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Justice, truth and reconciliation in post conflict healing process

Justice, truth and reconciliation in post conflict healing process

Truth commissions are strategic in nature with plan devised for situations in which war crimes and human rights abuses have largely came to an end and societies are struggling to come to terms with the tragedy. One focus is on investigations to determine what actually happened, especially to people who may have just “disappeared”. The task is also to find out who was responsible and assigning appropriate punishment within the province of investigation by a credible institution. This requires one to consider the forces that led people to commit such crimes.

In the most serious cases the crimes are attributable to absolutely indefensible behaviour by people who knew what they were doing and had the power to stop it. On the other side, crimes may have been perpetuated by lower ranking officials who were, in fact, being forced to do under superior command what they did was in fact vicariously done by the people in higher authority. Still, a third dimension points to the fact that some crimes may have resulted from the terrible cascading effects of violent escalation which could have led to the kind of emotional hysteria causing people to do things that they would otherwise consider absolutely unthinkable. This results in a recurring cycles of disorder in which both sides are committing atrocities to avenge and retaliate for atrocities committed by the other side.

Reconciliation of past war crimes often presents a difficult dilemma. On the one hand, victims of these terrible crimes find it impossible to simply forget and forgive about the crimes and live in a society with the perpetrators as if nothing happened. For them some measure of justice is likely to be an essential part of the healing process. On the other hand, if the victims of such crimes insist on holding everyone fully responsible for what might be quite murderous acts, then the result is likely to be an all out fight to the death rather than reconciliation and healing. Here strategies that combine a search for truth and justice, linked with amnesty and forgiveness are likely to heal the wound for long term peaceful solution with less trace of traumatic experience rubbed on the soul. The Paper proposes an in-depth study of the problem as experienced in the annals of history in transition to stability in the South African context and point to the way forward to the new path of integration and progress. The purpose of the study is to reveal the harsh historical truth and share the findings with peers for stimulating further interest in the value and importance of the application of the principle of truth and reconciliation in post-conflict healing process and its limitation and replication as a model elsewhere such as in Sudan as an alternative to trial by International Criminal Court.


ISHHR 2012

War and Trafficking: Migrant, trafficked and bonded workers and the business of organ harvesting.

The present-day abuses of migrant labour, human trafficking and bonded labour worldwide deserve long-overdue investigation by business academics into their causes and dynamics. Utilising data from

Group intervention with children

This article aims at reflecting, in the style of a story and not as a scientific or scholarly article, on a group therapy intervention with children of urban slums of Lima, populated by migrants from

The rise of juvenile crime in Georgia

Violence among the adolescents and adolescent delinquency often results in criminal charges and 14-18 year olds end up in the penitentiary facility. By the year 2005 only 26 adolescents were serving sentence in special juvenile facilities; however from 2006 onwards their number has increased drastically. At times the numbers of inmates reached 200, while today 162 juveniles are serving sentence. The rise of juvenile crime has become a debate issue for various groups of the Georgian society – education experts, psychologists, politicians are looking for the reasons of the situation at hand. We attempted a study of the demographic, social and academic profiles of adolescent inmates (the study of the Ministry of Education and Science, 2009), also taking into account our 5-year practice of working with juvenile convicts, which was aimed at supporting their resocialization and future reintegration into the society. In this work we will present a psychosocial portrait of an adolescent in the penitentiary system and consider the particular stress-factors that affect the juveniles and are determined by the specific features of the Georgian criminal subculture. We will also present 5 psychotypes of the adolescents in conflict with the law that were determined by the Freiburg personality test and will try to describe the self perception of the convicts while in confinement and after their sentence is served.

Case studies from GCRT of victims of war and other types of violence

During our work in GCRT for years we attained significant experience in psycho-traumatology. In contemporary concept of psycho-traumatology a human is referred to as a bio-psycho-social being. In trauma, its psychological and physical integrity are infringed. Person: soul and body is one whole, so it's very important to treat a person at every level through holistic and multidisciplinary approach. Our goal is to present cases of our beneficiaries, who were victims of war and other types of violence and developed different kind of psycho-traumatic disorders. We would like to share our experience of treating and rehabilitating body and psyche as one whole. Several cases (rehabilitation process and results) are discussed. In each presented case psycho-traumatic disorders have been diagnosed and confirmed clinically.

Research on trauma brought on by the disappearance of a child

Research on trauma brought on by the disappearance of a child is rare. The aim of our study was to increase understanding of uncertainty's role in the lives of those it affects, to present a narrative structure of the parents' testimonies, and to discern the origin of hope still felt by the parents. Sampling and Methods: Close reading and qualitative analysis of 29 testimonies given by parents whose sons disappeared during the Croatian War for Independence. Gender differences, categories, and frequencies of adjectives used were determined.

Stress factors in post-soviet period 1989-2011

The Collapse of the soviet system caused prolonged political, economical and psychosocial difficulties for the society. On one hand, collapse of totalitarian regime gives opportunity for change and

Justice and reparation: Acompanamiento a los afectados directos y sus faliliares

En esta coyuntura histórica de la realización de los Juicios a los responsables del Terrorismo de Estado de la última dictadura militar argentina, nos proponemos contribuir desde nuestro rol profesional en el acompañamiento a los afectados directos y sus familiares hoy constituidos en testigos y querellantes de estas causas. Desde una perspectiva psicosocial, la magnitud de los traumatismos producidos por la dictadura así como la impunidad posterior, ocasionaron daños profundos que persisten a lo largo del tiempo y a través de las generaciones. La realización de estos juicios, además de la oportunidad concreta de acceder a la condena de los responsables, permite la reelaboración personal y colectiva de lo ocurrido, así como habilita nuevos modelos de inscripción de la memoria histórica. Este escenario plantea nuevos desafíos que requieren complejos y particulares modos de intervención clínica y psicosocial. Se abordarán el dispositivo de acompañamiento psico-jurídico a testigos y querellantes como una de las intervenciones que desarrollamos en el ámbito de los derechos humanos y la salud mental, considerando el papel del testigo y del testimonio, sus aspectos reparatorios y de encuentro con lo traumático.