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Bridge of Hope & TJI launch Transitional Justice Guide during global  peacebuilding conference at Ulster University

Bridge of Hope & TJI launch Transitional Justice Guide during global  peacebuilding conference at Ulster University


Junior Ministers Jonathan Bell MLA and Jennifer McCann MLA today launched Bridge of Hope’s innovative transitional justice guide at Ulster University that is attracting attention from Syria, Kenya and other conflict zones around the world.

Developed by the North Belfast based Bridge of Hope (a department of Ashton Community Trust), in partnership with Ulster University’s Transitional Justice Institute (TJI), the ‘Transitional Justice Grassroots Toolkit: User’s Guide’ has been developed as a resource for communities navigating the post-conflict era.

The Guide was formerly launched on Wednesday (November 5) during the joint Christian Aid Ireland and TJI conference being held at Jordanstown this week on issues of poverty, conflict transformation and peacebuilding.

Drawing on the lived experiences of individuals and community groups affected by the legacy of the conflict in Belfast, Bridge of Hope’s User’s Guide is designed to equip those least able to influence the important transition from conflict to stability. The Guide is a complementary booklet to the Transitional Justice Grassroots Toolkit, which is a practical guide for people whose lives are profoundly changed by conflict and transition.

Irene Sherry, Head of Victims & Mental Health Services at Ashton Community Trust said: “As a society emerging from conflict which has advanced along the transitional road towards lasting peace, there are key learning points here locally that allow for fruitful exchange between global communities. This local transitional justice model of engagement provides shared lessons and a template for citizen engagement in post conflict conversations that need to happen across the North and further afield.”

Professor Rory O’Connell, Director of the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University said: “Ultimately this toolkit user guide provides a way to share insights and experiences in a form and language accessible to others facing transition from a grassroots perspective. It has been used effectively in refugee camps by the Women’s Democracy Network in Syria and TJI is also exploring ways to use the Toolkit in places across the globe.”

Ulster University Pro Vice Chancellor Richard Millar: “This partnership with Bridge of Hope has provided an extraordinary and sustained opportunity to work in an important local context and to bring local knowledge and local experience into deep connection with academics. Both have truly been enriched as a result.”


Notes to editors:

This Transitional Justice Grassroots work is funded through the Victims and Survivors Service (VSS), which is administered on behalf of the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM).

The Transitional Justice Grassroots Toolkit is available online here. It is designed to empower, equip and encourage those in resource-limited, post-conflict settings to explore the experience of transition in everyday life and to assess what does and doesn’t work in practice. It is centred on five pillars transitional justice: reform, truth, reparations, reconciliation and prosecution and amnesty.

This Programme has been informed by the participation of individuals and communities from Mount Vernon, Greater New Lodge, Tigers Bay, Falls Women’s Centre and Shankill Women’s Centre. It has also been enriched by the participation of a wide range of leading academics from TJI, Ulster University and Queen’s University, Belfast as well civic leaders such as Lord Robin Eames (Co-Chair of the Consultative Group on the Past) and Kathryn Stone, former Commissioner for Victims and Survivors.

The User’s Guide is a parallel publication to the Transitional Justice Grassroots Toolkit. It provides information, support and advice to an individual using the toolkit. ?

12 international audiences attended the joint TJI Christian Aid conference at Ulster University, Jordanstown campus where the Transitional Justice Grassroots Toolkit: User’s Guide was officially launched. They included: El Salvador, Angola, Colombia, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Israel/Palestine, Guatemala, Belgium, Pakistan, Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

As of September 2014, the Transitional Justice Grassroots Toolkit now forms part of Ulster University’s BSc Hons Community Development degree with the new Grassroots Transitional Justice module.

For more details please contact Irene Sherry, Head of Victims & Mental Health Services at Ashton Community Trust on 028 9074 6737 or by email [email protected]


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