Posted on 10 June 2016
A report was launched in Tunis in May 2016 by the ongoing Transitional Justice Barometer research project, a collaboration between CAHR and the Tunis-based Kawakibi Democracy Transition Centre and Dutch NGO Impunity Watch. The report is titled ‘The Victim Zone and Collective Reparation in Tunisia: Ain Drahem and Sidi Makhlouf, “So Rich and Yet so Poor”’. Tunisia’s Transitional Justice Law includes an innovative definition of a ‘victim zone’ – a geographical region that can claim to be a collective victim before the Truth and Dignity Commission. Reparations to such regions seek to address social exclusion and violations of social and economic rights on a geographical basis. The Barometer’s research focussed on two communities that had been subject to decades of social, economic and cultural exclusion - Sidi Makhlouf in the Médenine Governorate in the south-east, and Ain Draham in Jendouba in the mountains near the Algerian frontier. The report both documents the human impact of such exclusion and proposes routes to addressing it through reparative approaches.
CAHR also has a long history of conducting research around Nepal’s political transition, and recently concluded a project to understand the impact of the demobilisation of Maoist rebels on young people - many recruited as young teenagers - who constituted the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The report, also published in May 2016, is titled “Poverty, Stigma and alienation: Reintegration challenges of ex Maoist combatants in Nepal”, CAHR’s research sought to understand how effectively integrated into civilian communities the ex-PLA were, and did this using a participatory action research approach, by training a group of ex-PLA to research their ex-comrades. These peer researchers also drove the research agenda, insisting that the project support them to mobilise ex-PLA to give them a voice they currently lacked. The research report was the culmination of a project whose mobilisation element has proved highly successful. The week the report was released the authorities announced an additional payment to those fighters who had been ‘disqualified’ from the demobilisation, due to being under 18 when recruited, while a meeting of the Discharged ex-PLA Association attracted a Deputy Prime Minister and representatives from all major parties, all making more promises to address their grievances.