On July 26, 2023, over 40 civil society organizations and victims and survivor associations from Yemen launched the Yemen Declaration for Justice and Reconciliation (the Declaration), in which they set forth their common vision for achieving justice and reconciliation in post-conflict Yemen. We, the undersigned organizations, collectively endorse the Declaration as a critical document in achieving a peaceful future for Yemen, and call on Yemeni authorities, all parties to the conflict, the United Nations, including the Office of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Yemen (OSESGY), and the wider international community to address the demands made in the Declaration and push for post-conflict justice that is inclusive, victim-centered, and includes accountability, reparations, and redress.
The Declaration emphasizes the need for a post-conflict justice process to actively and adequately address the grievances of the Yemeni people, and to center justice and reconciliation. Though justice and reconciliation are essential elements to achieving an inclusive and sustainable peace in Yemen, efforts regionally and internationally to bring an end to the conflict have not sufficiently included or addressed issues of justice and reconciliation.
Throughout the nearly nine-year conflict in Yemen, parties to the conflict have perpetrated widespread violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, causing extensive civilian harm. Some of the grievances the Declaration highlights include the parties to the conflicts’ perpetration of indiscriminate attacks, the use of torture, enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention, the proliferation of landmines, forced displacement, and the infliction of psychological harm. Thus far, none of these grievances have been sufficiently addressed by parties to the conflict or by the international community.
The Declaration seeks to help fill the ongoing gap in addressing these grievances by identifying a set of principles to guide the post-conflict justice process, including inclusivity, a victim-centered approach, gender equality, truth and memorialization, redress and reparations, accountability, reconciliation, and the centering of human rights. These guiding principles, and the Declaration as a whole, serve as a starting point for a comprehensive post-conflict transitional justice roadmap for Yemen.
We call on all stakeholders at all levels – domestically, regionally, and internationally – to recognize and endorse the joint demands set forth in the Declaration, and to meaningfully reflect these demands in the peace process as well as any political settlements or future initiatives towards a post-conflict Yemen. As the Declaration makes clear, building sustainable and lasting peace in Yemen can only be achieved by seeking reconciliation through justice.
- Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
- Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)
- Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
- Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P)
- Human Rights Watch (HRW)
- International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
- International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)