Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Applying Conflict Sensitivity to Transitional Justice

TitleBreaking the Cycle of Violence: Applying Conflict Sensitivity to Transitional Justice
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsHaider, H
Subtitle / Series TitleWorking paper 2/2017
Pagination44pp.
InstitutionKOFF
CityBasel
Abstract

The legacies of mass violence can, if left unaddressed, fuel future conflicts. Transitional justice seeks to address the legacies of large-scale past abuses. Despite the sensitive nature of transitional justice and recognition that initiatives can adversely influence conflictaffected contexts, there has been limited attempt to extend the application of conflict sensitivity to transitional justice. Conflict sensitivity is an approach and tool to help aid actors to understand the unintended consequences of aid and to act to minimize harm and achieve positive outcomes, contributing to sustainable peace. Transitional justice initiatives can exacerbate tensions by replicating existing tensions; introducing resources that become a struggle for control; or challenging power and vested interests. This article argues that conflict sensitivity should be applied to transitional justice; and identifies tools and factors that could contribute to conflict sensitive transitional justice. They include promoting: broad-based participation; resonance with local actors; social cohesion; public outreach; collaboration with other sectors; and appropriate sequencing.

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