Governments around the world, including Australia, are increasingly recognising that victims of gross human rights violations have a right to the truth and to dignity. The right articulates their entitlement to seek, receive and impart information on their case and the associated duty of governments to preserve and provide access to relevant official files.
The UN has declared March 24, the date of Archbishop Oscar Romero’s assassination in El Salvador in 1980, an annual day to publicise this right.
The right has many implications for victims (e.g. of sexual abuse in Australia, of violence by the Suharto regime in Indonesia and Timor-Leste) but also for security agencies, archives and related legislation.