Regional & International Cooperation

The FHR is known by external partners, government and like-minded organizations to have expert knowledge on issues related to transitional justice. The concept of transitional justice lays at the heart of the FHR’s existence. The FHR was established in 1996, only two years after apartheid ended in South Africa, and was initially conceptualized as a conduit for EU funding for interventions promoting constitutionalism, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in the period of democratic transition. The FHR has always been at the forefront of transitional justice interventions, predominantly due to the professional experience and expertise of many of its staff and Board members, who either served as Commissioners on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) or were involved in the TRC in other capacities. The current Chair of the FHR Supervisory Board was also a member of the first Independent Electoral Commission in South Africa.

Pursuing transitional justice in South Africa

In South Africa the FHR has been a member of the South African Coalition for Transitional Justice (SACTJ) and, together with its partners, has been keeping the legacy of TRC alive by advocating for the implementation of reparation policy for the victims of serious human rights violations, and by mobilizing civil society and victims around the criminal accountability for apartheid-era crimes (see our website on “Unfinished Business of the TRC”). One of our programmes specifically focuses on the Accountability for the Apartheid-Era crimes “the Unfinished Business of the TRC”.

Pursuing transitional justice in South Africa

Though predominantly a South African organization, the FHR has also established links with international agencies focusing on human rights on the African continent and beyond, and has become a first point of contact for organizations seeking to learn from South African experiences in relation to transitional justice and socio-economic rights. The FHR has established enduring relationships with a number of organizations and networks globally, including the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and International Crisis Group.

Thanks to its impact on home soil, the FHR has garnered an international profile. In 2019, the present United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Michelle Bachelet invited the FHR to facilitate a meeting of civil society organizations involved in human rights. In the past, the FHR also presented workshops on transitional justice to delegations from Sri Lanka, the Gambia, Palestine, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Argentina and Somalia, amongst others. A delegation of ex-Presidents from Mozambique, Mauritius and Spain visited the FHR to discuss transitional justice in the region.

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"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

Desmond Tutu

Regional and International Cooperation Contact

For any queries related to Regional and International Cooperation, please contact:

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