Responding to the needs of the international community, JRR provides expertise to investigate core international crimes and human rights violations. Since 2009, JRR has deployed its experts on more than 150 missions, where and when they are needed most. Below are some of the areas in which JRR provides specialized professionals to assist with investigations and documentation of human rights violations and serious international crimes.
Conflict-related Violations Involving Children
Exposing patterns of conflict-related crimes involving children can help to hold perpetrators accountable. To do so, however, requires proper training in order to accurately capture information, document evidence, and – most importantly – minimize harm and re-traumatization of children. It is critical that individuals and investigatory bodies receive comprehensive training that equips them for this work. JRR and the Institute for International Criminal Investigations work to recruit professionals with experience working directly with children in these challenging contexts. Our tailored recruitment courses aim to strengthen the capacity of the international community to address crimes and serious human rights violations involving children, while always prioritizing their safety and well-being.
JRR’s Complementarity Programme provides, flexible, rapid and cost-effective assistance to countries wishing to hold perpetrators accountable, but needing the support of professional expertise from the international community. JRR offers tailored mentoring assistance from its international roster that enables countries to maintain local ownership of accountability, performed at an international standard. Individuals available for deployment include legal advisors, prosecutors, child and witness protection specialists, military analysts, and experts in conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence. JRR’s approach empowers national actors to design and implement credible, thorough investigations. Mentoring received by national authorities builds confidence of these increasing the odds for justice to be done for crimes of the past. From evidence-gathering in the field to presenting it in the courtroom, JRR experts have ensured national authorities on the ground have the knowledge and tools they need.
Civil society organizations are increasingly involved in the documentation of serious violations of human rights. In the absence of credible accountability mechanisms or rule of law, affected communities work to gather and preserve detailed information about atrocities that have occurred with the hope that it can be used as evidence by justice and accountability mechanisms. Justice Rapid Response provides tailored capacity-building to select civil society organizations on strategies for documentation, and on methods to safely interview survivors and witnesses. Our experts work closely with these organizations to ensure that they are equipped with the appropriate tools, skills and knowledge they need in order to contribute to justice efforts, whether today or in the future.
Sexual and Gender-based Violence
Rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) continue to be used as a weapon of war. Conflict-related SGBV affects girls and women, but also men and boys, despite often little discussion on the latter. The JRR-UN Women partnership and the creation of a dedicated SGBV Justice Experts roster has been instrumental in starting to address these issues effectively. It is the key to our partner UN Women’s ability to ensure that every UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) has had a gender adviser/ SGBV investigator on its team of experts. JRR and UN Women are committed to strengthening the ability of both national institutions and international bodies to investigate and prosecute such crimes.
Financial Investigation and Asset Recovery
In order for survivors of mass atrocities to have the best chance at reparations, the assets of perpetrators must be identified and recovered. Financial investigation and asset recovery techniques must therefore be integrated into the investigation of international crimes – as they are for most other crimes. Together with the Institute for International Criminal Investigations, JRR brought together relevant actors to ensure that the identification and recovery techniques used by the private sector are available to the rest of the international community. A special module on FIAR has been integrated in JRR’s general investigations recruitment course.