Confronting the Truth shows how countries which have experienced massive human rights violations have created official, independent bodies known as truth commissions.
Since 1983, truth commissions have been established in over 20 countries, in all parts of the world. Confronting the Truth documents the work of truth commissions in South Africa, Peru, East Timor, and Morocco. Taking testimony from victims and perpetrators, and conducting detailed investigations, truth commissions create a historical record of abuses that have often remained secret. They identify patterns of abuse, and the structural and institutional weaknesses, societal and cultural problems, and weak legal systems that made the violations possible. To remedy these faults, they recommend governmental, societal and legal reforms to address the pain of the past, to safeguard human rights and due process, and to ensure that the horror will not be repeated.