International justice is a critical component of building respect for human rights and the rule of law around the world. Achieving justice for international crimes and human rights violations can be the first step toward reconciliation for those affected by mass atrocities. The international community plays an important role in ending impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Justice Rapid Response works to help international and regional mechanisms to effectively deliver justice and promote the dignity of victims and survivors.
Justice Rapid Response’s International Justice Programme strengthens the ability of the international community to promptly, impartially and professionally investigate, document, prosecute or otherwise address international crimes and serious human rights violations. We partner with international organizations, regional justice mechanisms, and other actors contributing to international justice processes to offer highly specialized expertise that can fill the gap between the pursuit of justice and the technical capacity to do so. This includes specialized expertise on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and conflict-related crimes against children and youth. Investigating and prosecuting SGBV crimes, or conflict related crimes involving children, requires proper skills to accurately capture information, document evidence, and – most importantly – minimize harm and re-traumatization of witnesses and survivors. We can provide this expertise to justice processes around the world.
The International Justice Programme partners with members of the international community contributing to international justice processes to bridge a gap in specialized expertise. We work to anticipate and address specialized investigation needs. Our experts – who are able to be deployed at rapid notice – include international investigators, prosecutors, psychosocial counsellors, interpreters and forensic experts. Justice Rapid Response has worked closely with investigation mechanisms, at their request, to jointly define investigation parameters and capacity building programmes, especially in the fields of SGBV, sexual exploitation and abuse, sanctions, and child and youth rights. Justice Rapid Response works closely with UN Women and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to consolidate best practices in human rights investigation.
Justice Rapid Response’s work enables international justice mechanisms to conduct investigations using the appropriate tools, particularly for gathering evidence and reporting SGBV and violations against children. Ultimately, the rule of law is strengthened when justice for past crimes is done, and as a result, international public confidence in the rule of law and institutions is strengthened and societies are more resilient to future conflict.