352 Pages
    by Routledge

    352 Pages
    by Routledge

    Why and how can records serve as evidence of human rights violations, in particular crimes against humanity, and help the fight against impunity? Archives and Human Rights shows the close relationship between archives and human rights and discusses the emergence, at the international level, of the principles of the right to truth, justice and reparation.

    Through a historical overview and topical case studies from different regions of the world the book discusses how records can concretely support these principles. The current examples also demonstrate how the perception of the role of the archivist has undergone a metamorphosis in recent decades, towards the idea that archivists can and must play an active role in defending basic human rights, first and foremost by enabling access to documentation on human rights violations.

    Confronting painful memories of the past is a way to make the ghosts disappear and begin building a brighter, more serene future. The establishment of international justice mechanisms and the creation of truth commissions are important elements of this process. The healing begins with the acknowledgment that painful chapters are essential parts of history; archives then play a crucial role by providing evidence. This book is both a tool and an inspiration to use archives in defence of human rights.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/ISBN, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.



    Michele Bachelet

    Message from the President of the International Council on Archives

    David Fricker


    Jens Boel, Perrine Canavaggio and Antonio González Quintana

    Part 1: Archives and Human Rights: A Close Relationship

    Jens Boel, Perrine Canavaggio and Antonio González Quintana

    1. Archives and Citizen Rights

    2. Records and Archives Documenting Gross Human Rights Violations

    3. Archives and Transitional Justice

    4. Archives and the Duty to Remember

    5. Archivists for Human Rights

    6. Archives and Human Rights Beyond Political Transitions


    Part 2: Case Studies

    7. Proof

    Trudy Huskamp Peterson


    8. A Long Walk to Justice: Archives and the Truth and Reconciliation Process in South Africa

    Graham Dominy

    9. Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission: Archives in the Pursuit of Truth

    Adel Maïzi

    10. The Exploitation of the Archives of Hissène Habré's Political Police by the Extraordinary African Chambers

    Henri Thulliez

    11. The Gacaca Archive. Preserving the Memory of Post-Genocide Justice and Reconciliation in Rwanda

    Peter Horsman


    12. Memory Politics and Archives in Sino-Japanese Relations

    Karl Gustafsson

    13. The Use of the Archives of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Documentation Centre of Cambodia by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

    Vincent de Wilde d’Estmael


    14. Spanish Military Documentation on the Civil War and the Dictatorship as an Instrument of Legal Reparations for the Victims of the Franco Regime

    Henar Alonso Rodríguez

    15. The ‘Centres of Remembrance’ in Post-Communist Europe

    José M. Faraldo

    16. A Legacy of the DDR: The Stasi Records Archive

    Dagmar Hovestädt

    17. France and the Archives of the Algerian War

    Gilles Manceron and Gilles Morin

    18. Truth, Memory and Reconciliation in Post-Communist Societies: The Romanian Experience and the Securitate Archives

    Marius Stan and Vladimir Tismaneanu

    Latin America

    19. Archives for Memory and Justice in Colombia after the Peace Agreements

    Ramón Alberch i Fugueras

    20. Utilisation of the Archives of the Peruvian Commission for Truth and Reconciliation

    Ruth Elena Borja Santa Cruz

    21. Archive, Truth and the Democratic Transition Process in Brazil

    Aluf Alba Vilar Elias

    22. Archives for Truth and Justice in Argentina: the Search for the Missing Persons

    Mariana Nazar

    23. Chronicle of a Backlash Foretold. Guatemala’s National Police Archives, Lost and Found and Lost – and Found? – Again

    Kirsten Weld

    Concluding Remarks

    Jens Boel, Perrine Canavaggio and Antonio González Quintana


    Jens Boel is a Danish archivist and historian. He was the Chief Archivist of UNESCO from 1995 to 2017 and Chair of the International Council on ArchivesSection of International Organizations 2000-2004 and 2008-2012. He is co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge-publication: Recordkeeping in International Organizations.

    Perrine Canavaggio, a French archivist, was head of the Archives of the Presidency of the Republic (1974-1994). Secretary of the International Conference of the Round Table on Archives (2001-2009), she is a member of the Executive Committee of the ICA Section on Archives and Human Rights.

    Antonio González Quintana is a Spanish archivist. He is the chair of the ICA Section of Archives and Human Rights and has been Deputy General Director of Archives in the Community of Madrid (2010-2018). He is author of Archival Policies in the Protection of Human Rights (2009).