International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims


On March 24th, we commemorate the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims. The purpose of this day is to promote the importance of the right to truth and justice by paying tribute to those who have devoted their lives to, and lost their lives in, the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all.

At AUWCL, our human rights faculty is at the forefront of fighting for truth and accountability for gross human rights violations. Some of the work our faculty is doing to prevent human rights violations and to fight for truth and accountability includes:

Juan Mendez – Professor Mendez is one of the four current members of the IACHR’s Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) for Bolivia. The GIEI was created on December 2nd, 2019 with the goal of creating a system to support the investigation of acts of violence and human rights violations that occurred in Bolivia in late 2019.

Claudio Grossman – AUWCL Professor and Dean Emeritus Claudio Grossman is a member and Chair of the Drafting Committee of the International Law Commission (ILC). Since 2019, Dean Emeritus Grossman is leading a project at the ILC on Reparation to individuals for gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law.

Diego Rodríguez-Pinzón – Professor Rodríguez-Pinzón is a Rapporteur of the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT), where he plays an important role in further developing the interpretation of Article 14 of the Convention regarding reparations, in the context of country reviews and individual communications.

Susana SaCouto – Professor SaCouto recently addressed the topics of reparations and evidence and current challenges in international criminal law proceedings in her latest publication. In particular, the report analyzes whether the Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) can contribute to fair, effective and adequate reparations for victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

Dianne Orentlicher – Professor Orentlicher published her book: Some Kind of Justice: The ICTY's Impact in Bosnia and Serbia,  which focuses on the Tribunal's impact on victims' experience of justice as well as domestic accountability processes, including the work of a hybrid court in Bosnia. The book explores the ICTY's evolving impact in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, during periods of conflict.

Rebecca Hamilton - Professor Rebecca Hamilton traveled to Sudan in December for the first time since the Sudanese people overthrew Omar-al Bashir. She explains more regarding Sudan’s recent developments in her article, “The Enemies of Sudan’s Democracy Are Lurking Everywhere” published in Foreign Policy.

Claudia Martin - Professor Claudia Martin led the effort to submit an Amicus Brief to the Constitutional Court of Peru in the case of former Minister of Health of Peru charged with Gross Human Rights Violations in the implementation of policy of forced sterilization.  In 2019, Professor Martin and Professor Susana SaCouto partnered with UN Women on the “Documenting Good Practice on Accountability for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Guatemala” Project to create a report intended to raise awareness of the specific legal strategies used in the Sepur Zarco case, a groundbreaking prosecution that provided redress for indigenous victims of sexual violence and sexual slavery that occurred during Guatemala’s civil war.