Victim Organisations and the Politics of Reparation: A Case-study on Rwanda

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Intersentia nv, 2004 - Law - 540 pages
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Reparation for victims of gross and systematic human rights violations is a contemporary issue gaining increased attention in both national and international politics. Post-conflict societies have to face the legacies of the dark past and dealing with a large group of victims is one of them. Transitional justice mechanisms trying to cope with the past should not overlook the issue of reparation. This research demonstrates how reparation for victims of gross and systematic human rights violations differs from reparation for isolated violations. The Rwandan case study unveils the role of victim organisations in and the competition and politicisation of the reparation debate. Although reparation for victims is a crucial element in transitional justice, it becomes clear that the way in which the reparation debate unfolds does not necessarily contribute to the peaceful future of a post-conflict society. This study argues that remedying the process and debate of the search for reparation will lead to an improved and more constructive reparation policy. Heidy Rombouts is a legal and social scientist (1997, Master of Laws; 1999, Master in Social and Political Sciences, Catholic University of Leuven). In 2004 she obtained a PhD degree in Social and Political Sciences at the University of Antwerp for her research on victim organisations and the politics of reparation. For several years she has been conducting research on transitional justice, human rights and post-conflict situations, including extensive field research in South Africa and Rwanda.
  

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Contents

THE POLITICS OF REPARATION AND VICTIM
5
What is reparation about?
25
four basic options
39
a process approach to reparation
49
two theoretical approaches
71
Towards a more detailed research question
105
Construct validity
131
Conclusion
137
Conclusion
278
Victim organisations and bridging networks
320
Victim associations and other 1994 victims
329
Conclusion
360
Governmental policies
366
Judicial policies
449
Conclusion
474
CONCLUDING PART
481

CASESTUDY ON RWANDA
139
Critical features of the political opportunity structure
157
Victim organisations in Rwanda
164
Conclusion
177
Organised by whom?
221
Relationships between leaders members and beneficiaries
251
studying the gap
493
narrowing the gap
502
BIBLIOGRAPHY
517
INDEX
533
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Page 529 - Study concerning the right to restitution, compensation and rehabilitation for victims of gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, UN Doc.

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