Amnesty International in their latest report on Sri Lanka called “SRI LANKA: MAKING THE RIGHTS CHOICES,
ESTABLISHING EFFECTIVE MECHANISMS TO DELIVER JUSTICE, TRUTH AND REPARATION TO VICTIMS” has outlined ten principals for effective justice, truth and reparation mechanisms in Sri Lanka “based on decades of experience monitoring and campaigning for efforts to deliver justice, truth and reparation for victims of human rights violations and abuses in many national contexts”.
Amnesty International urges Sri Lanka to consider and apply the following principles in designing and implementing justice, truth and reparation mechanisms. The mechanisms should be:
They must be independent of political control or interference, which would undermine their effectiveness and credibility. Mechanisms should be composed of persons who are independent of the government and authorities that are implicated in human rights violations.
To ensure the engagement and trust of all victims and communities, members and staff of the mechanisms must be representative of all sectors of Sri Lankan society, including an equal representation of women and men at all levels.
3. CLEARLY MANDATED
Mechanisms must have a clear mandate that allows them to perform their work effectively and to which they will be held accountable.
4. SUFFICIENTLY RESOURCED
Effective and transparent systems, with safeguards to protect against political interference, should be put in place to ensure that mechanisms are provided with sufficient resources to perform their mandates.
Members and staff of the mechanism must have the expertise necessary to achieve the mandate. Where such expertise does not exist nationally, international expertise and technical support should be sought. They must also fully understand the context in which they are working, including through regular consultations with victims and civil society.
Victims will only be able to engage effectively with mechanisms if they are accessible. This requires:
- Effective outreach so that victims know about the mechanism, understand its mandate, what to expect and how to engage with it;
- Transparency about the mechanism and its work;
- Safeguards against discrimination;
- Assistance to victims to engage with the mechanism;
- Protection and support, so that victims can engage with the mechanism safely and without being re-traumatized;
- Continued communication throughout the process, especially when any delays occur.
7. VICTIM FOCUSSED
Where the interests of victims are affected, mechanisms should seek and take into account the views of victims in defining their work and making decisions.
8. HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLIANT
The rights of all persons engaged in or affected by the proceedings must be protected, including suspected perpetrators, victims, witnesses, judges, lawyers, staff of the mechanism, representatives of victims and civil society groups supporting and assisting victims or other work of the mechanisms.
The mandate and the work of the mechanism must be consistent with and complement, not undermine, the work of other mechanisms and efforts to deliver justice, truth and reparation to victims.
As far as possible, the mechanisms should establish a legacy that strengthens respect for and protection of human rights in the future, including strengthening the rule of law and access to effective remedies.
Read the full report as a PDF here:asa3749022016english