- Chapter 1: Pursuing and Using Transitional Justice Measures
- Chapter 2: Using Law to Access Justice and Accountability for Mass Atrocities
- Chapter 3: Building Sustainable Victim-Centered Coalitions
- Chapter 4: Gathering and Sharing Information
- Chapter 5: Advocating for Justice with Political and Diplomatic Actors
- Chapter 6: Advocating Publicly for Justice through Strategic Communications
- Chapter 7: Anticipating and Mitigating the Risks and Challenges for Pursuing Justice
- Chapter 8: Securing Funding and Support for Victim Groups to Lead Justice Projects
- Saathoff, Günter, Uta Gerlant, Friederike Mieth, and Norbert Wühler, eds. The German Compensation Program for Forced Labor: Practice and Experiences. Berlin: Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future, 2017.
This book describes the stages of practical implementation of the German compensation program for Nazi-era forced labor, written by authors directly involved in the process.
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Holocaust Encyclopedia
This resource contains more than 850 articles about the Holocaust, antisemitism, and current-day mass atrocities in 19 languages.
Chapter 1: Pursuing and Using Transitional Justice Measures
- Allen, Tim, and Anna Macdonald. “PostConflict Traditional Justice: A Critical Overview.” JSRP Paper 3, Justice and Security Research Programme, London, 2013.
This 30-page report may be relevant to victim groups considering using traditional, customary, informal, community-based, indigenous, and local justice initiatives in a post-conflict setting. A critical overview, the report acknowledges that this is a new area and that its effectiveness has not been evaluated in detail.
- Duthie, Roger. “Justice Mosaics: How Context Shapes Transitional Justice in Fractured Societies.” Research report, International Center for Transitional Justice, New York, 2017.
This 44-page report examines how contextual factors affect transitional justice efforts. Those factors include “the institutional context, the nature of conflict and violence, the political context, and underlying economic and social structural problems” (1). It may be useful to victim groups that want to understand how transitional justice measures could work in their situation.
- IREX. “Advancing Transitional Justice in Conflict-Affected Contexts: A Case Study for Libya.” Washington, DC, n.d.
Focusing on the Libyan experience, this 32-page case study discusses ways to advance transitional justice in conflictaffected areas. It may be interesting to victim groups from other contexts that would like to conduct “documentation of atrocities, awareness-raising and victim engagement efforts, recovery of stolen assets, institutional and judicial reform, and reporting on transitional justice developments” (2).
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. “Rule-of-Law Tools for Post-conflict States: National Consultations on Transitional Justice.” United Nations, New York and Geneva, 2009.
This 43-page UN report discusses what international actors can do to fulfill their obligation to conduct effective and meaningful consultations with victims and the public when developing transitional justice strategies. It may be useful to victim groups that want to understand the right to consultation and the ways that international actors might engage them on transitional justice issues.
- Tsai, Jennifer, and Simon Robins. “Strengthening Participation in Loca lLevel and National Transitional Justice Processes: A Guide for Practitioners.” International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, New York, 2018.
This 31-page guide explores what civil society organizations, activists, and practitioners can do to “foster victim and community participation” in national and local transitional justice processes (7). It is not directed at victim groups wanting to participate in transitional justice; instead, it considers what other actors can do to engage them.
- Carranza, Ruben, Cristián Correa, and Elena Naughton. "Forms of Justice: A Guide to Designing Reparations Application Forms and Registration Processes for Victims of Human Rights Violations." New York: International Center for Transitional Justice, 2017.
This 98-page guide is written for those responsible for designing the forms that victims submit to access reparations and the process they follow to register for reparations. The guide highlights just how important these basic requirements can be for victims’ ability to access justice. This guide may be useful to victim groups that are preparing for consultations with decision makers about designing reparations programs.
- Gilmore, Sunneva, Julie Guillerot, and Clara Sandoval. “Beyond Silence and Stigma—Crafting a Gender-Sensitive Approach for Victims of Sexual Violence in Domestic Reparation Programmes.” Reparations, Responsibility and Victimhood in Transitional Societies project, Belfast, 2020.
This 38-page report explores what groups developing domestic reparations programs can do to design and craft a “gender-sensitive approach to reparations” for victims of sexual violence (7). It may be useful to victim groups in contexts in which conflict related sexual violence has occurred and in which authorities are unrolling domestic reparations programs.
- International Commission of Jurists. "The Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Gross Human Rights Violations: A Practitioners’ Guide." Geneva: International Commission of Jurists, 2018.
This 335-page practitioners’ guide is for legal professionals, representatives of governments and international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Looking at judicial decisions and practice on reparations, the guide covers topics from who is entitled to reparation to the content of the right to an effective remedy and investigation. It is a good resource for victim groups that want a detailed understanding of reparations.
- International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). "Nairobi Declaration on Women’s and Girls’ Right to a Remedy and Reparation." 2007.
The Nairobi Declaration focuses on women’s and girls’ right to a remedy and reparations and makes recommendations about the same to national, regional, and international bodies. It emphasizes the importance of fulfilling those rights to post-conflict recovery. Although not a legally binding document, it may be useful to victim groups that want to understand what the right to reparations and remedy entails.
- United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/147, Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for the Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law, A/ RES/60/147 (March 21, 2006), para. 8.
This UN General Assembly Resolution codifies the rights of victims of serious human rights violations to a remedy and reparations. It may be useful for victim groups seeking to understand states’ legal obligations to uphold international human rights and humanitarian law and to provide victims access to remedies, justice, and relevant information about violations and reparation mechanisms.
Memorializing the Past
- International Committee of Memorial Museums for the Remembrance of Victims of Public Crimes. International Memorial Museums Charter. Paris, 2011.
This charter draws on international human rights law to codify 10 general principles for commemoration in memorial museums. It may be useful to victim groups that are considering how to establish a memorial museum.
- International Council of Museums. ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums. Paris, 2013.
This 30-page code of ethics from the International Council of Museums (ICOM) sets “minimum standards of professional practice and performance for museums and their staff” (1). Although it is primarily directed at museums that belong to the ICOM, it may be useful to victim groups considering issues such as preservation of artifacts, evidence, memorialization, and community engagement.
- Muddell, Kelli, and Sibley Hawkins. “Gender and Transitional Justice: A Training Module Series, Module 5: Memorialization.” International Center for Transitional Justice, New York, 2018.
Module 5 of this 66-page training module explores the importance of memorials for women. It stresses that memorials should reflect women’s experiences and include them in decision making. It also highlights memorials’ reparative potential. Victim groups may want to use the various presentation slides, speaker notes, discussion points, and suggested exercises in this module when considering the intersection between gender and transitional justice.
- Naidu, Ereshnee. "From Memory to Action: A Toolkit for Memorialization in Post-Conflict Societies." International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. Accessed March 2022.
This 42-page toolkit addresses how memorialization functions within reconciliation in transitional justice processes. It examines the key elements of memorialization and introduces steps to initiate a memorialization project.
- Gunn, Shirley. "Creating an Advocacy Campaign: A Toolkit for Memory Practitioners." Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation. New York, 2021.
This 37-page toolkit is intended for victims "seeking resources for turning memory into action through awareness-raising and advocacy" (1). It guides users through key concepts and questions with worksheets, key terms, and case studies.
- González, Eduardo. “Drafting a Truth Commission Mandate: A Practical Tool.” International Center for Transitional Justice, New York, 2013.
This 28-page report is a practical tool for “government officials, civil society activists, victims’ organizations, and other stakeholders” involved in transitional justice processes (1). It provides advice on crafting legal mandates for truth commissions investigating human rights violations.
- Mallinder, Louise, and Tom Hadden. Belfast Guidelines on Amnesty and Accountability, with Explanatory Guidance. Belfast: Transitional Justice Institute, 2013.
The 90-page Belfast Guidelines on Amnesty and Accountability provides assistance and explanation for the role of amnesties, accountability mechanisms, and prosecutions in states’ obligation to protect human rights.
- Public International Law & Policy Group. “Core Elements of Facilitating Women’s Participation in Truth and Reconciliation Commissions.” Legal memorandum, PILPG, Washington, DC, 2013.
This 26-page memorandum is for governments and truth commissions supporting women who are planning to participate in transitional justice processes. It focuses particularly on truth and reconciliation commissions. It may be useful to victim groups engaged in consultations with the government or a truth commission on how to “ensure a gender perspective and balance in the commission’s work” (Executive Summary).
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. “Rule-of-Law Tools for Post-conflict States: Truth Commissions. ” United Nations, New York and Geneva, 2006.
This 46-page UN report aims to guide “those setting up, advising or supporting a truth commission, as well as providing guidance to truth commissions themselves” (1). Summarizing lessons learned from more than 30 truth commissions, the report offers a set of best practice guidelines. Victim groups consulting with those establishing a truth commission may find this guide to be useful in prioritizing different considerations.
- Ramírez-Barat, Clara. “Making an Impact: Guidelines on Designing and Implementing Outreach Programs for Transitional Justice.” International Center for Transitional Justice, New York, 2011.
This 45-page report offers best practices and strategies to practitioners for how to build public interest in, support for, and involvement with transitional justice proceedings. It may help victim groups determine how to amplify the work of the truth commission among affected communities.
Measures of Non-Recurrence
- de Greiff, Pablo. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Nonrecurrence, U.N. Doc. A/70/438 (October 21, 2015).
This report of the former UN special rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence focuses on the “preventive potential of measures associated with reform of the security sector” (2). Victim groups considering the role that such measures can play in preventing the recurrence of conflict may find it useful.
- Mayer-Reich, Alexander. “Guarantees of Non-recurrence: An Approximation,” Human Rights Quarterly 39, no. 2 (May 2017): 416–48.
This 34-page academic article explores a “more systematic understanding” of the concept of guarantees of non-recurrence by proposing “criteria for developing specific prevention strategies” (416–17). It may be useful to victim groups wanting to understand how the concept of guarantees of non-recurrence developed and specific measures that can be adopted to promote it. Victim groups considering the elements of effective prevention may also find it useful.
- Roht-Arriaza, Naomi. “Measures of Nonrepetition in Transitional Justice: The Missing Link?” Legal Studies Research Paper No. 160, University of California Hastings College of the Law, 2016.
This 42-page academic article advocates for a more expansive and transformative approach to measures of non-recurrence than the traditional view, which confines it to vetting, security sector reform, and judicial reform. Drawing on experiences from the Philippines and Colombia, it considers other measures that focus on “the conditions likely to lead to renewed conflict” (Abstract).
Searching for Missing Persons
- International Commission on Missing Persons. "Inquiry Center." International Commission on Missing Persons website. The Hague, 2018.
This webpage is used for reporting missing individuals and finding information on a person already reported missing.
Chapter 2: Using Law to Access Justice and Accountability for Mass Atrocities
- International Criminal Court. “Victims before the International Criminal Court: A Guide for the Participation of Victims in the Proceedings of the Court.” International Criminal Court, The Hague. Accessed April 14, 2020.
This 33-page booklet is designed for victims wanting to apply to participate in proceedings before the International Criminal Court (ICC). It gives an explanation of what the ICC is, how it operates, the different roles that victims can play in ICC proceedings, and how to apply to participate.
- O’Connor, Vivienne. “Practioner’s Guide: Common Law and Civil Law Traditions.” International Network to Promote the Rule of Law, Washington, DC, 2012.
This 35-page guide for practitioners provides an overview of common and civil legal traditions with a particular focus on their application in postconflict countries. It may be useful to victim groups seeking to understand in broad terms how the legal system in their country may operate.
- Open Society Justice Initiative. Options for Justice: A Handbook for Designing Accountability Mechanisms for Grave Crimes. New York: Open Society Foundations, 2018.
The 670-page handbook for “those designing new mechanisms of criminal accountability for grave crimes” takes an in-depth look at 33 different justice mechanisms. It explores high-profile international courts; less formal domestic tribunals, such as the gacaca courts of Rwanda; and mechanisms with a broader mandate that includes corruption, as was established in Guatemala (18).
- Roht-Arriaza, Naomi. The Pinochet Effect: Transitional Justice in the Age of Human Rights. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.
This book details the arrest and extradition of General Augusto Pinochet, former dictator of Chile. The author discusses the ways in which many different countries outside the country where the atrocities occurred can help to bring perpetrators to justice. Victim groups exploring avenues for justice outside the affected country may be interested in this book.
- United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect. “Framework of Analysis for Atrocity Crimes: A Tool for Prevention.” United Nations, New York, 2014.
This 43-page UN briefing paper is intended for a diverse audience, encompassing domestic, regional, and international actors. It establishes a framework of analysis for identifying and assessing risk factors of atrocity crimes. It may be useful for victim groups seeking a more granular understanding of different atrocity crimes (which it defines as genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing) and the factors that may lead to them.
- Center for Justice and Accountability. “Legal Glossary.”
This glossary is a comprehensive and accessible guide to legal, court-related, and justice terms, with a focus on international law.
- United Nations Treaty Collection. “Glossary.” Accessed April 14, 2020.
This glossary provides a general guide to terms that are often used in international treaties, negotiations, and the United Nations system.
- Varney, Howard, Katarzyna Zduńczyk, and Marie Gaudard. “The Role of Victims in Criminal Proceedings.” International Center for Transitional Justice, New York, 2017.
Drawing on the example of Tunisia’s transitional justice law, this 15-page briefing discusses how victims of human rights violations can be involved in criminal proceedings. It may be useful to victim groups wanting to understand the role that they can play in domestic and international criminal justice processes, as well as descriptions of their rights in this process.
- International Criminal Court. "The Court Today." International Criminal Court website. Last updated January 13, 2022.
This webpage is regularly updated by the ICC with information about the Court and current cases.
- Open Society Justice Initiative. "A Toolkit for Drafting Complaints to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and Committee Against Torture." Open Society Foundation. New York, 2018.
This 86-page manual seeks to provide the tools for lawyers and activists to draft individual claims to the UN Human Rights Committee or to the UN Committee against Torture. It includes case profiles, model structures, and sample filings of cases that may be particularly useful to victim groups.
- Open Society Justice Initiative. "Monitoring Atrocity Crimes Trials: A Guide." Open Society Foundations. New York, 2020.
This 62-page guide provides insight on how to establish and run a trial monitoring program. It may be useful for victim groups in situations where court proceedings are underway who want to report on cases to their communities and other public audiences.
- The Gender Security Project. "Filing an Amicus Brief: Guidance Document." The Gender Security Project. Chennai, India. Accessed March 2022.
This 11-page guide walks readers through the basic elements of an amicus brief--which are documents that individuals and organizations file to courts considering cases about points of law. It is intended for lawyers, civil society organizations, researchers, and academics but victim groups may also find it useful. This brief focuses on briefs relating to sexual violence.
Overview of Different Legal Options
- Human Rights Watch. “Basic Facts on Universal Jurisdiction.” Human Rights Watch website, October 19, 2009.
This webpage produced by Human Rights Watch explains the legal basis for and importance of universal jurisdiction. It also responds to critics’ arguments that universal jurisdiction is being “abused.”
- International Committee of the Red Cross. The Domestic Implementation of International Humanitarian Law: A Manual. Geneva: International Committee of the Red Cross, 2015.
This 140-page Red Cross manual (which also contains a 370-page annex) provides a comprehensive introduction to international humanitarian law, domestic implementation, and the conventions and protocols that regulate armed conflict.
- International Justice Resource Center. Advocacy before the African Human Rights System: A Manual for Attorneys and Advocates, 2nd ed. San Francisco: International Justice Resource Center, 2017.
This 180-page manual for attorneys and advocates introduces the African system of human rights protection and adjudication through the African Court on Human and People’s Rights and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights. It may also be useful to victim groups in Africa evaluating their regional options for pursuing justice and accountability.
- Peace and Justice Initiative. “How Does International Law Apply in a Domestic Legal System?” Peace and Justice Initiative website. Accessed November 9, 2020.
This short webpage provides a basic overview of the monist and dualist systems, which are the two main approaches that countries follow to make international legal obligations binding domestically.
- Seils, Paul. Handbook on Complementarity: An Introduction to the Role of National Courts and the ICC in Prosecuting International Crimes. New York: International Center for Transitional Justice, 2016.
The 108-page ICTJ handbook for nonlegal specialists explains both “basic legal issues [and] the broader contextual matters connected to the complementarity.” It offers readers “a basic understanding of the ICC, the concept of complementarity, how key cases have been decided, what the different stages of the admissibility process entail, what it means for national legal systems, and what it means for other national actors” (4).
- Southern Africa Litigation Center. Positive Reinforcement: Advocating for International Criminal Justice in Africa. Johannesburg: Southern Africa Litigation Center, 2013.
This 102-page report for African civil society organizations (CSOs) explains the role that CSOs can play in advancing international criminal law in Africa. Drawing on lessons learned from past experiences of CSOs, it provides recommendations to CSOs about their potential role in this field. It may be useful to victim groups in Africa wanting to understand the status of international law in Africa and the issues that they may focus on in their advocacy.
- TRIAL International. Evidentiary Challenges in Universal Jurisdiction Cases: Universal Jurisdiction Annual Review 2019. Geneva: TRIAL International, 2019.
This 86-page report investigates the practical applications of universal jurisdiction to bring perpetrators of international crimes to justice, focusing on the challenges of finding and presenting evidence for successful cases. It discusses the operation of universal jurisdiction in a number of countries, including Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
- United States Department of State. “Transitional Justice Initiative: Criminal Prosecutions.” Washington, DC, 2016.
This four-page briefer from the US State Department highlights the importance of criminal prosecutions for atrocity crimes, different types of justice forums, and considerations and challenges on a range of issues, including victim and witness protection and sexual violence investigations and prosecutions.
- Ventura, Manuel, and Amelia Bleeker. “Universal Jurisdiction, African Perceptions of the International Criminal Court and the New AU Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights.” In The International Criminal Court and Africa: One Decade On, edited by Evelyn A. Ankumah. Cambridge/Antwerp/Portland: Intersentia, 2016.
The 18-page chapter of a book on the ICC in Africa argues that African countries should use universal jurisdiction to prosecute atrocity crimes. It considers the obstacles that may prevent its use and strategies to overcome them.
- Varney, Howard, Shenali De Silva, and Alexandra Raleigh. "Guiding and Protecting Prosecutors: Comparative Overview of Policies Guiding Decisions to Prosecute." International Center for Transitional Justice. New York, 2019.
This 62-page report compares a range of policies that guide the decision of whether or not to prosecute. It contains information on what kinds of crimes should be prosecuted, the likely consequences of prosecution, and the challenges of prosecuting in post-conflict settings, all of which may be useful for victim groups considering prosecution as a strategy.
- Varney, Howard and Katarzyna Zdu'nczyk. "Advancing Global Accountability: The Role of Universal Jurisdiction in Prosecuting International Crimes." International Center for Transitional Justice. New York, 2020.
This 61-page report is a comprehensive study of universal jurisdiction as a mechanism of global justice. The first section may be most useful for victim groups evaluating if they want to include universal jurisdiction cases in their strategy. This section details how and why universal jurisdiction has been applied historically and how NGOs and civil society organizations have been involved in generating domestic universal jurisdiction cases.
Initiating and Participating in Cases as Individual Victims or Victim Groups
- Amnesty International. Fair Trial Manual, 2nd ed. London: Amnesty International, 2014.
This 276-page Amnesty International manual is designed to help “anyone involved in examining how well a criminal trial or a justice system meets international standards” to assess the fairness of individual cases, trial procedures, and national criminal justice systems (xvi).
- Avocats Sans Frontières. “Modes of Participation and Legal Representation.” Brussels, 2013.
This 46-page report provides guidance on victim participation and legal representation during ICC proceedings. It may be useful to victim groups that want to understand how they can get involved in cases before the ICC.
- Coalition for the International Criminal Court. “How to File a Communication to the ICC-Prosecutor.” Accessed April 14, 2010.
This short guide provides brief instructions on sending information or evidence on potential ICC crimes to the Office of the Prosecutor.
- International Criminal Court. “Understanding the International Criminal Court.” The Hague, n.d.
This 49-page report provides basic information about the ICC, the Rome Statute, and their role in international criminal justice.
- International Federation for Human Rights. “Enhancing Victims’ Rights before the ICC: A View from Situation Countries on Victims’ Rights at the International Criminal Court.” Paris, 2013.
This 40-page report—which is the outcome of a series of discussions between civil society, ICC officials, state parties, and NGOs—addresses the state of victim rights at the ICC and how it may be enhanced. The report highlights practical applications of victim rights.
- International Federation for Human Rights. “Five Myths about Victim Participation in ICC Proceedings.” Paris, 2014.
This 44-page report debunks five commonly held views about victim participation and its effect at the ICC in an attempt to support victims as they pursue justice.
- International Justice Resource Center. “10 Essential Steps for First-Time Advocacy at the Human Rights Council.” San Francisco, 2012.
This six-page brief provides an introductory guide with actionable tips and advice for advocates who are beginning to engage with the Human Rights Council.
- Lamony, Stephen. “What Are the Benefits and Difficulties of Victim Participation at the International Criminal Court (ICC)?” Humanity United website. May 4, 2015.
This webpage offers a brief overview of some of the key benefits of victim participation at the ICC, such as the extent to which it affords an “experience” of justice to victims and helps the court reach the truth about past atrocities. It also outlines some of the key challenges and difficulties the court experiences when trying to engage victims meaningfully. Many of those challenges and difficulties are logistical and practical in nature.
- Moffett, Luke. “Meaningful and Effective? Considering Victims’ Interests through Participation at the International Criminal Court.” Criminal Law Forum 26, no. 2 (June 2015): 255–89.
This 34-page academic article considers the role that victims can play in proceedings at the ICC. It argues that “in order to ensure the Court is more responsive to victims understanding ofjustice it should give greater weight to their interests, which in turn is likely to improve their satisfaction with the ICC, as well as public confidence and legitimacy of the work of the Court” (Abstract). It may be useful to victim groups considering how they might engage in ICC proceedings.
- Clooney Foundation for Justice. "Trial Monitoring for Non-Lawyers." Clooney Foundation for Justice. Accessed March 2022.
This 12-page guide is an introduction to the basics of trial monitoring. Trial monitoring allows individuals to watch a trial as it occurs with the objective of providing an impartial and comprehensive report. The guide includes information that might be useful to victims who are not familiar with courtroom procedures or documents, such as example courtroom layouts, samples of legal documents, and the structure of trial procedures.
- Global Rights Compliance. "Basic Investigative Standards for International Crimes." Global Rights Compliance. The Hague, 2019.
This 279-page report introduces readers to basic investigative standards for international crimes based on ICC standards. Although it is tailored toward professional investigators, it may be useful to victim groups who are collecting and preserving information that may be used as evidence in the future.
- Katz, Elan. "Negotiating Justice: Peace Processes as Vehicles for Transitional Justice." Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation. 2021.
This 21-page report discusses strategies for negotiating and crafting a transitional justice approach that will lead to sufficient and robust peace provisions. It may be useful to victim groups engaging in peace mediation.
Chapter 3: Building Sustainable Victim-Centered Coalitions
- Asia-Pacific Leadership and Policy Dialogue for Women’s and Children’s Health. “Building Advocacy Coalitions for Greater Action and Accountability.” World Health Organization, Geneva, 2012.
This two-pager is a guide on building advocacy coalitions through identifying advocacy issues, developing broad networks, and establishing core principles. Although it is not tailored to coalitions of victims that form in the aftermath of mass atrocities, it may nevertheless be useful to victim groups that want to think through how to form and run an effective coalition.
- Brody, Reed. “Victims Bring a Dictator to Justice: The Case of Hissène Habr é.” Brot für die Welt (June 2017).
This 36-page article details the pursuit for justice that victims of Hissène Habr é spearheaded in Chad by forming a victim-centered coalition. It may be useful to victim groups seeking to learn about and draw inspiration from an effective and powerful coalition that fought for justice for mass atrocities over the long term.
- Cohen, Larry, Nancy Baer, and Pam Satterwhite. “Developing Effective Coalitions: An Eight Step Guide.” In Community Health Education and Promotion: A Guide to Program Design and Evaluation, edited by Mary Ellen Wurzbach, 2nd ed., 144–61. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen, 2002.
This 32-page guide identifies eight steps for developing an effective coalition in the context of community health education and promotion. The steps include determining whether to form a coalition, recruiting the right people, devising a set of preliminary activities and objectives, convening the coalition, anticipating necessary resources, defining elements of a successful coalition structure and maintaining coalition vitality, and making improvements through evaluation. It may contain helpful insights for victim groups when forming a victim-centered coalition.
- Martlew, Nick. “Creative Coalitions: A Handbook for Change.” Crisis Action, New York, 2017.
This Crisis Action handbook explains how collective action groups can build strategic coalitions and use creative tactics to protect civilians from armed conflict. Presented in an accessible and clear manner, it includes many real-life examples and helpful hints. Victim groups thinking through how their coalition might creatively push for change in the world may find this handbook helpful.
- Moyes, Richard, and Thomas Nash. Global Coalitions: An Introduction to Working in International Civil Society Partnerships. London, UK: Action on Armed Violence, 2011.
This eight-chapter online book is an excellent guide to forming global coalitions. It canvases topics including the challenges of forming a coalition, coalition structure and organization, and logistics, among others.
- Pact Tanzania. “Building and Maintaining Networks and Coalitions.” Advocacy Expert Series, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Washington, DC, 2004.
Focusing on case studies from Tanzania, this 35-page USAID/Tanzania report for NGOs discusses the overlapping definitions of networks and coalitions. It focuses on “how to manage conflict” and explores how different structures can contribute to an advocacy goal or campaign (ii).
- Rabinowitz, Phil. “Choosing Strategies to Promote Community Health and Development (Section 5: Coalition Building I: Starting a Coalition).” Community Tool Box website. Accessed November 10, 2020.
This chapter of an online handbook answers some basic questions about forming a coalition, including the following: What is a coalition? Why start a coalition? When should you start a coalition? Who should be part of your coalition? and How do you start a community coalition? It includes a short PowerPoint presentation that highlights key takeaways from the chapter.
- Kuehnast, Kathleen and Danielle Robertson. "Gender Inclusive Framework and Theory: A Guide for Turning Theory into Practice." United States Institute of Peace. Washington, DC, 2018.
This 20-page guide may be useful for groups interested in the relationship between gender and peacebuilding. It provides specific recommendations for project design within a gender-inclusive framework.
Chapter 4: Gathering and Sharing Information
- Cambodian Center for Human Rights. “Community Watchdog Handbook: Guide for Community Based Activists on Documenting Human Rights Violations.” Phnom Penh, 2011.
This 54-page guidebook produced by the Cambodian Center for Human Rights explains human rights, the importance of documenting human rights violations, and how to document them. Part IV of the guidebook may be particularly interesting as it provides advice on identifying problems and gathering and sharing information when conducting human rights documentation.
- D’Alessandra, Federica Sander Couch, Ilina Georgieva, Marieke De Hoon, Brianne Mcgonigle Leyh, and Jolien Quispel, eds. Handbook on Civil Society Documentation of Serious Human Rights Violations: Principles and Best Practices. Washington, DC: Public International Law & Policy Group, 2016.
This 146-page practical handbook is for civil society actors who have not received professional training on how to conduct human rights documentation. It offers guidelines on collecting, preparing, documenting, and managing information. It also discusses the topics of security and confidentiality. It may be useful to victim groups that are interested in learning more about documentation of human rights violations.
- Foreign and Commonwealth Office. “Training Materials: International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict.” Gov.UK website, 2016.
This online training manual, which is intended for “appropriately qualified and experienced trainers and designers and managers of trainings,” provides guidance on implementing the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict (Introduction, ii).
- Global Protection Cluster. “Media Guidelines for Reporting on Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Contexts.” Geneva, 2013.
This eight-page set of guidelines is for anyone “facilitating or engaging in media reporting” on gender-based violence (1). It aims to help them preserve the safety, confidentiality, and dignity of victims and their communities.
- International Bar Association and Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. “Guidelines on International Human Rights Fact-Finding Visits and Reports by Non-Governmental Organisations (The Lund-London Guidelines).” International Bar Association, London, 2015.
This 14-page document is a step-bystep guide for NGOs to conduct their own fact-finding missions. If actors follow these guidelines, “the allegations, observations and conclusions in [the report] can be reasonably relied upon” (2). Among other issues, the document provides detailed guidance on working methods that NGOs should adopt when conducting this work.
- Liberty Asia. “Guidance Note on Use of Victims’ Images.” Hong Kong, 2016.
This 25-page set of guidelines for NGOs provides advice on photographing and using images of victims. Annex 2 contains a quick review of all of the guidelines.
- Matheson, Kelly. Video as Evidence: Field Guide. New York: WITNESS, 2016.
This 230-page guide is for “people working in the field who are or will potentially film human rights abusers” (6). It offers guidance on capturing, storing, and sharing video evidence and includes basic practices for each part of the filming and sharing process. The rest of the guide dives deeper into each of those processes, using field notes as examples throughout the handbook.
- Nystedt, Maria (ed.), Christian Axboe Nielsen, and Jann K. Kleffner. “A Handbook on Assisting International Criminal Investigations.” Folke Bernadotte Academy and Swedish National Defence College, Stockholm, 2011.
This 49-page handbook is designed for international staff working in conflict and post-conflict settings who have not received professional training in documenting human rights abuses. It provides basic guidance on how to document possible international crimes and the kinds of information that may be helpful to investigators. It also discusses some of the legal consequences that may follow from witnessing international crimes.
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. “Interviewing.” In Manual on Human Rights Monitoring, chap. 11. New York and Geneva: United Nations, 2011.
Chapter 11 of this manual focuses on planning and preparing for interviews, conducting interviews, and interviewing people who belong to specific groups, such as women, displaced persons, children, trauma survivors, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, rural populations, and lower income groups.
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. “Protection of Victims, Witnesses and Other Cooperating Persons.” In Manual on Human Rights Monitoring, chap. 14. New York and Geneva: United Nations, 2011.
Chapter 14 of this manual for human rights organizations focuses on promoting the safety and security of victims, witnesses, and others with whom they work. It provides a set of preventive measures that human rights organizations can take to protect their partners and offers guidance on how to respond to protection concerns, among other issues.
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Commissions of Inquiry and Fact-Finding Missions on International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: Guidance and Practice. New York and Geneva: United Nations, 2015.
This 152-page document is for UN staff in relevant missions, commissions, and departments; governments; NGOs; national human rights institutions; and scholars. Victim groups may find Chapter IV particularly useful: it discusses gathering and assessing information and protecting victims and witnesses.
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Human Rights Indicators: A Guide to Measurement and Implementation. New York and Geneva: United Nations, 2012.
This 188-page guidebook is for those documenting and monitoring their government’s compliance with their human rights obligations. In addition to explaining what human rights are, the guidebook discusses how to identify and use specific indicators to evaluate human rights compliance. Pages 133 to 140 explain how to set up human rights monitoring systems.
- Public International Law & Policy Group. Human Rights Documentation Toolkit. Accessed April 14, 2020.
This website for human rights documenters is an interactive toolkit. It includes a list of experts and organizations that work on documentation, definitions of key terms, and a resource library that compiles guides and tools for documenters as well as examples of documentation work. It also maps documentation activities around the world.
- Ribeiro, Sara Ferro, and Danae van der Straten Ponthoz. International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict: Best Practice on the Documentation of Sexual Violence as a Crime or Violation of International Law, 2nd ed. London: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 2017.
This 328-page protocol outlines best practice on documenting and investigating sexual violence as a war crime, crimes against humanity, acts of genocide, or other serious violation of international law. It touches on topics “from understanding the impact of [conflict-related sexual violence] and the different forms of accountability that can be pursued, to setting out techniques for interviewing witnesses and gathering and analysing information that could be critical to these accountability efforts” (11). It may be useful to victim groups wanting to learn more about the status of sexual violence under international law, how to prepare for a documentation exercise, how to gather information, and how to analyze that information.
- Search for Common Ground. “Human Rights Monitors’ Guidebook: A Tool for Monitoring, Documenting and Reporting Human Rights Violations in Nigeria.” Washington, DC, 2014.
This 28-page guidebook is for CSOs, human rights defenders, and others. Focusing on the status of human rights in Nigeria, it provides concrete advice on monitoring, documenting, and reporting human rights violations. Victim groups may find chapters 5 to 7 on monitoring and documenting human rights violations particularly interesting.
- Lüge, Timo. "How to use social media to engage with people affected by crisis." International Committee of the Red Cross. 2017.
This 30-page guide teaches users how to utilize social media and digital communications channels effectively before, during, and after crises. Sections 1-5 may be particularly useful for victim groups seeking to build a digital community or audience.
- Nelson, Ashley, Allison Tucker, and Angie Williams. "Make It New: Using Media to Advance Advocacy." Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation. New York, 2021.
This 33-page toolkit provides guidance for CSOs interested in creating and sharing advocacy campaigns that center survivor voices and address the needs and complications victim groups are often met with in post-conflict settings.
- Forero, Ernesto Mora and Rosario Arias Callejas. "Living Archives: An Introductory Toolkit for Civil Society Organizations in the Creation of Human Rights Oral Archives and Organizing Their Documentation." Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation. Accessed March 2022.
This 78-page toolkit provides practical guidance for forming oral and human rights documentation archives.
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. "Berkeley Protocol on Digital Open Source Investigations: A Practical Guide on the Effective Use of Digital Open Source Information in Investigating Violations of International Criminal, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law." United Nations. New York and Geneva, 2020.
The 104-page Protocol provides insight to the general principles and methodologies of open source investigations, which utilize publicly available information for criminal inquiries. It may be useful for victim groups considering the use of digital open sources in their investigations, particularly to those conducting investigations outside of the territory where crimes occurred. It may also be useful for "digital first responders," such as victim groups or local organizations seeking to publish preliminary findings based on open source information (6).
Chapter 5: Advocating for Justice with Political and Diplomatic Actors
- International Justice Resource Center. “Primer for Advocacy Opportunities with the United Nations Human Rights Council.” San Francisco, 2012.
This 15-page brief is a comprehensive guide to advocacy at UN human rights bodies, such as the Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, and Special Procedures. It does not discuss treaty-based bodies. It may be useful to victim groups considering whether and how to engage with the UN human rights system as part of political and diplomatic engagement.
- International Service for Human Rights. “Simple Guide to the UN Treaty Bodies.” Geneva, 2010.
This 35-page guide introduces UN treaty-based human rights bodies that monitor and encourage countries to implement their obligations under international human rights treaties. It may be useful to victim groups wanting to understand what these bodies do and how they can interact with them.
- UN Women. “Identifying Target Audiences.” UN Women website, 2012.
This webpage discusses the difference between primary and secondary audiences for advocacy strategies in the specific context of protection of women’s movements.
- WorldCourts. International Case Law Database, ECOWAS Community Court of Justice. Accessed April 14, 2020.
This is a database of ECOWAS Community Court decisions to provide further examples of how regional courts and bodies can influence justice and legal precedent among member states.
Chapter 6: Advocating Publicly for Justice through Strategic Communications
- Bales, Susan Nall. “Framing Public Issues,” FrameWorks Institute, Washington, DC, 2005.
This 60-page toolkit aims to help organizations make their vision and goals accessible to public audiences and to engage them in the same. It focuses on issues that affect children, families, poor people, and communities. It may be helpful to victim groups developing an outreach strategy.
- Brown, Rachel Hilary. Defusing Hate: A Strategic Communication Guide to Counteract Dangerous Speech. Washington, DC: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2016.
This 166-page book is a highly practical resource for actors working to advance peace and prevent and counteract hateful or dangerous speech that incites violence. It may be helpful for victim groups thinking through how to engage with groups in their societies that do not support their justice initiative.
- National Council for Voluntary Organisations. “Developing a Communications Strategy.” NCVO Knowhow, 2019.
This webpage, which includes exercises and downloadable resources, provides an overview of different forms of analysis for developing a communications strategy, including PEST (Political, Economic, Social, and Technical) analysis and SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis.
- Van Korlaar, Craig. “Know Your Target Audience: 10 Questions to Ask.” Top Nonprofits, 2012.
This webpage presents 10 questions that organizations can ask to identify and understand their target audience.
- WITNESS. “Ethical Guidelines: Using Videos in Human Rights Reporting and Advocacy.” Accessed April 14, 2020.
This website is primarily for those who use videos for reporting or documenting human rights. It may also be useful to anyone who consumes and distributes real-time footage of abuses and atrocities online. It is an interactive toolbox with guidelines for using videos to document human rights abuses and an ethical checklist that includes questions on intent, giving credit and context, and considering the safety and dignity of subjects.
- WITNESS. “Video Advocacy Guide.” Accessed April 14, 2020.
This video series is an excellent resource for victim groups and others considering whether and how to use video as part of their communications and outreach.
Chapter 7: Anticipating and Mitigating the Risks and Challenges of Pursuing Justice
- Frontline Defenders. “Tools for HRDs.” Frontline Defenders website. Accessed February 2, 2021.
This online toolkit for human rights defenders covers a number of topics relevant to security risks associated with human rights work, including applying for protection grants, analyzing risks, maintaining digital security, and other resources for human rights defenders.
- Kraemer, Talia, and Eliza Patten. “Establishing a Trauma-Informed Lawyer-Client Relationship (Part One)” Child Law Practice 33, no. 10 (October 2014): 197–202.
This six-page article is geared toward lawyers but gives a clear set of guidelines on interviewing and working with victims of childhood trauma. This article discusses what to expect and how to respond to triggered and traumatized youth.
- National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health. “Trauma Informed Legal Advocacy: Practice Scenarios Series.” Chicago, 2015.
This four-page guide for lawyers and advocates guides readers through a two-step approach to working in a legal capacity with survivors of domestic violence. It involves asking the person what happened from his or her perspective and then assessing the strategies that can be used to support the person. Although the guide focuses specifically on victims of domestic violence, it may be relevant for victim groups that want to adopt a traumainformed approach in their engagement with victims.
- Tactical Technology Collective. “The Holistic Security Manual.” Tactical Tech, Berlin. Accessed February 2, 2021.
This manual aims to assist individuals, groups, and organizations to create or enhance their security strategies. It brings together the various components of a security strategy, from digital security to psychosocial security and organizational security.
Chapter 8: Securing Funding and Support for Victim Groups to Lead Justice Projects
- “Applying for Grants.” Community Tool Box website. Accessed December 11, 2020.
This online resource provides guidance to community organizations on how to apply for grants. It covers everything from the grant-writing process to building a proposal that responds to a potential donor’s priorities.
- European Commission. “A Guide to EU Funding.” Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2017.
This 20-page guide is for individuals or organizations seeking funding from the European Union. It explains various programs and funding sources that are available.
- Garbutt, Anne. “Monitoring and Evaluation: A Guide for Small and Diaspora NGOs.” Peer Learning Programme for Small and Diaspora Organisations, Oxford, 2013.
This short guide, intended for small and diaspora organizations, “clarifies what we mean by monitoring and evaluation and provides some guidance for how to do it well” (1). It may be useful to victim groups developing an evaluation strategy for a proposal or project.
- Mroueh, Ahmed. “A Practical Guide for Civil Society Organisations in Lebanon towards Proposal Writing.” Lebanon Support, Mount Lebanon, Lebanon, 2018.
Written for Lebanese civil society organizations, this 37-page guide may be useful to civil society organizations from around the world. It not only explains the donor landscape but walks readers through the proposal-writing process.
- Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights. “Funds and Grants.” In Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme: A Handbook for Civil Society. New York and Geneva: Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2008. HR/PUB/06/10/Rev.1.
Chapter 9 of this 206-page handbook provides advice on the funds and grants for civil society that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights manages. In addition to providing an overview of what grants and funds are, it also discusses specific funding programs for which victim groups may be eligible.
- Shapiro, Janet. “Writing a Funding Proposal Toolkit” CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Johannesburg, South Africa, n.d.
This 40-page guide is for people with project ideas that require funding but who have little confidence or experience in fundraising. It discusses the planning and research phase, writing proposals, and post-submission follow-up.
- Taylor, Madeleine, Peter Plastrik, Julia Coffman, and Anne Whatley. “Evaluating Networks for Social Change: A Casebook.” Part 2 of a Guide to Network Evaluation. Network Impact, Boston, MA, and Center for Evaluation Innovation, Washington, DC, 2014.
Written for “funders, network practitioners, and network evaluators” (rather than civil society organizations), this 44-page casebook discusses different approaches that funders have taken to evaluate networks.
- National Council for Voluntary Organisations. "Financial Procedures Manual." NCVO Knowhow. Accessed February 2022.
This guide instructs organizations on how to create a unique manual with their financial policies and practices. This may be useful for organizations seeking to standardize their financial decisions and determine a framework for organization members/employees to follow.
- Porcincula, Mateo. "Measuring Results and Monitoring Progress of Transitional Justice Processes." International Center for Transitional Justice. New York, 2021.
This 68-page report explores monitoring and evaluation practices in transitional justice processes. It may be useful for victim groups to understand the "challenges, conditions, and needs of the field" when pursuing transitional justice (Abstract).