Pursuing Justice for Mass Atrocities: A Handbook for Victim Groups, a groundbreaking educational resource by practitioner Sarah McIntosh, offers guidance on what victim groups can do to advance justice efforts during and in the aftermath of genocide and related crimes against humanity. Drawing on dozens of real-life examples and expert interviews, the Handbook offers practical advice and strategic insights in clear and accessible language.
The Handbook is an educational guide for victim groups on pursuing justice for genocide and related crimes against humanity. The Handbook presents a fresh perspective on victim-led justice efforts. It argues that by coming together as a group or coalition, victims’ demands for justice are harder for decision-makers to ignore.
The Handbook is designed to be read cover-to-cover but readers may want to focus on specific chapters based on their needs and interests:
On March 25, 2021, Sarah McIntosh joined a number of distinguished panelists for a discussion of the Handbook with opening remarks from Judge Thomas Buergenthal, Ambassador Clint Williamson, and representatives of survivor communities.
Available with Arabic, French, Spanish, Swahili, and Uyghur translations.
- The Introduction provides an overview of the topics covered in the Handbook, identifies the intended audiences, and defines key terms used throughout; it also discusses survivor group efforts to advance transitional justice after the Holocaust
- Chapter 1: Pursuing and using transitional justice measures discusses how transitional justice works and the role that victim groups can play in advancing different transitional justice measures
- Chapter 2: Using law to access justice and accountability for mass atrocities provides an overview of different legal options and discusses what victim groups can do to initiate and participate in cases
- Chapter 3: Building sustainable victim-centered coalitions discusses the benefits and challenges of forming a victim-centered coalition and offers some tips for working as a victim-centered coalition for justice
- Chapter 4: Gathering and sharing information offers advice on the kinds information that victim groups can gather to help advance justice efforts for genocide and related crimes against humanity other than evidence about specific crimes
- Chapter 5: Advocating for justice with political and diplomatic actors canvases topics from developing clear and strategic policy requests that are tailored to specific decision-makers to maintaining pressure on decision-makers to advance justice over the long-term
- Chapter 6: Advocating publicly for justice through strategic communications discusses how victim groups can develop messages about the need for justice for public audience and how they can reach and influence the intended audience
- Chapter 7: Anticipating and mitigating the risks and challenges for pursuing justice discusses some of the common risks that victim groups may face and strategies for overcoming them
Note: Risks associated with gathering information are discussed separately in Chapter 4
- Chapter 8: Securing funding and support for victim groups to lead justice projects aims to help victim groups to identify the kinds of support they need to advance their justice effort, to find donors and organizations that can provide this support, to develop proposals for obtaining funding or support, and to maintain relationships with donors
- Appendix I: Organizations and experts provides a list of experts and organizations that work in this area and can provide further information
Note: The Museum does not have a professional affiliation with these organizations, and their views do not necessarily reflect those of the Museum
- Appendix II: Resources and further reading offers a list of additional resources that victim groups may consult on the topics discussed in the Handbook
The Handbook is also available in Arabic:
السعي إلى تحقيق العدالة ضد الفظائع الجماعية: كتيب لمجموعات الضحايا
About the Author
Sarah McIntosh is a lawyer with experience in helping victim groups and local civil society actors to develop strategies to advance justice in the aftermath of mass atrocities. She is an associate with the Ferencz International Justice Initiative of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. She has a bachelor of laws and international studies from the University of New South Wales and a master of laws from Harvard Law School. If you have thoughts or questions about the Handbook you can contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.