Webinar: Fambul Tok – Community Transitional Justice in Sierra Leone

Human Rights advocate and Founding Director of Fambul Tok International – Sierra Leone, John Caulker will present on the work of restoring justice in the wake of the brutal civil war that wracked his country for 12 years. Disillusioned by the failure of the Special Court and the Truth & Reconciliation Commission to deliver a lasting justice in his home country of Sierra Leone (West Africa), John turned to the revitalization of a customary practice called Fambul Tok (which is translated as “Family Talk”) in the Krio language. Launched in 2008, Fambul Tok provides an innovative example of a community-driven and owned transitional justice process that illustrates the spark of creative genius resulting from the partnership of civil society and local communities that are allowed to dream and act out a better justice for the future – a reconciliatory, healing justice that holds promise for generations to come.

Carl Stauffer will facilitate the webinar.

When: November 13, 2013, 4:30-6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (United States)

Cost: $10 USD

View the webinar recording

John Caulker founded and has led the implementation of the Fambul Tok program since its inception in 2007, initially through his position as the founding Executive Director of Sierra Leonean human rights NGO, Forum of Conscience. He continues his leadership of Fambul Tok as the Executive Director of Fambul Tok International – Sierra Leone.

Mr. Caulker first became a human rights activist as a student leader during the initial years of the war in Sierra Leone. Risking his life to document wartime atrocities, he infiltrated rebel camps disguised as a rebel to gather information and stories that he would then pass along to international organizations such as Amnesty International, Article 19, and Human Rights Watch. He founded Forum of Conscience as a human rights NGO in Sierra Leone in 1996.

As Executive Director of Forum of Conscience, Mr. Caulker strove to prevent recurring violence by connecting the root causes of Sierra Leone’s brutal conflict to the need for rural community participation in the national decision making process and acknowledgement of wrong doing to victims through the reparations program.

As the national chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Working Group, Mr. Caulker pressured the government of Sierra Leone to implement the recommendations of the TRC’s 2004 report. Specifically, he has fought to ensure that some of the revenues from the sale of Sierra Leone’s natural resources benefit Sierra Leoneans themselves in the form of a special fund for war victims. As part of this effort to raise awareness and guarantee protection for the rights of victims of the conflict, Mr. Caulker also mediated an agreement that allows members of the Amputees and War Wounded Association to participate in the TRC and Special Court process.

This webinar is an initiative of the Zehr Institute at the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding and is supported by the U.S. Institute of Peace Public Education for Peacebuilding Support Initiative.