The Ferencz Initiative is working to equip the next generation of change-agents, both in the US and in countries affected by mass atrocities, with the tools, skills, and knowledge to become justice champions. Our training, education, and mentorship programs focus on supporting potential change-agents to play a positive and out-sized role in processes to prevent and redress atrocities. Through our research, we aim to contribute to a world in which more domestic justice systems help to prevent, halt, and prosecute international crimes and an environment in which national and international institutions and courts prioritize meaningful victim engagement and outreach. We engage with many actors whose input is required to realize this vision, such as law students, victims, civil society representatives, criminal justice system officials in countries at risk of atrocities, and policy-makers.
Spotlight: A training program for criminal justice system actors
History shows that while criminal justice system actors can be perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity, they can also serve on the front lines of preventing and responding to atrocities. For example, community police officers are often well-placed to identify early warning signs of potential mass atrocities, while prosecutors and judges can play an important role in protecting at-risk minority groups and checking executive actions that undermine the rule of law. The Ferencz Initiative together with the Museum’s Levine Institute for Holocaust Education is developing a first-of-its-kind training program for criminal justice actors in countries at-risk of atoricites. The program, which will incorporate both training and mentorship, aims to build criminal justice system actors’ understanding, leadership skills, and commitment to prevent and respond to mass atrocities.
Spotlight: Pursuing justice for atrocities, a handbook for victims and survivors
The Ferencz Initiative is developing a cutting-edge handbook on pursuing justice for atrocities for victims, survivors, and their civil society representatives. The handbook, which serves as a companion guide to the work of our Justice Advisory Groups, canvases the full range of tactics and strategies needed to pursue justice, from building diverse and representative victim-driven coalitions with clearly defined goals and engaging different actors about the need for justice, to documenting crimes, implementing security protocols, and securing funding and resources for these efforts. Developed through interviews with experts and practitioners about lessons learned from previous transitional justice efforts, the handbook aims to provide change-agents with highly practical information to confront common challenges as they seek to advance justice that responds to the needs and interests of affected communities.