Congratulations to the IPS research team consisting of IPS Executive Director Federica D’Alessandra, IPS Visiting Fellow Sareta Ashraph and IPS consultant Jelia Sane on the publication of the report research, Advancing Justice for Children: innovations to strengthen accountability for violations and crimes affecting children in conflict. This researchwas the fruit of a partnership between the Oxford Programme on International Peace and Security (IPS) with Save the Children.
Over the past year and a half, our team at the University of Oxford worked with Save the Children colleagues to map barriers to accountability for crimes and violations against children in conflict, and identify strategies and innovative solutions to overcome them, in order to ensure that these crimes and violations are properly investigated and that perpetrators are brought to justice.
Our research found overarching barriers to the investigation of these violations and the indictment of these crimes, alongside attitudinal and structural ones. Yet, these barriers are not insurmountable. Our research and findings highlight various solutions and innovations that can be immediately implemented to continue to build towards delivering justice for children.
The launch took place in a high-level panel discussion on 19 May, where Federica D’Alessandra presented the report’s findings and our recommendations. The UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michele Bachelet delivered the keynote address. Other panellists included Catherine Marchi-Uhel, Head of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism on Syria; Shyamala Alagendra, Gender and Child Rights Advisor, Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar; Nina Suomalainen, Executive Director, Justice Rapid Response; and Véronique Aubert, Lead Children and Armed Conflict, Save the Children. Ms Alejandra Costa, Deputy Permanent Representative of Uruguay to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva chaired the discussion, with opening remarks by co-sponsors H.E. Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Belgium to the United Nations in Geneva & H.E. Monique T.G. Van Daalen, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations in Geneva. Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General and Head of the IIIM Karim Khan, QC, also took the floor, alongside Cecile Aptel, Chief, Rule of Law and Democracy, OHCHR; HE Samuel UB Saffa ESQ, Deputy Ambassador & Deputy Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the UN in Geneva; and Ms Melissa Parke, member of the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen, among others.