The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Fabián Salvioli has recently presented his report to the Human Rights Council on “Memorialization processes in the context of serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law as the fifth pillar of transitional justice”. The report contains several recommendations on the role and importance of archives in post-conflict memory work that Blinken OSA has continually promoted through its human rights archiving and archival activism.
The report establishes that since “memorialization is linked to the ability to obtain access to the archives”, the safeguarding and unrestricted availability of records related to gross human rights abuses is a matter of paramount importance in enabling societies to learn the truth about, regain ownership of and engage with their past(s). It further formulates the following recommendation:
“113. In order for memorialization processes to be effective, it is essential to protect the archives of State agencies and civil society organizations, especially those that work in the area of human rights. Archives should be accessible in accordance with established standards, and Governments should remove obstacles to such access.”