In addition to investigations training and mentoring, IICI undertakes specific projects on request and also contributes to the development, clarification and strengthening of international investigations standards and best practices.
Murad Code Project
The Murad Code Project is a global, consultative initiative involving partners from across the globe, including survivors and other individuals, civil-society organisations, governments, inter-governmental and other international organisations, and funders. The project’s goal is to help ensure that the gathering and use of information about systematic and conflict-related sexual violence is survivor-centric, safe, ethical and effective. The project idea originated with IICI.
One of the components of the project is the Murad Code: the Global Code of Conduct for Gathering and Using Information about Systematic and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence. It is named after Nadia Murad, a leading advocate for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and other crimes, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. The Murad Code was released on 13 April 2022. Please visit the Murad Code Project website at muradcode.com for more information on the Project and its various components, including the Murad Code which is available in English, Arabic, Sorani Kurdish, Swahili, Amharic, Tigrinya, Bosnian, Ukrainian, Nepali and Bosnian.
The founding partners of the Project are IICI, Nadia’s Initiative (www.nadiasinitiative.org) and the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative of the UK government (PSVI). We are grateful to have secured funding support to further implement the Code in 2023-2026 and will soon be able to announce the new funding partner. Building on the foundations of 2019-2023, and working with partners around the globe, the focus in 2023-2026 would be on (a) the improved implementation of the minimum standards distilled in the Code by documenters, investigators, funders, humanitarians, journalists and others; (b) the use of the Code by survivors to demand respect for their human rights during documentation and other information-gathering processes; and (c) improved collaboration and cooperation between and within sectors.
IICI guidelines for investigating international crimes and serious human rights violations affecting children
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 affecting 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 should 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.
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.
IICI Guidelines for Investigating Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Men and Boys
IICI, after consultation with a group of experts, has developed guidelines for investigating conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence against men and boys. They were developed in order to help plug an important gap. Responding to the international community’s growing awareness and understanding of conflict-related SGBV against men and boys, and building on IICI’s SGBV-investigation expertise, the guidelines were published in early 2017.
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 complement existing relevant investigation frameworks and practices, including those that currently focus on conflict-related SGBV against women and girls or children. The publication addresses practical investigation issues, but also underscores the need for related policy, legal and institutional reforms. The guidelines have been integrated in the second (March 2017) edition of the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict (IP2) and the IICI-developed training materials accompanying IP2. The guidelines have been developed with financial support from the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative of the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (PSVI) and from IICI’s own pocket.