What we do
Our work is categorised under three overarching and interlinked areas – addressing the past, effective service provision, and building towards a better and more reconciled future.
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Address the Past
With a quarter of Northern Ireland’s population impacted by the years of violence, victims’ issues affect us all – in families, work places and communities. It is also important to remember those outside Northern Ireland whose lives were altered by what happened here.
Addressing the past is part of the healing process, for individuals and society, and the only way to build a real and lasting peace. ‘Just moving on’ is not an option. However, addressing the past also means different things to different people. For some, it is about truth, justice and accountability for wrongdoing.
No matter how difficult or uncomfortable the process is, we cannot move forward at the expense of leaving others behind. To help victims and survivors be a part of that reconciliation, they need to have access to truth, acknowledgement, reparations and justice.
“The Commission shall keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness of services”
Around 40,000 people experienced injury as a result of The Troubles, 3,720 families were bereaved and we have one of the highest rates of PTSD in the world. That is before we take into account the caring responsibilities of those looking after people living with injury and trauma who often don’t recognise or identify themselves as victims.
They are our family members, friends and colleagues. They live in and contribute to our communities and so victims’ issues are societal issues.
It is the Commisison’s duty to make sure services that are funded to meet victims’ needs are fit for purpose, ethical and offer them the greatest degree of resolution possible.
Build for a Better Future
The social legacies of the Troubles run deep and so building for the future goes hand in hand with addressing the past.
The economic and political landscape are often affected by constitutional differences, which can in turn affect how engaged our society is with politics.
There are young people, even those born after or too young to remember the worst of the violence, who inherit problems with mental health, addiction, and violence from older generations.
Many are also vulnerable to paramilitaries, who glamourise the conflict to recruit, exploit or control them.