Study Group: Transitional Justice: Lessons from Afghanistan on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

Date: 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 3:00pm

Location: 

 Wexner 434 A.B.

Please join us for a study group on transitional justice at the Harvard Kennedy School!

The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy invites you to join a study group on the role of national human rights institutions, public consultations, documentation of human rights violations, protection of victims, and accountability mechanisms in transitional justice. The study group, which will meet three times this semester, is convened and moderated by Dr. Sima Samar, Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

APPLY NOW: Registration is capped at 20 participants. To register, please email Laryssa Da Silveira at laryssadasilveira@hks.harvard.edu 

The study group will meet from 3:00-4:15 pm on three occasions this semester:

  • Tuesday, September 27th from 3:00-4:15 pm, Wexner 434 A.B.

 

 

  • Tuesday, November 15th, from 3-4:30 pm, Allison Dining Room
    • Topic: Documentation and Protection of Victims
    • Readings: Reports from Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International

Description: 

Dr. Sima Samar, former Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), will lead a study group on “Transitional Justice: Lessons from Afghanistan on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights” and the impact of transitional justice on sustainable peace. Afghanistan has been at war for 44 years, with the 1978 Revolution, the 1979 invasion of the country by the USSR, civil war in the 1990s, the takeover by the Taliban regime in 1996, U.S. and NATO involvement that began in 2021, and the fall of the Afghan government to the Taliban in 2021.

Under Dr. Samar’s leadership, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission conducted an extensive transitional justice national consultation between 1978 and 2001 with more than 6,000 respondents. It used questionnaires and focus groups to determine if and how respondents had suffered, as well as which forms of redress and justice they wished to see enacted. The public consultation process, which culminated in the Call for Justice, was ground-breaking. Its approach and methodology has become the gold standard in the field by practitioners of state-building and conflict resolution and by those seeking to achieve transitional and long-term justice in communities ravaged by violence.

In this study group, using Afghanistan as a case study, we will explore the role of national human rights institutions, public consultations, documentation of human rights violations, protection of victims, and accountability mechanisms in transitional justice. Active discussion of assigned readings will be encouraged.