34 Resources Found

Listening to Young Voices: A Guide to Interviewing Children and Young People in Truth Seeking and Documentation Efforts

Valerie Waters

See full resource on ictj.org

1 January 2018

This protocol provides guidance for interviewing children who have expressed a desire to participate in truth-seeking and documentation efforts, outlining protection principles, inquiry strategies, and behavioral guidelines for interacting with children. Created with a child-centered approach, the protocol is intended to increase the effectiveness of the response to violations committed against children in armed conflict. Available in English, Arabic, French, and Spanish.

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 [Second Edition]

UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Sara Ferro Ribeiro and Danaé van der Straten Ponthoz

See full resource on gov.uk

1 March 2017

This resource contains guidelines for the best practice of documenting and investigating sexual violence as a crime under international law. It is designed to assist human rights practitioners, international and national authorities, civil society, and investigators with practical guidance on managing risks, collecting and handling evidence, and addressing trauma. Chapter Sixteen (p.244-262) is dedicated to sexual violence against children, including the legal framework, ethical considerations, and guidance on engaging child witnesses and survivors. The first edition of the resource can be found on the same page in various languages including English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Serbo-Croatian, Farsi, Burmese, Albanian, and Swahili.

Policy on Children

Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court

See full resource on icc-cpi.int

1 November 2016

The International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor recognizes that most crimes under the Statute affect children in various ways, and that at times they are specifically targeted. The Office engages with children in various contexts and circumstances, notably children who are witnesses and those whose parents or caregivers have agreed to testify before the Court. In these interactions, the Office will consider the best interests, rights and well-being of children who are directly impacted by its activities. The Office will strive to ensure that its activities do no harm to the children with whom it interacts. The Office will adopt a child-sensitive approach in all aspects of its work involving children. This policy guides applying this approach.

Reducing Risk, Strengthening Resilience: Toward the Structural Prevention of Atrocity Crimes

Alex Bellamy, Stanley Foundation

Download full PDF from stanleyfoundation.org

1 April 2016

This is a policy brief that outlines how to apply structural prevention of atrocity crimes, particularly at the national and local level. The recommendations intend to assist actors to reduce the occurrence of risk factors of atrocities and increase societal resilience. Particular to addressing serious violations against children in armed conflict, this brief includes rule of law, accountability, and commitment to guarantees of non-recurrence of violations as key to prevention and resilience. Also recommended is reforming legal and judicial systems for greater accountability and ensuring the legal empowerment of marginalized communities.

Age Assessment Guidelines to Prevent and Respond to Child Recruitment in the Afghanistan National Security Forces

Afghanistan National Security Forces

See full resource on reliefweb.int

15 February 2016

These are guidelines from the Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF). The document describes an age assessment process to prevent enlisting underage members into the national armed forceswhen identity documents are not available. Prepared by experts, practitioners, military officials, and UNICEF, these principles suggest an assessment based on five components including direct interviews with the individual, interviews with family and community members, crosschecking of all available information, documentation, and referral to services and reintegration. Child sensitive age assessment techniques are provided operating within international human rights obligations. This document and annexed checklists are applicable to both national armed forces and armed groups in order to ensure the enforcement of the international humanitarian law obligation to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers and to reform the recruitment process to prevent the violation before it happens. This resource is available in both English and Dari.

Handbook on Civil Society Documentation of Serious Human Rights Violations

Public International Law & Policy Group

Download full PDF from vu.nl

1 January 2016

The purpose of this Handbook is to provide guidelines and best practices for the collection and management of information on serious human rights situations for civil society actors who are not professionally trained in such documentation practices. While the Handbook strongly emphasizes the need to for civil society to leave the work to professionals, practice shows that this is not always possible and as a last resort civil society actors may consider engaging in some documentation practices and not in others. The Handbook offers guidance on ethical principles and documentation to prevent/mitigate harm, identify security risks, preserve crime scenes, prevent the loss of evidence, and manage the information in manner that preserves confidentiality, security and probative value, with an eye to possible use in later redress processes and without jeopardizing the future work of professionally trained and officially appointed investigators.

Accountability and Reconciliation in Peace Processes

Democratic Progress Institute

Download full PDF from democraticprogress.org

31 December 2015

Through international case studies and analysis of different methods, this paper examines the range of measures that may help societies to achieve accountability and reconciliation, and explores the challenges faced in this field. Successful accountability measures draw on a critical understanding of experience from elsewhere, carefully adapted to the social, political and cultural context and questions of feasibility. This Handbook includes recommendations on making provisions for accountability and reconciliation in peace negotiations and methods for accountability and reconciliation, with case studies from Northern Ireland, Cambodia, and Rwanda.

Enforced Disappearance and Extrajudicial Execution: Investigation and Sanction (A Practitioners Guide)

International Commission of Jurists, Federico Andreu-Guzmán

See full resource on icj.org

1 March 2015

This resource supports investigating and punishing crimes of enforced disappearance and extrajudicial execution. It is based off a series of seminars and includes the perspectives of judges, prosecutors, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, journalists, and human rights practitioners. In addition to contextualizing both crimes under international law and in armed conflict, the resource includes guidance for investigation, using forensic science, and identifying direct and indirect victims of enforced disappearance. It discusses three specific situations (p.48-56) in which children are considered victims of enforced disappearance: when subject to enforced disappearance; when born during the captivity of a mother subjected to enforced disappearance; and when a parent, legal guardian, or other relative is subject to enforced disappearance. This resource was written in Spanish and translated to English, and is available in both languages.

Children in Armed Conflict Accountability Framework: A Framework for Advancing Accountability for Serious Violations against Children in Armed Conflict

Conflict Dynamics International

Download full PDF from cacaccountability.org


This Framework is a practical resource that promotes accountability for serious violations of international law committed against children in armed conflict (CAC). It responds to the significant gap that exists in preventing and remedying these serious violations - and is designed to assist policymakers and practitioners working at all levels to bridge this gap. It provides individuals and organizations working in child protection, justice, peacebuilding, and related fields with a comprehensive definition and structure for understanding CAC accountability and practical guidance for developing well-informed, context-specific, and feasible options for advancing CAC accountability.

Marco de Rendición de Cuentas frente a los niños, las niñas y los jóvenes afectados por los conflictos armados

Conflict Dynamics International

Download full PDF from cacaccountability.org


This resource is the Spanish version of the "Children in Armed Conflict Accountability Framework." El Marco de Rendición de Cuentas frente a los niños, las niñas y los jóvenes afectados por los conflictos armados es un recurso práctico que promueve mecanismos para abordar casos de violaciones graves derecho internacional cometidas contra los niños, las niñas y los jóvenes en situaciones de conflicto armado (rendición de cuentas sobre NNJ). Elaborado como respuesta al importante vacío existente en materia de prevención y reparación de este tipo de violaciones, este Marco aporta los siguientes elementos: 1. una definición completa y estructura para entender la cuestión de la rendición de cuentas sobre NNJ; 2. orientaciones metodológicas prácticas que pueden ser adaptadas y aplicadas en diferentes contextos con el objeto de aumentar las acciones de rendición de cuentas sobre NNJ.

Communication and Report Drafting in Monitoring, Reporting, and Fact-­finding Mechanisms

Rob Grace

See full resource on poseidon01.ssrn.com

1 July 2014

This report addresses how, when and to what extent monitoring, reporting, and fact-finding missions finding (MRF) missions mandated to investigate alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law should engage in public communication. MRFs face a tension between the contrasting needs for confidentiality and public communication. Similar challenges surround the process of drafting reports. This paper examines how MRF practitioners have responded to these challenges to provide lessons learned.

International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict: Basic Standards of Best Practices on the Documentation of Sexual Violence as a Crime under International Law

Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Government of the United Kingdom

Download full PDF from gov.uk

11 June 2014

This resource lays out the basic principles for the documentation of sexual violence as a crime under international law. Human rights and justice practitioners, as well as national and local security, judicial, law enforcement and investigative institutions may use these guidelines to establish an investigation and documentation process, conduct interviews, and manage evidence. Page 42 provides guidance on identifying child survivors and witnesses. Page 59 provides instruction on interviewing children.

Protection of Witnesses, Victims and Staff in Monitoring, Reporting, and Fact-Finding Mechanisms

Cynthia Petrigh

See full resource on papers.ssrn.com

7 February 2014

One dilemma that practitioners face in serving on monitoring, reporting, and fact-finding (MRF) missions concerns the protection of witnesses, victims, and staff. Witnesses' and victims' statements account for the predominant evidence when investigating human rights violations, but in coming forward they put themselves at risk. MRF missions' staff also face security risks. Additionally, the ad hoc nature of such missions is in contrast with the need to ensure protection on a long-term scale. This paper analyzes how past MRF missions have grappled with these risks and measures that can be taken by MRF professionals to mitigate them.

Child Protection Model Law, Best Practices: Protection of Children from Neglect, Abuse, Maltreatment, and Exploitation

The Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze of Advanced and International Studies; International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children

Download full PDF from protectionproject.org

January 2013

Citing 130 domestic laws from 68 countries, this resource provides models laws on child protection, including protection of children in situations of emergency and armed conflict, for legislators drafting or amending child protection laws. These model laws are based upon international standards and best practices on child protection, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Optional Protocol to the CRC on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC).

Through a New Lens: A Child-Sensitive Approach to Transitional Justice

Cécile Aptel and Virginie Ladisch, International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)

Download full PDF from ictj.org

September 2011

Based on assessments of Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, and Nepal, this resource examines the ways in which transitional justice can engage children and consider their needs. It assesses the extent to which truth-seeking mechanisms, criminal justice, reparations, and institutional reform have raised awareness about the victimization of children.

Bridging the Accountability Gap: New Approaches to Addressing Violations Against Children in Armed Conflict

Julia Freedson, Conflict Dynamics International

Download full PDF from cdint.org

June 2011

This resource examines the accountability gap for violations committed against children in situations of armed conflict. It evaluates actions to attain accountability through efforts at the national level, UN Security Council, and international level. The report provides several policy options to address the accountability gap and features case studies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Colombia.

Criteria for the Design and Evaluation of Juvenile Justice Reform Programmes

Interagency Panel on Juvenile Justice (IPJJ); UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Download full PDF from unrol.org

September 2010

This resource identifies good practice for juvenile justice programs and develops a set of criteria for their design and evaluation based on the rights of the child enshrined in international norms and standards. This resource also considers basic principles and programs for child victims and witnesses of crimes. The annex includes sample programming goals, objectives, outcomes, and potential impact.

Children and Security Sector Reform in Post-conflict Peace-building

David Nosworthy, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre

Download full PDF from unicef-irc.org

June 2010

This resource considers children and youth in the post-conflict peacebuilding phase of restoring justice and security. It discusses national structures and mechanisms, such as hybrid courts, domestic prosecution, and truth commissions, and articulates their relevance to children and young people. This report also explores the role of civil society organizations in building accountability and good governance within the security sector.

DDR, Transitional Justice, and the Reintegration of Former Child Combatants

Roger Duthie and Irma Specht, International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)

Download full PDF from ictj.org

February 2010

This resource explores how transitional justice measures may positively affect former child combatants by reducing social exclusion from their communities. It considers several issues in relation to reintegration of children; such issues include truth-telling, reparations, local justice, and prosecutions.

Behind the Uniform: Training the military in child rights and children protection in Africa

Save the Children Sweden

Download full PDF from resourcecentre.savethechildren.se


In 1998, Save the Children Sweden began training military personnel, including pre-deployed peacekeepers, in child rights and child protection across Africa. This resource outlines the training program and provides a summary of its achievements, challenges, lessons learned, and recommendations. Annex 3 includes the international legal framework for child protection in conflict settings. Annex 5 lists the materials used during trainings.

Rule-of-Law Tools for Post-Conflict States: Amnesties

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Download full PDF from ohchr.org


Intended for practitioners, this resource explores the concept of amnesty and considers the relationship between amnesties and other processes of transitional justice, such as truth commissions, the right to remedy and reparations, and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs. This resource also incorporates relevant rules of international law and United Nations policy when drafting amnesties.

Handbook on Legislative Reform: Realising Children’s Rights, Vol. 1


Download full PDF from unicef.org

November 2008

In order to support implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), this resource examines constitutional and legislative reforms in favor of the rights of children. Taking a human rights-based approach, it considers various guiding principles, rights of victims, prevention, criminalization, and processes and entry points for constitutional and legislative reforms.

Guidance Note of the Secretary-General: UN Approach to Justice for Children

United Nations (UN)

Download full PDF from unrol.org

September 2008

This resource is intended to provide guidance for children’s activities in pre-crisis, crisis, and post-crisis contexts, with particular attention to achieving justice for children at the national level. This resource includes nine guiding principles and a framework for a justice approach to child protection and child participation.

Transitional Justice: Information Handbook

United States Institute of Peace (USIP)

Download full PDF from usip.org

September 2008

This resource looks at the goals of transitional justice post-conflict and factors for determining appropriate transitional justice mechanisms. It provides guidelines on criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, vetting, reparations and compensation.

Children as Active Citizens: A Policy and Programme Guide

Inter-Agency Working Group on Children’s Participation (IAWGCP)

Download full PDF from unicef.org


This resource considers commitments and obligations for children’s civil rights and civic engagement in East Asia and the Pacific. It aims to strengthen children’s civil rights and provides guidance on capacities, structures, and resources needed to strengthen children’s civil rights. The annex includes a checklist to assess children’s citizenship and civil rights at the national level. This resource is intended for decision-makers at the national level and service providers to realize civil rights for children.

The OECD DAC Handbook on Security Systems Reform (SSR): Supporting Security and Justice

Organizations for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

See full resource on keepeek.com


This resource provides guidelines on security sector reform and governance and the design, implementation, and evaluation of such programs. Intended to inform donor support for SSR, this resource specifically targets development, security, rule of law, and diplomatic actors. This resource also discusses developing an integrated approach to SSR for countries emerging from conflict and related issues such as transitional justice and disarmament demobilization, and reintegration programs.

Supporting the Realization of Children’s Rights through a Rights-Based Approach to Legislative Reform


Download full PDF from unicef.org

January 2007

This resource aims to guide UNICEF regional and country offices in programming for child rights in legislative reform and creating the necessary human and financial resources for legislative reform. This resource links the issue of legislative reform to the key international policies and laws and emphasizes the importance of the national legal system. The resource concludes by examining cross-cutting issues and challenges and provides indicators, sample program plans, and checklists.

Justice as Prevention: Vetting Public Employees in Transitional Societies

Alexander Mayer-Rieckh and Pablo de Grieff, International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ); Social Science Research Council (SSRC)

See full resource on ssrc.org


The second volume in the ICTJ’s Advancing Transitional Justice Series, this resource is comprised of a collection of essays that explores the issue of vetting in a variety of countries and contexts. Chapter 13 examines vetting and transitional justice. The appendix includes operational guidelines for vetting public employees in post-conflict settings.

Rule-of-Law Tools for Post-Conflict States: Truth Commissions

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Download full PDF from ohchr.org


This resource establishes principles and standards for the creation of truth commissions and explores core operational activities such as statement-taking, building a database, research and investigations, public hearings, public outreach, and report writing. It also explores the link between truth commissions, prosecutions, reparations, vetting, and reforms. The role of national and international NGOs in truth commissions is considered. Meant to assist field missions and transitional administrations, this resource uses lessons learned from previous UN field missions in Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste.

Rule-of-Law Tools for Post-Conflict States: Vetting: an operational framework

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Download full PDF from ohchr.org


Written for United Nations field staff and others responsible for institutional and personnel reform in post-conflict states, this resource provides an overview of vetting as a tool of institutional reform and transitional justice. It also explores the conditions of transitional personnel reform, operational guidelines for assessment and designing the vetting process, and considerations regarding the political conditions surrounding reform.

Vetting Public Employees in Post-Conflict Settings: Operational Guidelines

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Download full PDF from ictj.org


This resource provides guidance on vetting in post-conflict settings. It includes an overview of factors that determine a vetting process, designing a vetting process, different types of vetting, and other relevant institutional reforms. The annex includes a vetting checklist, a capacity and integrity framework, and relevant conventions and codes for vetting in security and judicial sectors.

Monitoring and Investigating Human Rights Abuses in Armed Conflict

Amnesty International; Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA)

Download full PDF from amnesty.nl


This resource considers monitoring human rights abuses in situations of armed conflict and provides information required to prepare for fact-finding missions, as well as guidelines on how to investigate and verify information and determine sufficient proof. The annexes include relevant international and regional human rights laws in Africa. An overview of human rights abuses against children in situations of armed conflict is provided on page 33.

Child Rights and Child Protection before, during, and after conflict: Training Manual for Military Personnel

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); Save the Children Sweden

Download full PDF from ovcsupport.net

December 2000

Drafted for military trainers, this resource is intended to train military personnel and familiarize them with the legal instruments of child protection and child rights. The manual’s themes include the legal standards on child rights and child protection, the effects of armed conflict on children, and collaborating with humanitarian organizations and civil authorities. Additional materials include handouts, exercises, checklists, and other visuals.

Ukweli: Handbook on Monitoring and Documenting Human Rights Violations in Africa

Amnesty International; Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA)

Download full PDF from amnesty.nl


This resource defines key activities related to human rights contact-building, monitoring, fact-finding, and documenting. It also defines the principles of accuracy, confidentiality, impartiality, and gender-sensitivity for conducting research on human rights violations. Based on the experience of African human rights defenders, this resource provides guidance for national and local human rights organizations and activists who are new to human rights research and human rights law. An accompanying ‘A Handbook for Community Activists’ is also available.

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