Around the world, there is an increasing call for justice, truth, and reconciliation in countries where legacies of gross human rights violations cast a shadow on transitions from repressive regimes to participatory and democratic forms of governance. Transitional justice processes can help to achieve these goals through mechanisms that ensure accountability, serve justice, uncover and record the truth, provide remedies and reparations to victims and those who mourn them, reform institutions, and promote healing and reconciliation.
Impunity and lack of accountability perpetuate the legacy of a painful past, exacerbate the fragility of peace and reconciliation processes, and obstruct the development of a democratic society. Through the reform of institutions, acknowledging truth of past abuses and meting out justice, transitional justice measures can also restore confidence in functions of the State, and promote the rule of law in accordance with international human rights norms.
To address this need, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces a Request for Proposals (RFP) from organizations interested in implementing projects that will meet new challenges in countries in transition struggling with legacies of or ongoing gross human rights abuses as they unfold on the ground or that will leverage new opportunities as they arise.
This is considered a pilot effort of the Initiative, with the possibility of additional resources in future fiscal years.
The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor invites organizations to submit proposals outlining program concepts and capacity to manage projects targeting the following issues:
Transitional Justice Global Initiative (up to $750,000 available).
Activities of the Transitional Justice Global Initiative
The activities to be administered under the Transitional Justice Global Initiative must utilize a range of restorative and retributive approaches to justice and accountability for gross human rights violations, including truth-telling, reconciliation, memorialization, and other forms of historical memory, reparative justice initiatives, legal processes and institutional reform. The grantee and/or consortium will be expected to efficiently and effectively implement, at times within a matter of weeks, a wide range of program activities, including, but not limited to, documenting human rights abuses for transitional justice purposes; providing technical assistance to and building the capacity of civil society activists/organizations to promote and engage on transitional justice processes; victim’s advocacy activities such as improving access to justice, psychosocial support and trauma mitigation activities; and, forensic analysis and other efforts related to missing and disappeared persons. More specifically, these activities could include, but are not limited to:
- Use of documentation (including legal documentation), forensic evidence, for use in oral history and related forms of truth-telling through education, media campaigns, and other tools;
- Activities focused on the use of forensic evidence and other tools to combat impunity, including training and capacity building to use forensic evidence systematically within legal and advocacy processes, through a focus on emblematic human rights cases or other mechanisms.
- Activities to foster capacity-building, greater coordination, mentorship, and information sharing among civil society organizations in the region or globally, including the development of regional or global networks for information sharing, best practices in the provision of psychosocial services, legal assistance, and/or advocacy activities, reconciliation or memorialization activities and efforts to better integrate victims and their families into processes that provide access to justice and combat impunity.
- Strategies to engage youth and other marginalized populations in transitional justice and human rights issues addressing legacies of conflict;
- Strategies to address issues of gender justice, including promoting the participation of women in transitional justice processes;
- Work through civil society, advocacy, and educational efforts to memorialize and address legacies of large-scale past human rights abuses;
- Programs that address and support reparative justice processes;
- Empowering families of victims and survivors of human rights abuses such as forced disappearances, particularly among indigenous people and other vulnerable groups, to combat political and societal marginalization through effective political participation and exercise of civil and political rights, including through advocating for justice and restitution for victims; and,
- The collection and dissemination of lessons learned and best practice on transitional justice processes across various regions, including the thoughtful and rigorous analysis of applicability of these lessons to new and emerging environments, to assist countries in transition still grappling with gross human rights violations or dealing with their legacy learn from other cases.