Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

IWPR Radio Reports Promote Transitional Justice in Syria

Issues include human rights, accountability, reconciliation and refugees.

Justice is the Foundation of Peace, a series of six  radio report produced by IWPR in partnership with Radio SouriaLi, started broadcasting on multiple online and radio stations this week.

The 30-minute reports are part of IWPR’s Engaging for Change project, which aims to build the capacity of civil society, media, and local councils in Syria to engage with and support transitional justice, human rights and good governance.

Since the start of the Syrian uprising in March 2011, it is estimated that more than 140,000 people have died and millions have been displaced. The armed conflict continues and the prospects for a negotiated peace are slim.

Radio SouriaLi and its partners started broadcasting the radio reports on the anniversary of the revolution, March, 15 2014.

The issues covered in the reports include human rights abuses and accountability, the plight of refugees, the future of armed groups in the country, reconciliation and reparations for victims.

In the past few months, IWPR has also partnered with Menapolis, a Beirut-based organisation, to organise focus groups for individuals representing local councils, civil society groups, Islamists and secularists, to discuss the country’s transition process and offer a practical vision of Syria’s future.

The focus groups and the radio reports complement each other. The focus groups target specific segments of Syrian society, while the reports aim to spread the word in the wider public. This approach stems from IWPR’s conviction that interventions on critical issues like transitional justice need to go beyond organising discussions among elites and educated classes.

The overall aim is to provide space for Syrians to discuss justice issues such as judicial, police and military reform, accountability for human rights violations, and amnesty and reconciliation. The project is funded by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

The radio reports were aired on March 16-21 on Syrian FM stations and also on mobile and online platforms. They will be repeated over six weeks at different times. They can be accessed online here on Radio SouriaLi's website and here at IWPR's Damascus Bureau news site. To listen to the first report, click here.