Highlights and Hurdles in Tunisia
In the past decade, countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have experienced tremendous political upheaval and, in many cases, brutal conflict. To assist these countries as they emerge from these violent situations, the Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation (GIJTR) at the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience has implemented a variety of truth-telling, community reconciliation and local justice programs to respond to grassroots needs in MENA, filling the gaps left by the limited timeframes and scope of formal transitional justice and judicial mechanisms. As a product of this effort, GIJTR has built a transitional justice community of local populations, practitioners and policy makers in the region that share ground-breaking models, emphasize peer learning, and place local communities at the center of their projects.
To this end, GIJTR is pleased to offer a monthly video series – generously supported by the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) – featuring practitioners throughout the MENA region and international experts discussing key components and challenges of transitional justice.
This month features Leila Haddad, a human rights lawyer with Martyrs and Wounded of the Revolution in Tunisia. In many ways, the country has taken the lead in the region in terms of transitional justice. After its Transitional Justice Law passed in December 2013, a Truth and Dignity Commission was set up to investigate violations committed between Habib Bourguiba’s return from exile in 1955 to December 2013. To date, over 23,000 public and private hearings have taken place. Here, Ms. Haddad discusses the progress the country has made and the challenges it still needs to overcome.
For more information about the Global Initiative for Justice Truth and Reconciliation, please contact Ereshnee Naidu, Senior Director, Global Transitional Justice Initiative, at enaidu@sitesofconscience.
This month features Adbul Hakim, acting director at Partners Yemen. In conflict since 2014, Yemen is the most impoverished country in the Arab world, with two-thirds of the population – over 17 million people – in dire need of food and humanitarian aid. In September 2017, Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein, the UN human rights chief, said there had been only “minimal” efforts to hold perpetrators accountable in what the United Nations has branded the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.