30 MAY 2017
SEOUL, Republic of Korea – A private ceremony on 27 April marked the close of the joint certification course of Justice Rapid Response (JRR), UN Women and the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI).
The intensive course, “Investigating Cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) as International Crimes” held from 17-27 April 2017, was aimed at increasing the number of experts that can be deployed rapidly to assist with investigations of international SGBV crimes. Successful participants who completed the 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 Seoul at the kind invitation of the Republic of Korea. The course was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Republic of Korea, in particular the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), and a contribution from the European Union.
At the closing ceremony, the keynote address was given by In-young Lim, Director of Training Program Department, KOICA. In her remarks, she underlined the importance of the collaboration between KOICA and JRR in order to increase the availability of experts in SGBV. To the participants who had completed the course, Ms. Lim said “I have no doubt the training programme will go on to make important contributions to international criminal investigation teams.”
Samuel Emonet, JRR Director of Operations, highlighted the origins of the partnership with UN Women, and explained why JRR has prioritized the development of SGBV expertise on its broader roster of experts.
“Investigating sexual and gender-based crimes is extremely sensitive,” he said. “Not only for the victims themselves, but for their families and communities. This is why we have created this partnership with UN Women and established a roster of experts who are specifically trained in investigating such crimes professionally.”
Representing UN Women, Emmanuelle Saint-Firmin noted the ongoing impact of the 200-member JRR-UN Women SGBV Justice Experts Roster.
“It is clear that the deployment of these investigators is strengthening the ability of international accountability mechanisms to highlight the extent of sexual and gender-based violations committed during periods of conflict, and to secure accountability for these crimes,” she said.
Gabriel Oosthuizen, Programme Director for IICI, thanked the sponsors, participants, IICI trainers, as well as IICI and JRR staff and interview-exercise role-players for helping to make the course a success.
Representatives of Argentina, Canada, and Colombia—all members of JRR’s Executive Board—also attended the ceremony. The event concluded with a presentation of certificates to the participants, followed by a reception.
The Investigating Cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) as International Crimes course was the ninth JRR, UN Women and IICI course tailored specifically for the investigations of sexual and gender-based violence. Previous courses were held in: Bangkok, Thailand (2017); Dakar, Senegal (2015); The Hague, Netherlands (2012 and 2014); Pretoria, South Africa (2013); Doha, Qatar (2013); Bogota, Colombia (2014); and Amman, Jordan (2015).
Established in 2012, the JRR-UN Women SGBV Justice Experts Roster is frequently mentioned as a concrete tool to address SGBV in conflict. 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.