What do Survivors Want? A Victim-Centred Approach to Justice for Conflict Related Human Rights Abuses.

Project status


When actors such as the UN, NGOs and transitional justice practitioners argue for an end to impunity for war crimes and justice for victim/survivors of such atrocities, the mechanisms for delivering justice (for instance prosecutions, truth commissions) are premised on fixed assumptions of what victim/survivors want and need. Consequently, the person defining justice is never the victim/survivor of the violence. This project aims to develop a victim-centred approach to justice, through including and strengthening the voice of victim/survivors in the definition of justice and the production of justice-related policies. To achieve this, the project will explore perspectives on justice from victim/survivors in the Colombian conflict. Paying close attention to intergenerational aspects and how other injustices (displacement, lack of access to basic services as a result of conflict etc.) shape wants and needs, the project will investigate the dissonance between what victims/survivors want and what current justice policies offer.

Research team

Dr Helen Louise Turton, University of Sheffield; Dr Claudia Tovar Guerra, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia

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