighted both negative and positive examples of participation, in order to move beyond a purely normative discussion to a discussion about the ways in which effective participation can be achieved. The panel furthered participants’ understanding of conditions of success, both at the macro- (security and institutions), meso- (outreach and awareness raising programs), and micro-levels (procedures, budgets, psycho-social support, etc). The Special Rapporteur has a particular interest in exploring ways of designing victim participation procedures to promote a gender agenda in transitional justice, seeking ways not just to ensure that more women participate in transitional justice mechanisms, but that their voices are more durably heard. In all these areas UNDP has done valuable work, and its staff member and program directors shared insights with transitional justice scholars and practitioners.
The panel (which followed a day-long experts workshop) is part of an ongoing process of consultations with international organizations, NGOs and scholars.