The African Union Commission (Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security) and the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) in collaboration with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Togo (HCRRUN) will be convening the 6th edition of the African Transitional Justice Forum, scheduled to be held in person in Lomé, Togo from 7- 9 September 2022.
The Forum is an annual multi-stakeholder platform aimed at reviewing the state of Transitional Justice (TJ) in Africa with the goal of strengthening TJ mechanisms and practices. At the heart of this review is the identification of emerging issues that present new opportunities for transitional justice theory, practice and policy interventions. While this edition of the Forum is the sixth in a row, it is the fourth continental dialogue following the adoption of the African Union Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP) in February 2019 and the third convening during the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent.
The AUTJP is a continental framework that provides guidance to African Union member states on how to recover from protracted violent conflicts while in the process building peace, strengthening democratic governance and advancing socio-economic development.
The fourth edition of the Forum was convened two years after the adoption of the Study on Transitional Justice and Human and People's Rights in Africa by the African Commission on Human and People's Rights (TJ Study). Both the AUTJP and the TJ Study represent the key instruments of the AU on transitional justice for guidance to AU Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on how to transition from war to peace and from authoritarianism to democracy and avoiding relapse into conflict and instability. The 2022 Forum will be convened within a context that presents emerging opportunities and challenges for transitional justice in Africa.
The African Union has declared 2022 as the year of "Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent: Strengthening Agro-Food Systems, Health and Social Protection Systems for the Acceleration of Human, Social and Economic Capital Development". For transitional justice in Africa, the AU theme for 2022 is an opportunity to address the interconnected concerns of development and justice as the majority of armed conflicts today occur in countries with low levels of development . Poverty, inequality, and underdevelopment may not in themselves cause armed conflict and human rights abuses, but they are contributing or enabling factors. Moreover, armed conflict and authoritarianism, and the humanitarian disasters and massive human rights abuses that often accompany them, often have an immensely negative and long-lasting impact on development.
As a result, transitional justice and transitions are often pursued in a context of severely affected and underdeveloped economic and social institutions, widespread scarcity of resources – which strains social cohesion within and across social groups. Enhancing or reconstructing social cohesion is often mentioned as one of the aims of transitional justice in post-conflict settings. Consequently, the AU theme also offers an opportunity to bring to the fore the link between transitional justice and social cohesion and concretize the possible effects.
Register in advance to attend virtually: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUrc-igpjksGdQNkShltvh-7N3cvV94v8Nc
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