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Diplomats at the United Nations Human Rights Council don’t expect someone allegedly associated with a death squad to be among their colleagues. Yet that is the situation confronting officials in Geneva since Sri Lanka’s new permanent…
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Just before and during the ongoing session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Sri Lankan authorities made several announcements to signify their commitment to pledges made in an October 2015 resolution on justice and…
Women conduct a silent protest to commemorate the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances in Colombo, August 30, 2016.
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As children across Serbia enjoy their summer break, for some children the next school year can’t start soon enough. It may be their first chance to get an education. The Serbian government formally pledged in June that all children with…
Marina  [pseudonym], a 4-year-old girl with developmental disabilities who spent ten months of her life in an institution, with her foster sister. © 2015 Jasenko Rasol for Human Rights Watch
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On February 6, the European Commission will present its new strategy for the enlargement of the EU. People in the Western Balkans may greet the news with scepticism. But if the EU institutions and states are really willing to end the EU…
Roma refugees from Kosovo drink water at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica, Montenegro on October 13, 2012
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The draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) remains in force, and there have been several arrests under this law in the past year Civil society groups are once again able to speak out safely on issues of concern There has been no tangible…
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera speaks during a news conference on a UN report about Sri Lanka’s civil conflict, in Colombo on September 17, 2015.
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Letter from Mannar

The causeway that links northern Sri Lanka’s mainland to Mannar Island is lined with vast military barracks. They have a nicely settled air about them, with painted flowerpots out front and T-shirts drying on clotheslines. Between the army camps are…
A family of internally displaced Sri Lankan Tamils wait in Kathankulam village in Mannar, Sri Lanka on October 22, 2009.
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A public debate at the UN on April 10 will serve up a revisionist denial of the worst killings in Europe since the end of World War II: the ethnic slaughter in the former Yugoslavia that horrified the world in the 1990s. While the session's ostensible…
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Eleven years ago, during NATO's air campaign against Yugoslavia, Serbian forces killed more than 40 ethnic Albanian men in a Kosovo village called Cuska (Qyshk in Albanian). This month the hand of justice finally reached the men accused of the crime.…
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Many people in Bosnia and beyond thought they would never see Radovan Karadzic standing before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). It seemed almost beyond the dreams of the rape victims that I interviewed in Bosnia in…
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Bringing to justice those who commit atrocities has obvious appeal. It provides redress for victims and their families, punishes perpetrators, and deters others from replicating their crimes. But is the price too high? Critics argue that the threat of…
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The global movement to end impunity for human rights abuses faces a daunting question

Reviewed in this article: Robert I. Rotberg and Dennis Thompson. Eds.: Truth v. Justice: The Morality of Truth Commissions Priscilla B. Hayner: Unspeakable Truths Confronting State Terror and Atrocity Ruti G. Teitel: Transitional…