The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been devastated by the impact of two wars in the past decade. Over this period, the effects of war and preventable disease have claimed more than four million lives. The Human Rights Center collaborated with the Payson Center of Tulane University and the International Center for Transitional Justice to conduct empirical research in the DRC to capture opinions and attitudes about specific transitional justice mechanisms, including trials, traditional justice, truth commissions, and reparations. A report was released in August 2008: Living with Fear: A Population-Based Survey on Attitudes about Peace, Justice, and Social Reconstruction in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (pdf of full report in English and French, or Executive Summary).
The research explores the population of DRC’s overall exposure to violence as a result of war and human rights abuses since 1996, the immediate needs and concerns of the population, opinions and attitudes about different transitional justice mechanisms, and local views on the relationship between peace and justice. Ultimately, research findings will be used to assist local and international courts, truth-seeking institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and governments in developing mechanisms to respond to the systematic violation of human rights and international humanitarian law, including genocide and crimes against humanity.