This chapter discusses that a major goal of the international human rights movement has been to secure accountability for especially grave abuses. This focus has led to the so-called “truth commissions” in many countries, principally in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, but also in several countries of Asia and in Morocco; prosecutions of literally scores of former heads of state before national courts in various parts of the world; increased use of the principle of universal jurisdiction in prosecutions, mainly in Europe, against those accused of gross abuses committed in other countries; and, what is likely to be the most lasting and significant means of securing accountability, the establishment of several international criminal tribunals to prosecute and punish those accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
Keywords: international human rights movement, accountability, truth commissions, universal jurisdiction, heads of state, national courts, prosecution, international criminal tribunals, genocide, war crimes
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