Practical Steps to Implement the Recommendations of the TRC
Update 106. 30 November 2004
More than one year has passed since the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) concluded that little has changed for individuals, families and communities affected by the countries civil war. There has been poor advance in the implementation of the recommendations of the commission, particularly those relating to rights to truth, justice and reparations in favour of indigenous people.
Paz y Esperanza, a Peruvian Christian human rights organisation, has found that many of the people affected by the conflict, especially in remote rural areas have yet to hear about the commission's findings and understand their relevance to their lives. Many direct victims of the violence have little knowledge of legal mechanisms and can't afford to prosecute those guilty of grave human rights violations. Also, local and regional governments scant knowledge of how the recommendations apply to them and the need to integrate them into local development plans.
Motivated by the need to empower communities and challenge government, Paz y Esperanza has recently initiated a project with the aim of contributing to human development, democratisation and a culture of peace in indigenous communities affected by the armed conflict. The project will work on four main areas.
Paz y Esperanza will join with other organisations to ensure TRC recommendations relating to justice and reparation rights are followed and fulfilled by local, regional and national governmental bodies. This will involve: the development of policy proposals in favour of victims; developing and lobbying for an agenda for reparations by region; monitoring and reporting on implementation of recommendations; and lobbying and advocacy in coordination with National Coordinator of Human Rights at a national and international level.
There will be awareness building and training activities on the conclusions and recommendations of TRC and on reconciliation processes. This will be done through training of community promoters, public forums and fairs, and Public Campaigns.
Paz y Esperanza will also work alongside 20 local governments to support them in the development and implementation of local development strategies that include programmes on democratisation, human rights and reconciliation. The hope is that these would serve as pilot processes for other regions. This process would promote civil society participation in development and monitoring of plans through public campaigns and strengthening of local organisations.
Finally, the project will work to strengthen organisations of victims, particularly women's organisations, enabling them to engage in advocacy, legal action and presentation of proposals to government. Together with the Victim's Organisations, Paz y Esperanza will also seek to influence town councils to carry out symbolic reparation events that could be then repeated in other regions.
Now is an opportune time in Peru to take action, to avoid a repetition of the past, empower people to claim their rights, and start working towards democratisation and reconciliation at a community, regional and national level. This initiative has potential to help the country move a step closer to this goal and give people hope that it is possible.
This project has been jointly funded by Development Cooperation Ireland, Tearfund UK, and Paz y Esperanza and started in October 2004 to run for 3 years.
For more details on the project please contact:
Naomi Sosa at Tearfund.
Alfonso Wieland at Paz y Esperanza.