New guide on investigating and mapping perpetrators in open-source investigations


The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) in Sydney and the Human Rights Center (HRC) at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law have developed a ground-breaking guide to support investigation of international human rights violations.

Investigating Perpetrators provides practical guidance for investigators on how to use open-source data to comprehensively map potential perpetrators of human rights violations and related crimes. Understanding the structure of security forces, roles within various units and their location over time is a powerful tool to support accountability processes, including criminal prosecutions, civil cases, vetting processes and sanctions.

The guide sets out a methodology for collecting, organising and analysing the copious open-source information available regarding alleged war crimes and mass human rights violations. Investigators can use the methodology to create a powerful information map of parties’ activities through time and across geographic regions.

Open-source mapping can also provide valuable insight into time periods or locations where there has not been wide or accurate reporting of events, and where more investigations are necessary to address information gaps.

Access the guide here: New guide on investigating and mapping perpetrators in open-source investigations