Transitional Justice Barometer: The Victim Zone and Collective Reparation in Tunisia

The victim zone and collective reparation in Tunisia: “So rich and yet so poor….”

As part of its research efforts accompanying the process of transitional justice in Tunisia, the Transitional Justice Barometer Project, a partnership involving Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center, the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the the University of York and Impunity Watch, is publishing its second study entitled: “The ‘Victim Zone’ and Collective Reparations - Ain Draham and Sidi Makhlouf : ‘So Rich and yet so Poor’.”

This second report aims to provide guidelines for collective reparations as a response to the marginalisation, and economic and social exclusion of certain parts of Tunisia. The organic law on transitional justice, adopted in 2013, opened the first route to addressing such legacies by giving the Instance Vérité et Dignité (IVD, Truth and Dignity Commission) the task of identifying such regions and proposing solutions for the reparation of structural violations suffered. This report therefore gives voice to residents of two areas that could by law be regarded as victim zones to better analyse the complexity of the human impacts of marginalisation as it unfolds systematically over generations, to understand the nature of the needs of the populations of these areas and to develop ways to address them within the framework of the transitional justice process.

Two specific communities, Ain Draham (in the governorate of Jendouba) and Sidi Makhlouf (in the governorate of Médenine) are the subjects of our research. To demonstrate that these areas have been victims of “systematic and organized marginalisation”, as required by the transitional justice law, demands the collection of quantitative data and the use of objective indicators to allow a comparison with other regions of the country, as well as proof of the intentionality of the state in this exclusion, for example from a monitoring of the national budget. Whilst such an effort is necessary for the IVD, it exceeds our capabilities here and is not the goal of this report, which seeks rather observe the multiplicity of human impacts of such marginalisation, how this is perceived, and its practical consequences on people's lives - including in the achievement of certain fundamental rights such as the right to culture or education. The study also seek to formulate, on the basis of interviews conducted, recommendations for collective reparations which we hope will resonate beyond the two cases studied.

You can download the report in Arabic, French or English.