37 Resources Found

Handbook on Children Recruited and Exploited by Terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups: The Role of the Justice System

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Download full PDF from unodc.org

26 January 2018

This handbook is designed for national authorities and provides guidance on the treatment of children recruited and exploited by terrorist and violent extremist groups, with emphasis on the role of the justice system. The main objectives of the handbook are to prevent the recruitment of children, identify effective justice responses to these children, and promote their rehabilitation and reintegration. The target audience is both law and policymakers who design policies of prevention and treatment as well as practitioners dealing directly with children in these contexts.

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.

Implementing the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

Case Matrix Network

See full resource on blog.casematrixnetwork.org

26 September 2017

These guidelines were created for national legislators, policy makers, and other accountability stakeholders who would benefit from learning about the different approaches States may have for the domestic implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The purpose of this tool is to enable the reader to identify the appropriate method for incorporating international crime provisions into domestic legislation, address associated challenges, understand the core components that must be implemented, and guide national legislators through the implementation process. Section 12 (p.111-115) contains a helpful implementation checklist outlining the guiding principles which can be tailored to each State's priorities and individual concerns.

International Criminal Law Guidelines on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Crimes

Case Matrix Network

See full resource on legal-tools.org

1 June 2017

These Guidelines aim to support the application of accountability initiatives by providing a concise overview of the legal requirements of seven underlying acts of sexual and gender-based violence crimes (SGBV) proscribed under the ICC Statute: rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilisation, other forms of sexual violence and genocide by measures intended to prevent births. The Guidelines are directed to practitioners who wish to familiarise themselves with the legal requirements of SGBV crimes under international criminal law. Emblematic international case law as well as commentaries of independent human rights experts and leading publicists that address the seven SGBV crimes under the International Criminal Court Statute are reviewed.

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.

Handbook on Complementarity- An Introduction to the Role of National Courts and the ICC in Prosecuting International Crimes

Paul Seils, International Center for Transitional Justice

See full resource on ictj.org

22 July 2016

This Handbook is intended to explain the main issues of law and practice related to complementarity for those who are not legal specialists. It is aimed at organizations and individuals that are not specicalists on the International Criminal Court or criminal law issues. It supports those who want to understand the basic legal issues as well as the broader contextual matters connected to complementarity by explaining how the complementarity regime works. After reading this handbook, readers should have a basic understanding of the ICC, the concept of complementarity, how key cases on the issue 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, including civil society and victims’ representatives. Case studies include the following countries: Afghanistan, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, and Libya. This resource is also available in French.

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.

A Guide to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Legal Protection in Acute Emergencies

War Child Canada

Download full PDF from warchild.ca

1 January 2016

War Child Canada recognized an absence of independently evaluated and documented best practices in the legal protection sector. This guide outlines what works for survivor- centered sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) legal protection services in emergency settings, based on War Child Canada’s field practice, evidence and learning. While this guide is based on the learning from one specific environment – Northern Uganda immediately after the influx of South Sudanese refugees – it provides considerations and recommendations for contextualization to different contexts and regions

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.

Anti-Impunity Tool: Guidance for Investigating and Prosecuting Serious Violations against Children in Armed Conflict

Conflict Dynamics International

Download full PDF from cacaccountability.org

11 December 2015

The Anti-impunity Tool: Guidance for Investigating and Prosecuting Serious Violations against Children in Armed Conflict (CAC Anti-Impunity Tool) is a practical guide to assist national judicial actors to investigate, prosecute, and try serious violations committed against children in armed conflict (CAC). It is also a resource for child protection and child rights actors (CPAs) on how to support efforts to end impunity for these violations. Conflict Dynamics International has designed this Tool to support national efforts to investigate and prosecute CAC violations alongside the 2015 Children in Armed Conflict Accountability Framework (CAC Accountability Framework), which supports prevention and remedy of serious violations of international law committed against children in armed conflict.

Guide pratique anti-impunité : Comment enquêter et intenter des poursuites judiciaires en cas de violations graves commises contre des enfants pendant les conflits armés

Conflict Dynamics International

Download full PDF from cacaccountability.org

11 December 2015

Le Guide pratique anti-impunité : Comment enquêter et intenter des poursuites judiciaires en cas de violations graves commises contre des enfants pendant les conflits armés (en abrégé, le Guide pratique anti-impunité ECA) est censé aider les appareils judiciaires nationaux à instruire les cas de ce genre. Le guide est également censé aider les acteurs de la protection de l’enfance et en défense des droits de l’enfant à promouvoir la lutte contre l’impunité de ceux qui violent ces droits.

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.

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.

Best Practices Manual for the Investigation and Prosecution of Sexual Violence Crimes in Post-Conflict Regions: Lessons learned from the Office of the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)

Download full PDF from legal-tools.org

30 January 2014

This resource shares lessons learned and best practices from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and outlines the need for a global strategy to deal with the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence crimes. It recognizes that sexual violence is committed against women, men, and children. It examines the investigation phase, pre-trial and trial phase, and appeal and post-trial phase. Annex D provides an example investigation work plan. Annex E provides an interview checklist.

Informal Justice Systems: Charting a Course for Human Rights-Based Engagement

UN Women; UNICEF; UN Development Programme (UNDP)

Download full PDF from undp.org


This resource explores how informal justice systems and programs that include such systems can promote respect for human rights. It provides an overview of issues that international development and justice actors should consider before involvement informal justice mechanisms. This resource considers the place of children’s rights and women’s rights within informal justice systems.

Guiding Principles for the Domestic Implementation of a Comprehensive System of Protection for Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Download full PDF from icrc.org

15 September 2011

This resource aims to clarify existing obligations of State parties, facilitate respect for existing obligations, and promote the implementation of relevant legal provisions. It contains recommendations by the ICRC for practical, regulatory, and legal measures to promote the effective domestic implementation of international rules to protect children affected by armed conflict. This resource considers specific issues such as recruitment, juvenile justice, preventative measures, reparations, transitional justice, and disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programs.

Guidelines on Action for Children in the Justice System in Africa

UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children

See full resource on srsg.violenceagainstchildren.org


Intended for African governments, this resource aims to provide guidance on implementing African Union (AU) and other regional and international treaty bodies. The guidelines include a set of overarching principles, general measures of implementation, an overview of child friendly justice, fair trial rights for children in conflict with the law and for child victims and witnesses, and alternative care proceedings. This resource also discusses traditional justice and provides minimum standards for traditional courts.

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.

Toolkit on Diversion and Alternatives to Detention


See full resource on unicef.org

September 2010

This resource is an online toolkit that provides practical guidance on advocating and implementing diversion and alternatives to detention for children in conflict. Diversion means channeling children in conflict away from judicial proceedings to be dealt with by non-judicial bodies. This resource explores steps for implementation, including data management, monitoring and evaluation, and planning. It also includes a list of additional resources, such as fact sheets and case studies.

ICTY Manual on Developed Practices

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY); UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)

Download full PDF from icty.org


This resource shares the International Criminal Tribunal of Yugoslavia’s (ICTY) experiences and established practices in the prosecution and adjudication of cases involving war crimes and serious violations of international humanitarian law. This manual is intended for actors prosecuting crimes during armed conflict in national and international jurisdictions. It provides guidelines on opening an investigation and information gathering, interviewing witnesses, indictments, issuing arrest warrants, pre-trial proceedings, trial and case management, and enforcement of sentences.

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.

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: Mapping the justice sector

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

Download full PDF from ohchr.org


This resource aims to assist UN missions and transitional administrations in mapping the justice sector to understand how it operates in states before and during conflict. This resource provides an overview of key institutions, mechanisms, and priorities such as linkages between institutions and oversight bodies or accountability mechanisms. Page 14 focuses on traditional justice.

Rule-of-Law Tools for Post-Conflict States: Prosecution initiatives

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

Download full PDF from ohchr.org


This resource lays out the basic considerations for prosecution initiatives and aims to assist United Nations staff when addressing challenges to prosecuting perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. It focuses on the technical, domestic challenges of such prosecutions and highlights considerations that should be applied to all prosecutorial initiatives. It examines strategic considerations, trial management and due process, and forms of interventions such as hybrid tribunals.

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.

Guidelines on Justice in Matters Involving Child Victims and Witnesses of Crime

UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

Download full PDF from unodc.org

22 July 2005

This resource establishes good practices in order ensure full respect of the rights of child victims and witnesses of crimes. These guidelines can assist governments, organizations, and professionals in designing and implementing legislation, program and practices at the national, regional, and international levels. The document emphasizes that child victims and witnesses have the right to be treated with dignity and compassion, to be protected from discrimination, to be informed, to be heard and express views and concerns, to effective assistance, to privacy, to be protected from hardship during the justice process, to safety, to repatriation, and to special preventative measures.

International Criminal Justice and Children

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ); UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre

Download full PDF from unicef.org

September 2002

This resource introduces the international framework for children and justice, including international legal protection standards and judicial and non-judicial accountability mechanisms. It takes a particular look at protection of children in times of war and use of child soldiers, as well as protection of children as victims and witnesses. In particular, it outlines the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC), as well as its relation to national justice systems. Finally, it gives some concrete recommendations on the role of children in non-judicial mechanisms like truth commissions and traditional accountability mechanisms.

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.

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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