The UN has advocated for genuine consultations with victims and affected groups, especially women and children, who are far too often excluded and marginalized in countries like Sri Lanka, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said.
“From Colombia to Tunisia, from Mali to Sri Lanka, from Nepal to South Sudan, the UN has advocated for inclusive and genuine consultations with victims and affected groups, especially women, girls and those who are far too often excluded and marginalized. Their meaningful participation must be ensured in all relevant stages of transitional justice processes and their specific needs must be fully recognized in any reparation measures,” he said observing the International Day for right to truth, which fell yesterday.
To advance this effort, he said the UN supports fact-finding missions, commissions of inquiry, mapping exercises and truth commissions, which document human rights violations and make recommendations to ensure accountability, reconciliation and other reforms.
“Across the world, every victim has the right to know the truth about violations that affected her or him. But the truth also has to be told for the benefit of all people and communities as a vital safeguard against the recurrence of violations. The right to the truth is closely linked to the right to justice,” Mr. Ban said in a message on the Day.
He also stressed the need to secure the testimonies of victims and witnesses to ensure the rights to know the truth and to justice. Appropriate mechanisms for the protection of victims and witnesses, including their physical and psychological integrity, privacy, and dignity, must be put in place.
Moreover, the preservation of archives and other documentation relating to human rights violations is crucial for ensuring undistorted historical record and preservation of memory, he added.
He urged States to adopt measures to promote truth, justice and reparations for victims, which is so crucial to ensuring that gross human rights violations are not repeated.