Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation

The Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation is a nonprofit, educational organization seated in The Hague. Founded in 2004 by Elazar Barkan, professor and co-director, Center for Human Rights at Columbia University, and Timothy W. Ryback, deputy secretary general of the Académie Diplomatique Internationale in Paris, the IHJR first operated as a project of the Salzburg Global Seminar. In October 2008, the IHJR was established as an independent institute in The Netherlands. The IHJR continues to work in partnership with the Salzburg Global Seminar. Under Dutch law, the IHJR is a non-profit foundation (stichting) eligible to receive charitable contributions.
The IHJR conducts its programs under the auspices of an international Executive Committee chaired by The Honorable Richard J. Goldstone, Co-chairman of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association and former chief prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
The core of the IHJR activity is the development, funding and execution of multi-year projects and networking initiatives. These are selected by the co-directors in consultation with the Executive Committee. Projects are conceptualized, developed and funded in cooperation with regional partners with local capacity and expertise.
Several key criteria are used in selecting a project or initiative. These include:
  • compatibility with the IHJR mission;
  • the availability of appropriate partners and adequate levels of funding;
  • the potential to produce practical outcomes, e.g., publications, historical commissions, public forums, or other "products" or activities that contribute to reconciliation processes in the region.
The IHJR seeks projects and networking initiatives that can promote positive, forward looking results and intends to inspire others to replicate the work and to build capacity in the region. The themes and modalities for dealing with issues are determined by local and regional partners while the IHJR plays a support and facilitating role.

The IHJR has completed projects for the Middle East and the Former Yugoslavia:

It has ongoing projects in Haifa, Armenia and Kenya, as well as networking initiatives in East Asia, India-Pakistan, Indonesia, Poland and Ukraine:

Former Stasi employees to be banned from working at Stasi archive

The law relating to the records of the State Security Service (Stasi) of the former German Democratic Republic is to be amended, the cultural spokesman for Germany's Free Democratic Party said on Monday.
Reiner Deutschmann told the regional daily Mitteldeutsche Zeitung that Germany's governing coalition had agreed to add a clause dictating that former Stasi employees are unable to work for the authority that now administers the files compiled by Communist East Germany's secret police.
Under the new law, "anyone who officially or unofficially worked for the Stasi is not allowed to work for the authority," Deutschmann told the paper.
It would also retrospectively apply to the 47 former Stasi workers currently working at the archive.
According to Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, the federal commissioner of the authority, Roland Jahn, has joined the Christian Democratic Union and FDP in advocating this change to the 1991 Stasi Records Act. Since taking the helm in March, Jahn has questioned the continued employment of former Stasi workers, claiming it undermines the credibility of the authority.
After several failed attempts at encouraging the employees to leave voluntarily, Jahn commissioned a report into the legality of their employment by the Berlin lawyer Johannes Weberling.
In the report published in July, Weberling recommend a change in the law, with the proviso that the former Stasi employees currently in the agency should be provided with "equivalent jobs [elsewhere] in the federal administration."