News

Towards a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the former Yugoslavia

The purpose of this article is to elaborate on the need for, and the prospect of, establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the former Yugoslavia. The ratio for such a commission has much to do with the failings of the Yugoslav Tribunal to realize its didactic purposes to its fullest potential, a consequence of anti-Tribunal propaganda and the inability to generate a form of truth that would serve as an adequate basis for post-conflict reconciliation. Following the outlining of these shortcomings, this paper shall assess some of the past and more recent attempts aimed towards the formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission within the former Yugoslav states.

Understanding Human Rights

The Shelter City Project

In many countries around the world, human rights defenders are persecuted for their work and convictions. They are put under surveillance, threatened, harassed, and detained arbitrarily; often, they face enforced disappearance, torture, and even death. One of the organizations concerned with the protection of human rights defenders is the Dutch NGO Justice & Peace. In 2012, the organization founded the program Shelter City. Under the program, human rights defenders are offered temporary protection for three months in a Dutch city. In this time, they can recover and resume their work in peace.

Social Rights

Disputes over Genetically Modified Maize in Mexico from the Perspective of the Human Right to Food

Mexico is fighting a fierce battle over the cultivation of genetically modified maize. With maize being the main food source and having deep cultural meanings, Mexican civil society is concerned about its biodiversity, possible risks to human health and access to food.

International Criminal Law

The Molina Theissen case

Guatemala is the country with the highest number of victims of enforced disappearance in Latin America. As a result of the repression during the internal armed conflict (1960-1996), around 45,000 people were disappeared. Despite this large number, only a few cases have been investigated and prosecuted. In her article Gretel Alexandra Mejía Bonifazi reports the remarkable example of the Molina Theissen family in the search for truth and justice.

Regions

Brazil’s clandestine mass grave in Perus (São Paulo)

In 1990, a clandestine mass grave with 1.049 unidentified mortal remains was found at the Dom Bosco Cemetery located in Perus, a suburban district of the city of São Paulo. It represents one of the innumerous crimes committed by the Brazilian dictatorial regime, which emerged with the military coup d’état in 1964 and lasted until 1985. The discovery of the Vala Clandestina de Perus (Perus illegal ditch), as it came to be known, was possible due to the courage and perseverance of a few individual persons.

Projects

From Nuremberg to The Hague – The Road to the International Criminal Court

The stony path from The Nuremberg Trial 60 years ago, when those primarily responsible for the war and war crimes in Germany had to answer for their actions, to finally establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2002 is presented in an exhibition, which was inaugurated on October 2, 2006 in The Hague.