Transitional Justice and Displacement

Internally displaced persons in Abyei, Sudan, 2008. Photo by Tim McKulka, UN Photos

Transitional justice is often pursued in contexts where people have been forced from their homes and communities by human rights violations and have suffered additional abuses while displaced. Yet little attention has been paid to how transitional justice measures can be used to address the range of injustices associated with displacement.

Project Aims

From 2010–2012, ICTJ’s Research Unit and the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement collaborated on a project that considered how transitional justice can serve as part of a comprehensive approach to the resolution of displacement.

The project examined the capacity of transitional justice measures to address displacement, engage the justice claims of refugees and internally displaced persons, and support durable solutions. Importantly, it also analyzed the conceptual and practical links between transitional justice and other interventions dealing with displacement, including those of humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding actors.

The results of this first systematic research project on the topic suggest that where displacement is linked to serious human rights violations, 1) transitional justice measures should address displacement and 2) those justice measures should be incorporated into broader responses to displacement in a coherent manner.

Listen to an audio discussion of the project's findings here.

Explore an interactive map highlighting issues of displacement and transitional justice in the regions examined by the project’s case studies here.

Publications

A project report, Transitional Justice and Displacement: Challenges and Recommendations, was published in June 2012, highlighting the most important findings and providing recommendations for transitional justice and displacement policymakers and practitioners.

The project’s thematic studies were published in July 2012 in an edited volume, Transitional Justice and Displacement, edited by ICTJ Senior Associate Roger Duthie. The book features contributions by leading practitioners in the field, and serves as a culmination of groundbreaking research on interdisciplinary approaches to transitional justice and displacement. The book can be purchased here or downloaded for free here.

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The book’s eight chapters examine the following topics:

  • Transitional Justice and Durable Solutions, Roger Duthie Research Brief
  • Humanitarian Concerns about Transitional Justice, Bryce Campbell Research Brief
  • Restitution and Displacement, Rhodri C. Williams Research Brief
  • Reparations and Displacement, Peter Van der Auweraert
  • Truth-Telling and Displacement, Megan Bradley Research Brief
  • Criminal Justice and Displacement, Federico Andreu-Guzmán Research Brief
  • Justice-Sensitive SSR and Displacement, Marina Caparini Research Brief
  • Gender Justice and Displacement, Lucy Hovil Research Brief

Case Studies

In addition, a set of 14 case studies are available online: