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
IICI is leading the global consultative Murad Code project. The project’s goal is to help ensure documentation of conflict-related sexual violence which is survivor-centric, safe, ethical and effective. 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.
One of the components of the project is the development of the Murad Code: the Global Code of Conduct for the Documentation and Investigation of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence. It is named after Nadia Murad, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate. The draft Murad Code is available for global consultations and further development. The English version of the background paper to the draft Murad Code and the draft Murad Code (annex A) itself are available here. Please visit the Murad Code project website at muradcode.com for the Arabic, Swahili, Spanish and French versions of the background paper including the draft Murad Code; information on the project; the project’s components; and, very importantly, for guidance on how to participate in the process of further global consultations on finalising the Murad Code.
The draft Murad Code was developed through an intensive and inspiring process of inter-disciplinary research and in-depth preliminary discussions with more than 160 survivors, national and international documenters, humanitarians, researchers, donors and other experts from across the globe. Those who document, investigate, research or report on such violence, policy-makers, donors and survivors are requested to join the effort to achieve safer and better outcomes for the documentation of conflict-related sexual violence, initially by providing feedback on the draft Murad Code and on questions such as whether the final Code should have some form of implementation-support mechanism.
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.