Ceremony Marks Close of Inaugural Training on Monitoring and Investigating Conflict-related Violations Involving Children

A ceremony held on 31 August marked the completion of the world’s first intensive training course that aims to equip international professionals to be a part of investigative teams monitoring and investigating serious violations when children are involved.

The training course is a cornerstone of a new partnership, titled Monitoring and Investigating Conflict-related Violations Involving Children (MICVIC). The initiative is led by Justice Rapid Response (JRR), the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldier Initiative (Dallaire Initiative), and the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI).

The closing ceremony was opened by the honorable Judge Al Adwan, Director of the Judicial Institute of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan who provided keynote remarks.

“Jordan has always welcomed any efforts to address humanitarian law issues, and this bilateral cooperation has continued this year with this course,” said Judge Adwan.

The course was closed by Mr. Samuel Emonet, JRR’s Director of Operations, Mr. John Ralston, Executive Director of IICI and Mr. Darin Reeves, Training Director of the Dallaire Initiative.

“Peace solutions require an integrated approach, where there is due attention to rebuilding every aspect of society, including the justice system and also ensuring accountability for those responsible for egregious human rights violations and breaches of those laws designed to limit the suffering in war,” said Ralston.

“This course was designed to ensure that there were “child sensitive” experts to deploy to make sure that this aspect of conflict – the use of children as soldiers and the loss of a childhood because of the impact of war – received the attention it deserves when looking at responses and accountability measures,” he said.

Those attending the ceremony included Mr. Christopher Hull on behalf of H.E. Peter MacDougall, Ambassador of Canada to Jordan; as well as representatives from the General Command of the Jordanian Royal Police, the Public Security Directorate and the Jordanian Armed Forces as well as of the Jordanian Ministry of the Justice. A number of ministries and representatives of international and local bodies were also in attendance.

This was JRR’s 33rd training course, held over the course of 10 days in Amman at the kind invitation of the Judicial Institute of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It was made possible thanks to the generous contributions of the governments of Canada, Denmark, and Liechtenstein, as well as contributions from DHX Media.

This course was specifically tailored for experienced professionals, mainly from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and had a special focus on addressing conflict-related violations involving children. The course covered broad thematic areas: experiences of children affected by armed-conflicts, international legal frameworks, investigation strategy and planning, sexual exploitation and abuse of children, interview techniques, psychosocial considerations when interviewing children, witness management and protection, safety and security in conflict settings, and more.

Twenty-one highly qualified experts from all regions of the world participated in the course and have been prepared to integrate into multi-disciplinary, diverse investigative teams that can be deployed rapidly to monitor and investigate conflict-related violations involving children. Successful course participants are eligible for certification to and inclusion on the JRR roster.

Certified experts will become available to assist States, as well as the United Nations and other international institutions with the jurisdiction to carry out investigations, inquiries, fact-finding missions and human-rights monitoring thus strengthening the capacity of the international community to address international crimes and serious human rights violations with due attention to the sensitivities required when dealing with children.

Further information about JRR, IICI, Dallaire Initiative and the Judicial Institute of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan may be found on the following websites:

JRR – www.justicerapidresponse.org;

IICI – www.iici.info;

Dallaire Initiative – www.childsoldiers.org;

JIJ – http://www.jij.gov.jo/