Issues Home About Contact Us Issue 29 - September 2023 عربى
Terminology Corner

In order to promote justice, international law establishes norms for adequate, effective and prompt reparation to redress gross violations of international human rights law or serious breaches of international humanitarian law. Reparation should be proportional to the gravity of the violations and the harm suffered. In accordance with its domestic laws and international legal obligations, States are obliged to provide reparation to victims for acts or omissions resulting in such violations that can be attributed to the State. In cases where any entity is found liable for reparation to a victim, such party should provide reparation to the victim or compensate the State if the State has already provided reparation to the victim. Reparation includes the following forms of redress: (1) restitution; (2) return (for refugees and IDPs), if applicable; (3) resettlement to an agreed-upon alternative dwelling (if return to the original one is physically impossible), if applicable; (4) compensation; (5) rehabilitation; (6) guarantees of nonrepetition, including by way of prosecution and/or apologies; and (7) satisfaction on the part of the victims.

In order to achieve reparation for gross violations or grave breaches, no single one of the seven applicable elements of reparation can substitute for another form unless physically impossible, or if the victims so chooses. This definition is enshrined in the General Assembly resolution ”Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law,” A/RES/60/147  (Arabic), of 21 March 2006.


All rights reserved to HIC-HLRN