Ownership and Participation in Transitional Justice Mechanisms: A Sustainable Human Development Perspective from Eastern DRC

Posted: 19 May 2009

See all articles by Patrick Vinck

Patrick Vinck

Harvard Humanitarian Initiative; University of California, Berkeley; Tulane University

Phuong Pham

Tulane University

Date Written: December 2008

Abstract

Sustainable human development principles underlie many of the objectives of transitional justice mechanisms. At the same time, the form, implementation and outcome of such mechanisms are influenced primarily by the political will, capacity and resources available to local, national and international institutions. Missing in the equation is the active involvement of the affected population in the planning and implementation phases. Building on the concepts of participation and ownership core to the philosophy and practice of sustainable human development, we use the results of a survey of 2,620 adult residents in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to illustrate how transitional justice policies could and should be grounded in empirical evidence to best achieve sustainable human development objectives. Our results suggest that basic survival needs and security must come before mechanisms that deal with justice issues and reparations. Respondents expressed fear of reprisal if they were to talk openly about their experience in the conflict, which poses an obstacle to any truth-seeking process and, more generally, social change. In addition, the population's expectations for punishment and prosecution of numerous defendants must be addressed. Transitional justice mechanisms must be part of a broader set of policies for socioeconomic development and reconciliation.

Suggested Citation

Vinck, Patrick and Pham, Phuong, Ownership and Participation in Transitional Justice Mechanisms: A Sustainable Human Development Perspective from Eastern DRC (December 2008). The International Journal of Transitional Justice, Vol. 2, Issue 3, pp. 398-411, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1405148 or http://dx.doi.org/ijn033

Patrick Vinck (Contact Author)

Harvard Humanitarian Initiative ( email )

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02115
United States

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

460 Stephens Hall, #2300
Berkeley, CA 94720-2300
United States

Tulane University

6823 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

Phuong Pham

Tulane University ( email )

6823 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
595
PlumX Metrics