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Reparations

OHCHR and transitional justice

Victims have a right to reparation. This refers to measures to redress violations of human rights by providing a range of material and symbolic benefits to victims or their families as well as affected communities. Reparation must be adequate, effective, prompt, and should be proportional to the gravity of the violations and the harm suffered.

The High Commissioner, on the occasion of the 15th Anniversary of the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to Remedy and Reparation for Victims of gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law,  highlighted the “catalytic power that genuine remedy and reparations can have on the daily life of victims, families, communities and entire societies.”

Reparation measures include:

  • Restitution, which should restore the victim to their original situation before the violation occurred, e.g. restoration of liberty, reinstatement of employment, return of property, return to one’s place of residence.
  • Compensation, which should be provided for any economically assessable damage, loss of earnings, loss of property, loss of economic opportunities, moral damages.
  • Rehabilitation, which should include medical and psychological care, legal and social services.
  • Satisfaction, which should include the cessation of continuing violations, truth-seeking, search for the disappeared person or their remains, recovery, reburial of remains, public apologies, judicial and administrative sanctions, memorials, and commemorations.

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