Centre for Policy Alternatives on 4 June, 2018

Making the Case for an Office for Reparations

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June 4th 2018, Colombo, Sri Lanka: Reparations are an essential part of transitional justice and focus on recognising and repairing past abuses. In 2015, the Government of Sri Lanka recognised the right to reparations by committing to the establishment of an Office for Reparations through at the 30th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) through UNHRC Resolution 30/1. Despite this commitment, there has been no real movement on this issue with limited discussions on reparations and the scope of such an entity.

In this paper, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) focuses on the need for reparations in Sri Lanka and areas to consider in the establishment and operationalizing of a future Office. CPA makes the case that the design and implementation of a future Office and a reparations programme must be reflective of the Sri Lankan context and the grievances of its multiple and diverse victims. This is critical in a context where CPA’s research demonstrates discrepancies in the process and amounts allocated for compensation previously. Equally important is for reparations to be designed in a transparent and inclusive manner, being explicit about its purpose and ensuring that it is not a substitute to the other pillars of transitional justice. Finally, CPA urges a reparations programme be based on a rights framework to ensure cohesion.

Download the report in English here.