EuroMed Rights releases a set of training guides on Human Rights documentation for Syrian HRDs
EuroMed Rights has developed 3 “Training of Trainers “ (TOT) guides in documentation which refer specifically to the Syrian context and take into account increased challenges facing documenters in the field. The content and shape of the training guides were discussed over a series of workshops involving key Syrian human rights groups and international experts. The intent of the guides is to further empower Syrian human rights groups in their ability to document human rights violations and international crimes according to international standards, as well as to develop and implement training workshops responding to their specific needs.
The three TOT guides have been conceived as a set of interrelated materials offering flexibility for local groups to rapidly access knowledge related to human rights documentation standards and protocols in order to develop a more strategic approach on documentation. The guides provide concrete guidelines, case studies exercises and typical samples of training workshop agenda that can be easily duplicated by human rights groups depending on their mandates and priorities. They avoid duplicating already existing training materials. Training guides are also gender mainstreamed in order to provide legal and methodological tools for Syrian activists to document and advocate on gender based violence and other grave violations affecting particularly women in the military conflict.
- The guide “Documenting Human Rights Violations” aims to provide with an overview on documentation methodology, from monitoring phase to building of evidence based files. It emphasizes good documentation practices, methodology for interviewing victims and witnesses and proposes samples of questionnaires for some of the most widespread violations in Syria
- The guide “International Criminal Law” aims to introduce international mechanisms and principles of criminal prosecution in order to differentiate between the human rights documentation and criminal documentation approaches. The guide provides with an introduction to ICL principles and the different relevant legal forums as well as practical information for Syrian field researchers gathering evidences of international crimes in the field.
- The “Definitions and classifications for Casualty recording according to IHL principles” is not a general introduction to IHL principles, rather a response to the need for Syrian human rights groups to unify the methodology used to document and classify casualties according to IHL categories, taking stock of the magnitude of deaths and injuries by armed violence in Syria.
Documentation is an essential component of transitional justice as it paves the way for accountability for perpetrators, reparation for victims, memorialization, as well as to institutional reforms that will prevent recurrence of serious abuses. EuroMed Rights is committed to contribute unifying documentation protocols followed by different Syrian Human rights groups on basis of international standards in order to foster future transitional efforts aimed at building a new Syria respectful of the rule of law.