Truth is the right to know what happened, the identity of the perpetrators and the causes, facts and circumstances in which they happened; as well as to produce information, to allow access to it and to actively disseminate it as a guarantee to avoid its repetition. The right to truth is enshrined in various human rights protection instruments, most notably in the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
The right to truth is also a fundamental part of the right to freedom of expression and access to public information. Society has the right to be informed on all matters related to serious human rights violations. In order to fulfill this duty, the State must implement adequate mechanisms for access to the relevant information, making substantive efforts in good faith, and must provide all the necessary resources to reconstruct and disseminate the information. The truth mechanisms are centered on those responsible, both materially and intellectually, for the violations.
Possible activities to promote Truth:
- Provide due and timely attention to the institutions of the justice administration system for victims, relatives and witnesses.
- Give guarantees and favorable conditions so that the interested parties can, in a safe way, give their testimony to the organs of justice.
- Create Investigation Commissions to clarify the facts and identify those responsible, with a mixed composition of independent national and international experts.
- Demand the State’s public recognition of its responsibility.
- Request statements of government officials to restore the dignity of the victims.
- Present a faithful narration of the facts in the public media, history books and human rights training.
- Include these cases in national and international human rights reports, which should be as comprehensive as possible.
- Implement policies and measures to access and declassify information, as well as an investigation throughout the police, military and national security records.
- Create an editorial fund to encourage research and publications on human rights violations.