Video: What Egypt, Congo, Uganda and Colombia Have in Common

The search for justice in the wake of conflict is what Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Colombia have in common. The Case for Justice is a series of videos debating on the relevance of  what is known as transitional justice, a set of systems that is put into place to allow for accountability in the wake of massive human rights violations.

From the International Center for Transitional Justice site:

The complexity of this debate is best illustrated by the different myths that abound within it. Some contend transitional justice is “soft justice,” an alternative to pursuing criminal justice in the wake of mass atrocities or repression; others equate it solely with criminal trials, fully focused on perpetrators. Some view it as a key obstacle to reaching successful peace agreements; others regard it as a kind of a magic wand, a quick cure for the scars of war and abuse.

The Case for Justice video lands on these different views of transitional justice through the recent history from Egypt, Uganda, Colombia and the DRC:

The following video explains the reasons behind transitional justice and how it can help to give a community a voice and provide those who suffered human rights violations not only public recognition as victims, but also give them the chance to recognize in themselves the right to pursue justice and to be treated as equal citizens with equal rights.

However, transitional justice is no magic wand: it is not capable of solving all the problems. Even with a truth commission, even with trials against dictators who committed heinous crimes against humanity, even with systems in place to redress victims: sometimes it takes decades or generations before justice can be served, and not all will get to see it. But the fact that it isn't magical or immediate should not detract from the fact that it has helped people who are seeing justice and restitution for the damage suffered through war, natural disasters or conflict.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in what has been called the Third World War due to the great number of victims, a process is being established to recognize the massive human right violations and systematized rapes by a mixed tribunal with Congolese and international judges as a way to give the victims a voice and hopefully change the trend where impunity has made certain segments of society believe that rape is a normal part of society.

More in-depth video interviews and explanations on Transitional Justice can be found on the ICTJ website for The Case for Justice.

Thumbnail image shows Justicia by Olga Berrios used according to Creative Commons Attribution License.

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