In Focus

Senior Expert, Programs


In Venezuela, there is now an absence of representative democracy and a vacuum of public trust in politicians. However, this situation presents an opportunity for other actors and other approaches, so far disparaged by hardliners on both sides. Civil society organizations, which have earned credibility through their dedicated work addressing the humanitarian crisis and defending human rights, can seize this opportunity.


For many victims of human rights violations and international crimes around the world, the prospects of holding perpetrators to account, especially high-level individuals, have long seemed farfetched, given current political and legal hurdles and the limitations of international criminal justice mechanisms. For this reason, the multiple ongoing investigations into international crimes committed in Syria and court cases against suspected perpetrators based on the principle of universal jurisdiction across Europe have offered a ray of hope in an otherwise bleak justice landscape.


In what UN Women describes as the “shadow pandemic,” rates of violence against women have soared since the public health and economic crises brought about by COVID-19. With stay-at-home orders in place in countries around the world, women are more susceptible than ever to domestic violence. In countries affected by conflict or repressive rule, all forms of sexual and gender-based violence are on the rise. The ICTJ Gender Modules offer a timely tool to raise awareness about these issues and help develop gender-sensitive responses to them. 


Lebanon has long been afflicted by a combination of political deadlock and a lack of accountability that has resulted in ongoing human rights violations and overall systemic rot. Comprehensive reforms, along with an inclusive truth-seeking process, broad public dialogue, and other ways of building a more complete understanding of the past—and its relation to current issues—could help the Lebanese people begin to build a common national identity that puts notions of justice, truth, equality, citizenship, and inclusion at its core.

Date published: 
Fri, 12/18/2020 - 10:43


Invoking the principle of universal jurisdiction opens the door to the possibility of some accountability in circumstances where justice is not possible in countries where the crimes took place. This study considers the challenges facing the exercise of universal jurisdiction and assesses to what extent it remains a viable option for victims seeking justice for international crimes. While resort to universal jurisdiction is on the rise, it still faces considerable obstacles, particularly of a political nature.

Date published: 
Thu, 12/03/2020 - 15:30
9/12/2020 - 9/12/2020

In very fragile and conflict-affected countries, state and society often struggle to address the injustices experienced by victims of mass violence and human rights abuses. In such contexts, how can meaningful justice be provided to victims? The ICTJ and Cordaid invite you to join a multisectoral discussion of a forthcoming report focusing on policy-relevant insights and recommendations of relevance in the Central African Republic and globally, especially in relation to progress toward SDG16+.