International Center for Transitional Justice

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International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
Ictj-ten-yrs-orange use.jpg
Founded 2001
Type Non-profit NGO
Focus Transitional Justice, Human Rights
Area served
Key people

The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) was founded in 2001 as a non-profit organization dedicated to pursuing accountability for mass atrocity and human rights abuse through transitional justice mechanisms.[1]

Mission statement[edit]

The International Center for Transitional Justice assists countries pursuing accountability for past mass atrocity or human rights abuse. ICTJ works in societies emerging from repressive rule or armed conflict, as well as in established democracies where historical injustices or systematic abuse remain unresolved.[2]

Governments and others seeking to promote justice, peace and reconciliation are likely to consider a variety of responses to human rights crimes. ICTJ assists in the development of integrated, comprehensive and localized approaches to transitional justice, focusing on seven key elements: prosecutions, truth-seeking, institutional reform, gender justice, reparations, peace and justice, and memorials.

ICTJ is committed to building local capacity and strengthening the emerging field of transitional justice, and works with partner organizations and experts around the world. ICTJ provides comparative information, legal and policy analysis, documentation and strategic research to justice and truth-seeking institutions, civil society, governments and others.[3]


While human rights organizations have traditionally focused on documenting violations and lobbying against abuse, the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) was founded on the concept of a new direction in human rights advocacy: helping societies to heal by accounting for and addressing past crimes after a period of repressive rule or armed conflict.

ICTJ was first conceived at a strategy meeting hosted by the Ford Foundation in April 2000. More than two dozen participants, including legal scholars, as well as human rights advocates and practitioners, gathered to discuss ways of contributing to the rapidly emerging field of transitional justice.

The participants expressed broad support for the establishment of an organization focusing on transitional justice. The Foundation subsequently asked three consultants—Alex Boraine, Priscilla Hayner and Paul van Zyl—to develop a plan for such an organization. Their initial five-year proposal received funding support from the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Andrus Family Fund.

ICTJ officially opened its doors in New York City on March 1, 2001, and within six months was operating in more than a dozen countries, as requests for assistance poured in. In 2004 Founding President Alex Boraine returned to South Africa to establish the Center’s Cape Town Office. Offices in Brussels and Geneva followed in 2005. ICTJ currently has offices in New York City, Beirut, Bogotá, Brussels, Cape Town, Geneva, Jakarta, Kampala, Monrovia, Nairobi, and Nepal.[4]

In March 2012 the ICTJ Director of Research, Pablo de Greiff, was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as its first Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantee of non-recurrence.

Notable Staff[edit]

Alex Boraine, Co-Founder and First President of ICTJ

Priscilla Hayner, Co-Founder of ICTJ and former director of its Sierra Leone, Peru, and Ghana Programs

Paul van Zyl, Co-Founder of ICTJ and CEO of PeaceVentures

Juan E. Mendez, President Emeritus of ICTJ

David Tolbert, President of ICTJ

Pablo de Greiff, Director of Research (and from 2012 a UN Special Rapporteur)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About", ICTJ
  2. ^ "ICTJ: One Decade of Justice", Radio Netherlands Worldwide
  3. ^ "Vision and Mission", ICTJ
  4. ^ "Contact", ICTJ

External links[edit]