Transitional justice measures and the legacy of human rights violations in colonial contexts - Report

Issued by
Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence
To inform his report to be presented to the General Assembly in October 2021

Objective of the report

In the report, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence examines the question of the adoption of transitional justice measures to address the legacy of serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law committed in colonial contexts.

The report examines the design and implementation of measures in the field of truth, justice, reparation, memorialization and guarantees of non-recurrence to address gross human rights violations and serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in colonial contexts,. The colonial transfer of wealth and racist oppression have created a legacy of social, economic and cultural exclusion whose effects have been felt for generations. Transitional justice offers valuable tools to properly address human rights violations committed during the colonial period.

The report identifies challenges, good practices and lessons learned and offers recommendations to the States in which forms of colonization persist, to former colonizing powers and to former colonies that have become independent.

Consultations that informed the report

In 2021, the Special Rapporteur held an open-ended consultation with States, international organisations, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organisations to receive their inputs on the issue, through responses to a questionnaire, available in EnglishFrançais and Español. He also held a series of expert meetings to inform the report.

The Special Rapporteur is deeply grateful for the numerous and valuable contributions received. While not all cases presented in the submissions could be reflected in the report due to scarcity of space, they all contributed to the Special Rapporteur’s assessment, findings and recommendations contained in the report.

Submissions received


Civil society