Truth & Reconciliation Commissions v. Legal System, Benefits to Victims

August 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

August 2, 2013, Today TRC-Canada site posted this beautifully worded article advocating ‘truth & remembrance’ as a goal of truth & reconciliation commissions.

The article cites the South African Truth & Reconciliation Commission. In this regard for a preference of ‘truth & remembrance’ over ‘forgive and forget’, it could site all of the other truth & reconciliation commissions also on record. Of course, ‘truth and remembrance’ is both more realistic and healthy than ‘forgive and forget’ as an outcome of any truth & reconciliation commission but it certainly isn’t the total remedy on offer to victims-survivors of genocide. They are entitled to and can do better for themselves than that, i.e., the private sector completes the remedies on offer to victims-survivors of genocides, like the Canadian Scoops, in the form of class action and individual civil suits to do what that truth & reconciliation commissions won’t do that is to offer victims-survivors the potential of actual monetary compensation for their suffering & losses.

The article doesn’t mention (and members of truth & reconciliation commissions themselves rarely mention) that an overwhelming percentage of the hundreds of millions of dollars collected by each truth & reconciliation commission from donors and social investment groups, is paid out – not to victims of the genocides – but paid out to the truth & reconciliation commissions’ employees, suppliers of office equipment and supplies, and meeting supplies, including catering, hotel stays, automobiles, helicopters, and other travel expenses, etc. To put this particular appropriation of funds into perspective, the money spent just on photocopies by truth & reconciliation commissions could probably put the children of a thousand victims through 4 years of expensive universities.

I’m highlighting this additional reality to suggest that truth & reconciliation commissions, while they serve an essential social-healing purpose, probably aren’t the entire remedy on offer to victims and survivors of genocide, i.e., the legal court system in relevant countries, a step closer to private sector principles and objectives than truth & reconciliation commissions, probably offers these victims more justice than the truth & reconciliation commissions do in spite of truth & reconciliation commissions being so well funded.

I encourage every victim-survivor of Canadian Scoops whether placed in USA or west Europe, or kept within Canada, to investigate potential class action suits and individual suits before AND even if they have already accepted a settlement offer from TRC-Canada. TRC-Canada is not going to encourage or enable you to do so.

I also encourage attorneys to seek out these victims of Canadian Scoops in USA and west Europe as well as within Canada knowing that many of them want but do not have the resources and are being discouraged by their own communities from participating in class action and individual civil suits.



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