After a period of brutal conflict or repression, a country and its people must recover from the violence and rebuild their society to create a shared future for all. To do so, post-conflict societies often look back to identify the root causes of the violence, establish an accurate record of what happened, provide justice for victims, create mechanisms to hold violators accountable, provide reparations where necessary, and work toward preventing future human rights abuses. The Advocates works to develop practical and sustainable strategies to assist post-conflict countries in moving toward peace and accountability and has participated in transitional justice processes in several countries.
The Advocates for Human Rights began using human rights monitoring methods to contribute to the success of transitional justice in 2002. The Advocates first sent a team of 10 volunteers to Peru in November 2002 to participate as international observers in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process. The Advocates returned with a 5 person delegation in August 2004 at the one-year anniversary of the public release of the TRC's Final Report.
In May 2004, The Advocates for Human Rights sent a delegation to Sierra Leone to monitor the transitional justice process in that West African country. In addition to documenting the human rights abuses committed during the conflict, the team examined Sierra Leone’s two primary transitional justice mechanisms, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL).
At the request of and under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia, The Advocates coordinated the work of the TRC in the Liberian diaspora. Between January 2007 and August 2008, The Advocates documented statements from Liberians across the United States, the United Kingdom, and in the Buduburam Refugee Settlement in Ghana, West Africa. The Advocates also coordinated the TRC's public hearings in St. Paul, Minnesota in June 2008 to document public testimony from Liberians in the U.S. diaspora. In July 2009, the Advocates presented the Diaspora Project Final Report to the TRC of Liberia during the National Conference on the Way Forward held in Virginia, Liberia. A House with Two Rooms: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia Diaspora Project is available on this website.
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