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
Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is a crime punishable under international law, and yet it remains under-reported. Specialized expertise is needed to gather evidence while ensuring the safety and dignity of survivors and witnesses. Justice Rapid Response has recruited more than 230 experts from around the globe who specialize in addressing sexual and gender-based crimes. They are investigators, prosecutors, psychosocial counselors, interpreters, forensic experts and more. Our experts have deployed more than 100 times to investigate SGBV and provide legal expertise on reparation measures, on SGBV against men and boys, and on sexual exploitation and abuse. To learn more about SGBV as an international crime, click here.
Justice Rapid Response has partnered with UN Women to consistently deploy SGBV justice experts to UN-mandated Commissions of Inquiry, Fact-Finding Missions and similar human rights investigations. As a result of the JRR-UN Women partnership, since 2009, UN Commissions of Inquiry have consistently benefitted from a SGBV investigator on their investigation teams. Our experts have deployed to investigate SGBV in Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iraq, Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and more.
JRR works closely with UN Women and OHCHR to consolidate best practices in human rights investigation alongside our experts. To read about our 2018 gender experts meeting in Geneva, click here.
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.