Understanding Impunity : the Right to Truth, Justice and Reparation

The phenomenon of impunity, understood as the freedom to commit violent acts normally subject to penal process, is routinely enjoyed by agencies of the state in South Asia. In spite of very enlightened constitutions, armed forces in all South Asian countries receive legislative sanction for their actions in the name of sovereignty, security, public order or counter-terrorism. Compensation to the victims of human rights abuses remains arbitrary.

This project aims to understand both the effects of state impunity and the culture in which it survives. Researchers will examine violence, rights violations, mainstream perception of rights violations and the discourse that contributes to legitimizing violence in Gujarat, Kashmir, and the Punjab, both in India. They will endeavor to understand how impunity works, affects citizens' rights and contributes to the cycle of violence. In this way, it is hoped to hold the state accountable for failing to uphold the rule of law and fulfill its commitment to international conventions.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

End Date

Friday, November 2, 2012


36 months

IDRC Officer

Singh, Navsharan

Total funding

CA$ 518,300


India, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Ram Narayan Kumar


South Asia Forum for Human Rights Limited

Institution Country

Hong Kong

Institution Website


Project Leader

Harsh Mander


Centre for Equity Studies

Institution Country