Thematic Areas

1. Promotion of Truth

1. Comprehensiveness

Truth telling processes must combine different measures. In that same measure, no single approach to truth-seeking is adequate on its own if finding the root causes and understanding the conflict is the goal. The process must embrace multiple narratives.

2. Human Rights Based

Truth seeking initiatives in transitional justice must be grounded in universal norms of human dignity such as the right to know and the right to speedy remedy or access to justice. Truth recovery processes must seek to fulfil individual and family rights, as well as the collective rights of societies.

3. Victim-Centric

Placing victims at the centre of this work also requires ensuring that victim's rights and views are fully respected in the implementation of the transitional justice process. This includes the use of victim-sensitive procedures that guarantee victims' safety and dignity, and the development of specific capacities to assist, support and protect victims and witnesses (UN 2010:6).

4. Inclusivity

Truth seeking must be based on consultations and effective participation of all stakeholders.

5. Genuine Independence

Truth seeking processes must be based on a comprehensive, inclusive, consultative involvement of all stakeholders, particularly victims. This enables truth commissions to function well.

6. Cooperation

There must be cooperation between non-state and state actors. The mechanism must get cooperation from all institutions with a view to arriving at the truth. Local institutions such as state security agents as well as key state and nonstate actors must be obliged to support and cooperate with the commission or any other truthseeking mechanism.

7. Firm and Appropriate Legal Framework
  • Adequate Support Structure - A truth seeking mechanism must get cooperation from all institutions that may possess the information required to arrive at the truth. Local institutions like the military, the police, national archives, the judiciary and other key institutions must give clear indication that they will support and cooperate with the commission or any other truthseeking mechanism in operation.
  • Legal Foundation- A truth seeking mechanism must be grounded on firm, enforceable legal grounding, with adequate powers.

8. Cultural sensitivity

A truth seeking mechanism must respect the beliefs and practices of the local people.

9. Transparency and Openness

Transparency and openness should characterise the whole process of truth recovery. The consent of the victims, public hearings, consultations and related activities must be broadcast live.

10. Legal Protection for State records and archives

There must a law criminalising the destruction of state records and archives.