This paper calls for the elaboration of minimum standards for reparations programmes in response to mass violations. International law recognises that victims of gross violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law have the right to an effective remedy, including reparation, and that it must meet certain minimum legal standards. However, those standards are not always reflected in the political negotiations leading up to the establishment of administrative reparations programmes.

This paper argues that now is a crucial moment to specifically and authoritatively articulate minimum legal standards for administrative reparations programmes. Such standards are important for domestic policy makers, victims’ groups, and the international community involved in advocating for and supporting such programmes, and are crucial to ensure that victims’ rights are reflected in reality.