International Course on Investigating Sexual and Gender-based Violence Concludes in Bangkok

BANGKOK, Thailand – The joint certification course of Justice Rapid Response (JRR), UN Women and the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI) concluded on 15 December 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand.

The course, “Investigating Cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) as International Crimes” was held from 4-11 December 2016. It aimed at increasing the number of experts that can be deployed rapidly to participate in investigations of international SGBV crimes. Successful participants who completed the SGBV Investigations course have become eligible for certification onto the JRR-UN Women SGBV Justice Experts Roster, within JRR’s broader Expert Roster.

The course was held in Bangkok at the kind invitation of UN Women. It was made possible thanks to the generous contributions of the governments of Ireland and Liechtenstein, and the European Union.

The course was officially closed by representatives of the organizing partners, including: JRR Executive Director Andras Vamos-Goldman; Alison Davidian, Policy Specialist with UN Women’s Peace and Security section; and Mr. Gabriel Oosthuizen, Programme Director of IICI.

In his remarks to the participants, Mr. Vamos-Goldman noted the ongoing contributions of individuals on the UN Women-JRR SGBV Justice Experts Roster: “In the documentation and investigation of atrocities, sexual and gender-based violence can no longer be left out of the picture. The joint JRR-UN Women SGBV Roster offers the world’s most capable SGBV experts to the international community. Not only are these experts the most qualified to handle SGBV investigations, but the joint roster makes them available rapidly, and at a fraction of the cost.”

Ms. Davidian, representing UN Women, echoed the need for SGBV crimes to be dealt with by highly-trained professionals: “Over the past 15 years we’ve developed strong frameworks to investigate and prosecute SGBV as an international crime. Now, it is critical that we invest in their implementation. UN Women’s partnership with JRR is centered on ensuring that the international community has the resources it needs to do just that.”

Mr. Oosthuizen of IICI congratulated the participants who completed the course, who hailed from 18 countries: Argentina, Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Denmark, France, Georgia, Jordan, Kenya, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Switzerland, Tunisia, and the United States.

Background

The Investigating Cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) as International Crimes course was the eighth JRR, UN Women and IICI course tailored specifically for the investigations of sexual and gender-based violence. Previous courses were held in Dakar, Senegal (2016); The Hague, Netherlands (2012 and 2014); Pretoria, South Africa (2013); Doha, Qatar (2013); Bogota, Colombia (2014); and Amman, Jordan (2015).

The JRR-UN Women SGBV Justice Experts Roster is frequently mentioned as a concrete tool to address SGBV in conflict and as a best practice by the international community. For instance, in 2016, the UN Secretary General’s Report on Sexual Violence in Conflict listed the work of the JRR-UN Women SGBV Justice Experts Roster as a best practice.

The next course will be held in April 2017 in Seoul, Korea. Nominations are due on 6 February 2017. More information can be found here:

http://www.justicerapidresponse.org/cfn-korea-sgbv-2017/