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Reparative approach Towards victims of armed Conflict

Global experiences and lessons for India

by Bhabani Sonowal and D. Dube


In recent years, relentless efforts have been made worldwide for repairing the past harms done to victims of armed conflict. There has been a paradigm shift in international human rights law to addressing the victims’ need for reparation rather than emphasizing punishment for the perpetrators. A rights-based approach has been adopted towards making amends for the harm caused to victims in the past. Reparation is such a rightsbased approach, a diverse complementary form of justice to restore the life of the victims/survivors by means of restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantee of non-recurrence of the violations upon the victims. Effective and inclusive response to violations during armed conflict and addressing those wrongs by way of reparation has become a priority within the international community to sustain peace and development in conflict-ridden countries. India, over the last few decades, has faced persistent violence perpetrated through armed conflict in regions such as Jammu and Kashmir as well as the North East. The lives of common people have been unsettled as a result of incessant killings, rapes and other brutalities. This article explores the development of reparation in the regime of international law and its implication for the victims of armed conflict. It underlines the initiatives of countries emerging from armed conflict in addressing the plight of victims by means of a reparative approach and argues that India needs to adopt a framework to reach out to those whose lives have been destroyed as the result of such violence and provide necessary reparation to them.


About Authors:

Bhabani Sonowal, Doctoral Research Fellow, Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India

D. Dube, Professor of Criminal Law at Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India

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