In addition to investigations training, IICI undertakes specific projects on request and also contributes to international policy in the area of international investigations.
Global Code of Conduct for the Investigation of Conflict Related Sexual Violence (Murad Code)
IICI is leading a consultative project to develop a survivor-centric global code of conduct for the documentation and investigation of conflict-or atrocity-related sexual violence (CARSV). It is also known as “the Murad code”, after Nadia Murad. The project is a collaboration between the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and IICI, in consultation with Nadia’s Initiative. In this phase of the project, IICI is engaging with about 160 actors and stakeholders on the idea, target audience, content and implementation of such a code of conduct. The actors and stakeholders engaged range from national and international investigators, the ICC, the OHCHR and other UN agencies to local and international NGOs, donors and survivors. A draft code will be formally launched for global consultations and further development in the 1st half of 2020. The development of the final code will be informed by wider consultations and will be launched around the end of 2020. The final code will be accompanied by other instruments and aides, including a commentary and a survivors’ charter (a code of conduct from the perspective of survivors).
The overall goals of the code of conduct include to (a) strengthen respect for, and fulfilment of, survivors’ and witnesses’ human rights, including their rights to dignity, privacy, well-being, justice, remedies and development in relation to national and international accountability-relevant documentation processes; (b) generally, to raise the effectiveness of such documentation efforts, thus improving the chances of better outcomes for survivors, and, consequently, for those who document and the wider local, national and international communities; and (c) to set in place support systems and provide practical guidance to ensure all actors can commit and adhere to the Code, in their roles, without creating any unnecessary barriers to those willing and able to act in survivors’ best interests.
For more background to the code, see this 1-page summary.
IICI has started developing written guidelines for the accountability-focused investigation of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and systematic and grave human rights violations against and otherwise involving children.
The audience of the guidelines will include international and national criminal and human rights investigators, as well as prosecutors, judges, other professionals, and policy-and law-makers. Investigating such crimes and violations in resource-constrained environments (such as conflict-affected and failed-state contexts, refugee and IDP camps) in accordance with the best interests of children and applicable international law and best practices will form a key component of the guidelines. The guidelines will underscore that directly engaging with children for accountability purposes must be undertaken only by those with specific investigation skills and experience related to children and accountability. The guidelines will plug an important gap, and support the building of the international community’s capacity to properly investigate and pursue justice for such crimes and violations. The guidelines will build on IICI’s earlier training courses which IICI co-organised with Justice Rapid Response. Further details of the project will be announced in due course.
2016-18 IICI, REDRESS & JRR project: documentation of conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence
In partnership with REDRESS and Justice Rapid Response, IICI was the overall coordinator for a training and mentoring project supported by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Aimed mainly at enhancing the capacity of civil society to document conflict-related SGBV, the project focused on four countries including Burma, Iraq and Uganda. The project concluded in March 2018; capacity-building projects stemming from this project are being pursued. See the publications page for project publications: (a) training materials accompanying the second (March 2017) edition of the FCO’s International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict (IP2); (b) English and translated Iraq-, Burma- and Sri Lanka-specific supplements (ie, guidelines for practitioners) to IP2; and (c) the Tamil translation of IP2.
2015 and 2016 International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict (IP)
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office commissioned IICI to assist with the implementation of the International Protocol. IICI developed public training materials based on the International Protocol and organised four SGBV-investigation training courses (see our Specialist Courses map). You can download the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict 2nd edition here.
Guidelines for investigating conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence against men and boys
Following significant input by IICI into the development of the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence IN Conflict (IP), the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office commissioned IICI to assist with its implementation. IICI developed public training materials based on the International Protocol and organised four SGBV-investigation training courses. (see our Specialist Courses map).
Following on from the development of the International Protocol described above, IICI recognised that the existing SGBV landscape was very much focussed on women and girls and that less emphasis and research had been done in relation to conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence against men and boys. In 2016, IICI developed specialist guidelines for investigation in this area.
The guidelines have been developed for a range of professionals, from international criminal investigators and prosecutors to national police officers, UN human rights officers and local human rights reporters. The guidelines are designed to complement existing relevant investigation frameworks and practices, including those that currently focus on conflict-related SGBV against women and girls or children. The guidelines have been developed with financial support from the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative of the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.