Identities in Transition: Developing Better Transitional Justice Initiatives in Divided Societies

In post-conflict societies, histories of exclusion, racism and nationalist violence often create divisions so deep that finding a way to agree on the atrocities of the past seems near-impossible. This project seeks, first, to ensure that transitional justice measures are sensitive to the ways in which targeting people on the basis of their ethnic or religious identity may cause distinctive harms and, second, to clarify the difficult political challenges that arise in societies where communities are not ready to cooperate, or even agree on a definition of who the victims are. If transitional justice can find ways to act as a means of political learning across communities, foster trust and recognition, and if it can serve to breakdown harmful myths and stereotypes, then this will be at least a small step toward meeting the challenges for transitional justice in divided societies. The project is managed by Paige Arthur, Deputy Director for Institutional Development at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). Read the report