Social Policy or Reparative Justice? Challenges for Reparations in Contexts of Massive Displacement and Related Serious Human Rights Violations

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Abstract

This article proposes a criterion for the distinction between reparative justice, under the modality of compensatory measures in particular, and social policy. Drawing on the nature of the state’s obligations related to economic and social rights under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the article suggests that a policy measure could be considered a mechanism of reparative justice if it responds to progressive obligations. In contrast, strategies that respond to immediate obligations are considered social assistance or general social policies. The article discusses some specific reparation measures that fulfil this justice criterion in terms of education. It concludes by analysing the challenges faced by the application of the proposed measures with regard to the victims of displacement and related serious human rights violations in Colombia, and critically examines the possibility of implementing these types of reparative measures while the armed conflict continues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-206
JournalJournal of Refugee Studies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Global Development Institute

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