Arusha training for first responders to scenes of mass crimes

kotarski Judicial Capacity Building, News and Events

From information to evidence: Building a stronger foundation for accountability (Programme)

On 21-22 October 2016, the Wayamo Foundation and the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA) hosted a two-day workshop for first responders to scenes of mass crimes. The participants included human rights field investigators, NGO representatives and journalists from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Drawing on the experience of war crimes prosecutors and experienced field investigators, the workshop provided guidance for NGOs in documenting and collecting evidence of crimes under the Rome Statute. It also discussed problems encountered by NGOs in the past, such as the clash between the dual mandate of human rights advocacy on the one hand, and preparing case dossiers for eventual prosecution on the other.

The workshop focused on the problem of missing psychosocial support in assisting NGOs on how to take witness statements professionally without retraumatising a victim of human rights abuses. It also provided an introduction to ground-sign interpretation skills as well as forensic awareness and non-destructive evidence recording techniques for investigators in the field.

The two-day capacity building workshop was held following an international symposium on ““Towards a System of International Justice”” from 18-19 October 2016 organised by the Africa Group and the Wayamo Foundation in Arusha, Tanzania.

The Africa Group for Justice and Accountability was established in November 2015 to support efforts to strengthen justice and accountability measures in Africa through domestic and regional capacity building, advice and outreach, and enhancing cooperation between Africa and the International Criminal Court. It comprises senior African experts on international criminal law and human rights, including political figures, members of international and domestic tribunals, and human rights advocates.

The Wayamo Foundation is an independent, non-profit organisation established to strengthen the rule of law, promote international criminal justice and foster transparency through informed journalism.