Assisting truth commissions: National and international actors

image of Assisting truth commissions: National and international actors

As indicated above, national NGOs have a key place in the work of truth commissions. Indeed, the strongest commissions have been those that work in the context of a strong and active civil society. NGOs should for the most part remain independent from the commission, even while assisting it with information, contacts or expertise. It is important that they monitor the commission’s activities and provide honest feedback, and push the commission to respond appropriately to the needs of victims and communities. In many countries, NGO staff have been hired by the truth commission, bringing with them a useful base of expertise, while sometimes also creating tensions as senior staff are lost from key civil society organizations. The relationships between a commission and NGOs should not be taken for granted, but rather built with a sense of respect for the important but independent role that each plays in the ongoing search for truth.

Related Subject(s): International Law and Justice
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