List of truth and reconciliation commissions

A truth commission or truth and reconciliation commission is a commission tasked with discovering and revealing past wrongdoing by a government (or, depending on the circumstances, non-state actors also), in the hope of resolving conflict left over from the past. They are, under various names, occasionally set up by states emerging from periods of internal unrest, civil war, or dictatorship.

List by country

Created by President of Argentina Raúl Alfonsín on 15 December 1983, the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons (Comisión Nacional sobre la Desaparición de Personas) investigated human rights violations, including 30,000 forced disappearances, committed during the Dirty War. The research of the commission, documented in the Never Again (Nunca Más) report, included individual cases on 9,000 disappeared persons. The report was delivered to Alfonsín on 20 September 1984 and opened the door to the Trial of the Juntas, the first major trial held for war crimes since the Nuremberg trials in Germany following World War II and the first to be conducted by a civilian court.
The National Commission of Inquiry into Disappearances was the first of a series of Latin American commissions. It formed in 1982 but did not complete its report.
The non-punitive National Truth Commission (Comissão Nacional da Verdade) was approved in late 2011 by the Federal Senate and sanctioned by President Dilma Rousseff. The commission will last for two years and consist of seven members appointed by the President. Members of the commission will have access to all government files about the 1946–1988 period and may convene victims or people accused of violations for testimony, although it will not be mandatory for them to attend. After the end of the two years period, the commission will issue a report with its findings. The group will not have, however, the obligation to disclose everything they discover.
The Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a commission investigating the human rights abuses in the Canadian Indian residential school system. It ran from June 2008 through June 2015.
formed a Commission of Inquiry into Crimes and Misappropriations committed by former president Hissene Habre in 1990 which reported there had been 40,000 killings and 200,000 cases of torture under Habre’s rule.
The National Commission for Reparation and Reconciliation (Comisión Nacional de Reparación y Reconciliación) aims to help victims to recover from the armed conflict.
Congo (Democratic Republic)
A peace agreement in 2004 mandated the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (DRC) which issued an administrative report in 2007.
The National Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Comisión Nacional de Verdad y Reconciliación; popularly known as the “Rettig Report”), created in April 1990, investigated deaths and disappearances, particularly for political reasons, under Augusto Pinochet‘s rule. The report was released in 1991. The National Commission on Political Imprisonment and Torture (“Valech Report”) also investigated human rights abuses from the reign of Pinochet. Released in 2004 and 2005, the commission differed from the previous one in that it investigated non-fatal violations of human rights, such as torture, and also covered children whose parents had disappeared or been killed. The report of this commission was used by the government of Chile to give out pensions and other benefits to survivors.
Czech Republic
The Office for the Documentation and the Investigation of the Crimes of Communism (Úřad dokumentace a vyšetřování zločinů komunismu) is a subdivision of Czech criminal police which investigates criminal acts from the period 1948-1989 which were unsolvable for political reasons during the Czechoslovak communist regime.
The Truth Commission (La Comisión de la Verdad) was established by the government to investigate the violation of human rights especially during the period of 1984 to 1988.
El Salvador
Established by the United Nations (instead of the Government of El Salvador), the establishment of the Commission on the Truth for El Salvador (Comisión de la Verdad para El Salvador) was part of Chapultepec Peace Accords to end the Salvadoran Civil War. The commission investigated murders and executions committed during the war, including that of Óscar Romero.
Reconciliation and Unity Commission.
Created a Commission of inquiry into crimes of the SED in East Germany after unification in 1992.
National Reconciliation Commission.
Historical Clarification Commission (Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico).
The Haitian National Truth and Justice Commission.
Waki Commission; The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission of Kenya.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The Truth and Justice Commission of the Mauritius was an independent truth commission established in 2009, which explored the impact of slavery and indentured servitude in Mauritius. The Commission was tasked to investigate the dispossession of land, and “determine appropriate measures to be extended to descendants of slaves and indentured laborers.” It was “unique in that it [dealt] with socio-economic class abuses” and explored the possibility of reparations. The Commission attempted to cover more than 370 years, the longest period of time that a truth commission has ever covered.
Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER).
Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Nepal) reported in 1991 on the period 1961-1990. A new Commission on Investigation of Disappeared Persons (CIDP) formed on 10 Feb 2015.
A Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission formed in 1999 and reported in 2002.
The Panama Truth Commission (Comisión de la Verdad) was established in 2000 and reported that the former military regime had engaged in torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.
Truth and Justice Commission (Comisión de Verdad y Justicia).
Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación).
Institute of National Remembrance.
In 2010, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino announced that a Philippines Truth Commission will be formed to investigate unresolved issues concerning the previous administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. On July 30, 2010, a month after being sworn-in as the 15th President of the Philippines, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 1, creating the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010. However, the Supreme Court of the Philippines invalidated the executive order because of its apparent transgression of the equal protection clause for singling out the Arroyo administration. In his ponencia in Biraogo vs. Truth Commission, Justice Jose C. Mendoza blatantly tagged Aquino’s Truth Commission “as a vehicle for vindictiveness and selective retribution.”
International non-governmental organizations created an International Commission of Investigation on Human Rights Violations in Rwanda since October 1, 1990 that reported in 1993; it did not advance afterwards due to the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
Sierra Leone
After the end of the Sierra Leone civil war in 1999, the country created a Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission which reported that both sides had targeted civilians, including children, and called for improvements in democratic institutions and accountability.
Solomon Islands
Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Solomon Islands). On April 29, 2009, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was launched by the Government of the Solomon Islands. Its aim would be to “address people’s traumatic experiences during the five year ethnic conflict on Guadalcanal (1999-2004)“. It is modelled on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa. Its public hearings commenced in March 2010.
South Africa
After the transition from apartheid, President Nelson Mandela authorized a truth commission under the leadership of former Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu to study the effects of apartheid in that country. The commission was simply called the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
South Korea
The Presidential Truth Commission on Suspicious Deaths in the Republic of Korea reported in 2004. A second Truth and Reconciliation Commission opened in 2005. There has also been a local truth commission for Jeju island.
Sri Lanka
Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. After an 18-month inquiry, the commission submitted its report to the President on 15 November 2011. The report was made public on 16 December 2011, after being tabled in the parliament.
Timor-Leste (East Timor)
Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor (Comissão de Acolhimento, Verdade e Reconciliação de Timor Leste; 2001–2005); Indonesia–Timor Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship (2005–2008).
Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission established in 2009 to investigate the period from 1958 to 2009.
Truth and Dignity Commission (2014)
Uganda Commission of Inquiry into Violations of Human Rights (1986-1994).
Ukrainian National Remembrance Institute (Український інститут національної пам’яті), founded by President Viktor Yushchenko in 2006.
The Investigative Commission on the Situation of Disappeared People and its Causes operated in 1985 and produced a report covering the years 1972-83. A new Peace Commission (Uruguay) was authorized by the president to look into the same period, and reported in 2003.
United States
The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a non-governmental body that ran from 2004-2006 to investigate events in the city that took place around 3 November 1979.
Yugoslavia (Federal Republic of)
A Commission of Truth and Reconciliation (Yugoslavia) was created by the president in 1999 but did not complete its report.

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