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 https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/ISBN, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.


chapter |8 pages


ByJens Boel, Perrine Canavaggio, Antonio González Quintana
Size: 0.17 MB

part 1|72 pages

Archives and human rights

chapter 1|10 pages

Archives and citizens’ rights

ByJens Boel, Perrine Canavaggio, Antonio González Quintana
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chapter 2|20 pages

Records and archives documenting gross human rights violations

ByJens Boel, Perrine Canavaggio, Antonio González Quintana
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chapter 3|13 pages

Archives and transitional justice

ByJens Boel, Perrine Canavaggio, Antonio González Quintana
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chapter 4|3 pages

Archives and the duty to remember

ByJens Boel, Perrine Canavaggio, Antonio González Quintana
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chapter 5|6 pages

Archivists for human rights

ByJens Boel, Perrine Canavaggio, Antonio González Quintana
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chapter 6|18 pages

Archives and human rights beyond political transitions

ByJens Boel, Perrine Canavaggio, Antonio González Quintana
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part 2|32 pages

Case studies

chapter 1|30 pages

Proof *

ByTrudy Huskamp Peterson
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part |51 pages


chapter 2|11 pages

A long walk to justice

Archives and the truth and reconciliation process in South Africa
ByGraham Dominy
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chapter 3|12 pages

Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission

Archives in the pursuit of truth
ByAdel Maïzi
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chapter 5|12 pages

The Gacaca archive

Preserving the memory of post-genocide justice and reconciliation in Rwanda
ByPeter Horsman

part |23 pages


chapter 6|11 pages

Memory politics and archives in Sino-Japanese relations

ByKarl Gustafsson
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part |72 pages


chapter 9|14 pages

The “Centres of Remembrance” in post-communist Europe

ByJosé M. Faraldo
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chapter 10|12 pages

A legacy of the DDR

The Stasi Records Archive
ByDagmar Hovestädt
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chapter 11|17 pages

France and the archives of the Algerian War

ByGilles Manceron, Gilles Morin
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chapter 12|14 pages

Truth, memory, and reconciliation in post-communist societies

The Romanian experience and the Securitate archives
ByMarius Stan, Vladimir Tismaneanu
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part |59 pages

Latin America

chapter 13|14 pages

Archives for memory and justice in Colombia after the Peace Agreements

ByRamon Alberch i Fugueras
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chapter 14|11 pages

Utilisation of the archives of the Peruvian Commission for Truth and Reconciliation (CVR)

ByRuth Elena Borja Santa Cruz
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chapter 15|8 pages

Archives, truth and the democratic transition process in Brazil 1

ByAluf Alba Vilar Elias
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chapter 16|13 pages

Archives for truth and justice in Argentina

The search for the missing persons
ByMariana Nazar
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chapter 17|11 pages

Chronicle of a backlash foretold

Guatemala’s National Police archives, lost and found and lost – and found? – again 1
ByKirsten Weld
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chapter |3 pages

Concluding remarks

ByJens Boel, Perrine Canavaggio, Antonio González Quintana
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