On June 22nd and June 30th, 2021, the USAID New Justice Program, in partnership with the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), held two training webinars titled “Appling Transitional Justice Policies for Better Human Rights Protection in Armed Conflict.” The event brought together representatives from government authorities, local governments, and non-government organizations to ensure access to justice for individuals, for instance, specialists from Community Justice Centers (CJCs).
During the training sessions, participants discussed strategies for applying transitional justice policies to improve the protection of human rights, including recognition of mutual responsibility of parties in the short- and long run, prospects for reparations for most severe violations of human rights, prevention of repetition of similar breaches, etc. Participants could compare the Ukrainian experience with other countries under ongoing armed conflicts, such as applying transitional justice in Sierra Leone. Besides, attendees could think over the potential legal problems people will bring up with CJCs once the conflict in Eastern Ukraine is over.
ICTJ trainers helped participants better realize what non-government organizations can do under conditions of the ongoing armed conflict to streamline access to justice for everyone. For example, what effective means could be employed to support victims of the armed conflict and advocate their interests; how one could overcome the problems of exclusion and distrust faced by people on both sides of the conflict; and what other approaches could be used to assist people according to the transitional justice principles.
Webinars are a form of training on those aspects of transitional justice that are significant in the Ukrainian context. The first series of similar webinars the USAID New Justice Program held on the 9th and 16th of June. It covered approaches to criminal justice strategies in terms of transitional justice. Two more webinars titled “Gender-Sensitive Approach to Government Policy of Transitional Justice. Non-Government Organizations’ Role in Advocacy” are scheduled for the 14th and 22nd of July.