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THE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF PRIVATE SECTOR ACTORS IN TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE PROCESSES

The need to better understand and address the role of private actors in transitional justice processes is becoming increasingly important as these actors play a significant yet often clandestine role in the commission of serious human rights violations and related crimes. While transitional justice processes are designed primarily to address justice, accountability and reparations for serious and widespread violations perpetrated in the context of armed conflict or repressive regimes, accountability for private actors has frequently been elusive. To close the accountability gap, as well as to identify additional measures that would contribute to more comprehensive and sustainable guarantees of non-repetition, the role and responsibilities of private sector actors require a more thorough interrogation.

Project Description

Led by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, the Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation worked on a six-month project that will seek to examine past and present transitional justice processes involving private actors, with a focus on accountability and grassroots interventions in Africa and Latin America. The primary aim of the project is to learn from past experiences while seeking to inform the design of future formal and informal processes that consider private sector actors’ roles and responsibilities in transitional justice.  While the project will focus on private sector accountability for grave human rights violations and related crimes, it may also entail civil society and other stakeholders providing recommendations about the ways that private sector actors can serve to promote transitional justice initiatives which may inform future phase(s) of the project. The research will be informed by the expertise of Consortium partners who have addressed accountability and other forms of transitional justice implementation in Africa and Latin America. The program will also build on lessons learned from the GIJTR’s previous Economic, Social and Cultural Rights assessment tool publication, as well as other resources.

This project involved regional reports for Africa and Latin America that examine the private sector’s role in transitional justice, notably grassroots interventions focused on private sector accountability; online consultations with stakeholders in transitional justice who have researched or been involved in transitional justice initiatives that include private sector actors or have examined the roles and responsibilities of private sector actors, with a focus on Africa and Latin America; and the development of an outcome or summary report on lessons learned in defining the roles and responsibilities of the private sector in transitional justice, with a focus on accountability, for victim and survivor groups, civil society actors and practitioners.

Led by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, the Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation worked on a six-month project that will seek to examine past and present transitional justice processes involving private actors, with a focus on accountability and grassroots interventions in Africa and Latin America. The primary aim of the project is to learn from past experiences while seeking to inform the design of future formal and informal processes that consider private sector actors’ roles and responsibilities in transitional justice.  While the project will focus on private sector accountability for grave human rights violations and related crimes, it may also entail civil society and other stakeholders providing recommendations about the ways that private sector actors can serve to promote transitional justice initiatives which may inform future phase(s) of the project. The research will be informed by the expertise of Consortium partners who have addressed accountability and other forms of transitional justice implementation in Africa and Latin America. The program will also build on lessons learned from the GIJTR’s previous Economic, Social and Cultural Rights assessment tool publication, as well as other resources.

This project involved regional reports for Africa and Latin America that examine the private sector’s role in transitional justice, notably grassroots interventions focused on private sector accountability; online consultations with stakeholders in transitional justice who have researched or been involved in transitional justice initiatives that include private sector actors or have examined the roles and responsibilities of private sector actors, with a focus on Africa and Latin America; and the development of an outcome or summary report on lessons learned in defining the roles and responsibilities of the private sector in transitional justice, with a focus on accountability, for victim and survivor groups, civil society actors and practitioners.

Goals and Objectives

Produce regional reports for Africa and Latin America about the roles and responsibilities of private sector actors in formal and informal transitional justice processes, with a focus on establishing accountability for grave human rights violations and related crimes by systematizing lessons learned from these regions for victim and survivor groups, civil society actors and practitioners.

Conduct research and produce reports on accountability of private sector actors and engagement in other forms of transitional justice in Latin America and Africa.

Generate discussion and interregional exchange among transitional justice scholars, experts, practitioners and civil society about the roles and responsibilities of private sector actors in formal and informal transitional justice processes, with a focus on establishing accountability for grave human rights violations and related crimes.

Plan and implement a workshop engaging stakeholders from Latin America and Africa for interregional discussions on lessons learned and best practices in private sector accountability and engagement in other forms of transitional justice in Latin America and Africa.

Develop an outcome or summary report on the roles and responsibilities of private sector actors in formal and informal transitional justice processes, with a focus on establishing accountability for grave human rights violations and related crimes, by systematizing lessons learned from Africa and Latin America for victim and survivor groups, civil society actors and practitioners.

Produce an outcome or summary report synthesizing research and consultations that shares examples, lessons learned and best practices in private sector accountability and engagement in other forms of transitional justice in Latin America and Africa for victim and survivor groups, civil society actors and practitioners.

A Regional Report

The Role of the Private Sector in Transitional Justice Processes in Africa

The present report is the product of a 2021 GITJR consortium project led by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (ICSC), which sought to examine past and present transitional justice processes involving private actors, with a focus on accountability for grave human rights violations and grassroots interventions in Africa and Latin America. The primary aim of the project was to learn from past experiences while seeking to inform the design of future formal and informal processes that consider private sector actors’ roles and responsibilities in transitional justice.

The cases of Colombia, Guatemala, and Argentina

Roles and Responsibilities of the Private Sector in Transitional Justice Processes in Latin America

Roles and Responsibilities of the Private Sector in Transitional Justice Processes in Latin America: The cases of Colombia, Guatemala, and Argentina provides an overview of corporate complicity in the perpetration of grave human rights violations during some of the most notable periods of repression and conflict in those countries, and considers how the issue of private sector involvement has been addressed by both official and unofficial transitional justice mechanisms. This report presents lessons learned for the ongoing efforts to promote accountability, and considers the obstacles that remain.

A Briefing Paper

The Roles and Responsibilities of Private Sector Actors in Transitional Justice in Africa and Latin America

Released in September 2021, this briefing paper on The Roles and Responsibilities of Private Sector Actors in Transitional Justice in Africa and Latin America is part of a larger initiative led by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (ICSC), which seeks to examine past and present transitional justice processes involving private sector actors, with a focus on accountability for grave human rights violations and grassroots interventions across the two regions. Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation (GIJTR) Consortium partners, the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) and the Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF) contributed immensely to this project through the initial regional research on transitional justice processes in Africa and Latin America, which were released in separate publications earlier this year.