Reparations have long been a legal and political tool of making amends for past wrongs in post conflict and transitional societies. In essence, reparations aim to restore what is owed, compensate for loss, acknowledge wrongs and remedy the injured.

Over the past 60 years, there has been a proliferation of reparations programmes from Germany’s reparations to victims of the Holocaust (80 billion DM) and the UN Claims Commission set up for the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait ($55 billion).

More recently, individual perpetrators at the International Criminal Court have been ordered to provide reparations to their victims. International bodies, local courts and truth commissions have also recognised victims’ right to reparations. Despite these developments, fundamental theoretical and policy questions concerning how to remedy mass violations of human rights remain.

The project team conducted fieldwork in six transitional countries (Colombia, Guatemala, Nepal, Northern Ireland, Peru, and Uganda) to analyse the effectiveness of reparations in the aftermath of conflict and mass violence. The project examined the role of non-state armed groups in contributing to reparation processes, victim participation and agency in reparation programmes, and the interaction of donors and developments with reparations. The project was in partnership with Redress and will collaborate with the International Centre for Transitional Justice and the International Organisation for Migration.

Arts & Humanities Research Council
Queens University Belfast