“Beyond Words: Implementing Latin American Truth Commission Recommendations”
This is a new three-year research project that will analyse the recommendations of fourteen Latin American truth commissions (TCs) established by twelve countries since 1982, says senior researcher and project leader Elin Skaar. Now we have an opprtunity to gather more knowledge about the implementation of truth commissions. A main working assumption is that the type and complexity of the recommendations influence the degree of implementation. Implementation is of course also determined by broader contextual factors, and this project will explore the triangular relationship between the processes that shape the formulation of TC recommendations, the nature of these recommendations, and the degree of implementation.

The project is interdisciplinary and involves research partners in all twelve countries. The project has policy implications in relation to the design of TCs by providing empirically based information about what kinds of recommendations are more (or less) likely to be implemented in different socio-political contexts. Given the fact that Brazil and Colombia are currently conducting TCs, the project has the potential to learn from, and perhaps influence, the recommendations of these two commissions. The project will strengthen knowledge on Latin American democratisation and peace processes as well as generate theory relevant to similar examinations of TCs in other regions, says Elin Skaar.


Abortion Rights Lawfare in Latin America
"The effects of lawfare on abortion deserve special attention on account of the potential implications for gender relations, the dignity, health, autonomy and wellbeing of vulnerable groups, and for social policy," says senior researcher and senior researcher Siri Gloppen. "In the majority of Latin America, access to legal abortion is highly restricted. This project will analyse the strategic use of rights and law in battles over abortion rights, and the various effects of this lawfare between opposing groups." Rachel Sieder is project leader.

Lawfare in various forms has become a central feature of political life in most Latin America countries, but the growing scholarship on the interaction between judicial institutions and human rights in the region has mainly focused on socially progressive, rights-expanding forms of lawfare. Taking rights to legal abortion as a point of inquiry, the project will analyse the nature, form, causes and articularly the consequences of lawfare in Latin America, focusing particularly on the creation of norms and judicial rulings, their implementation and effects.

The project will compare a range of country-specific cases including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, El Salvador. In addition two studies will analyse regional and global dimensions and trends of lawfare around abortion and women's health rights. "We will explore national and transnational aspects of mobilization, networking and norm diffusion(and reactions to it) amongst Latin America social movements and within different institutions of Latin American states," says Siri Gloppen.