Campaigning for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, Democracy, the Rule of Law and International Justice
Syria: TDA and NPWJ organise training on Designing a Transitional Justice Poll
Accountability and redress for past and ongoing human rights violations committed against the civilian population must be put on the central stage if there is to be any hope for reaching lasting stability, reconciliation and peace in Syria. Any process designed to meet those goals must be understood and owned by the people of Syria, whose views and expectations on how it should work and whose judgment on how it has worked will determine its success or failure. To that end, it is critical to enhance the capacity of Syrian civil society groups, human rights and democracy activists to capture the understanding and general knowledge on accountability and transitional justice among those still living in the war-torn Syria and those who are living in exile in refugee camps.
This was the main aim of the Training “Designing a Transitional Justice Poll” organised by The Day After (TDA) and No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) on 27-28 April 2014 in Gaziantep, Turkey. This two-day course was designed to discuss and elaborate a model questionnaire on transitional justice to be used by Syrian activists to conduct a survey among the people living in the Northern region of the country.
The purpose of this survey, to be developed by TDA in cooperation with NPWJ, is to capture expectations and perceptions about transitional justice among various sectors of the Syrian society with a view to laying the foundation for future measures or mechanisms responsive to their needs. It will be implemented with two primary objectives. First, to assess the existing challenging trends nurtured by the cycle of impunity that may lead to more violence and desire of revenge. Second, to identify efforts needed to promote transitional justice in the hope of preventing any tendencies towards revenge instead of accountability, the rule of law, civic values and justice.
The course acquainted participants with the basic principles and mechanisms of transitional justice and provided in-depth training on skills, requirements and techniques to conduct statistical research and interviews. The course also covered how to process and analyse collected data and how to draft relevant conclusions. Particular attention was dedicated to examining the practical situation and needs within Syria, with a view to helping these activists and their networks work effectively on the ground. The presenters for the Training Course were experts in each of the specialised areas addressed by the course: Mr Colin Irwin (www.peacepools.org), Mr Stefano Moschini (NPWJ) and Mr Mohammed Berro (TDA).
NPWJ’s Syria Project on Justice and Accountability
This two-day training course is part of an NPWJ project aimed at reducing the expectation and rewards of impunity and at building a culture of accountability. The purpose is to equip citizens to demand accountability and justice for violations taking place on a daily basis for the past two and a half years and, at the same time, to equip the judiciary and legal profession to answer that demand.
The mainstay of the project is a series of advocacy and training events, which are being held in Gaziantep, Turkey, near the Syrian border, with Syrian judges, lawyers and civil society activists from Syria who can bring the skills and (perhaps more importantly) aspirations for justice back to their work and their constituents inside Syria.
The long-term goal of this project is to promote democracy and human rights protection through incorporating justice and accountability in decision-making on conflict resolution and stability, development, and reconstructing planning in Syria. The project’s strategic objective is to support Syrian civil society playing an active role on justice and accountability issues, including advocacy and documenting human rights violations, including receiving, gathering, collecting, collating, processing and securely storing information, documentation and materials and analyse it for the purpose of establishing what happened and reconstructing decision-making processes that resulted in violations international humanitarian and human rights law in Syria since March 2011.
- Training course on “SPHERE: Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response”, Gaziantep, Turkey, 26-31 March 2014
- Briefing on Syria Transition Roadmap, European Parliament, Brussels, 25 March 2014
- Together #withSyria, Commemoration of the third anniversary of the Syria crisis, Gaziantep, Brussels, Rome, 15 March 2014
- SGBV Training of Trainers, Gaziantep, Turkey, 10-13 March 2014
- Press Conference “8 March 2014 for Syrian Women: free from violence, free to build democracy”,Gaziantep, Turkey, 8 March 2014
- Second Training Course on “Forensic Investigations of Cases of Political Violence and the Disappeared”,Gaziantep, Turkey, 11-14 February 2014
- Training “#SGBV in #SYRIA – looking at Sexual and Gender-Based Violence”, Gaziantep, Turkey, 28 January - 1 February 2014
- Commemoration of the Queiq River Massacre, Istanbul, Turkey 29 January 2014
- Training course on “Digital Security Training - digital resistance”, Gaziantep, Turkey, 14‑16 January 2014
- Training course on “Documenting Violations Against Women”, Gaziantep, Turkey, 9-12 December 2013
- Training course on “Forensic Investigations of Cases of Political violence”, Gaziantep, Turkey, 25-29 November 2013
- Side event on “Accountability for Syria”, The Hague, 12th ASP to the ICC, 23 November 2013
- Training course on “Chemical weapons awareness and documentation”, Gaziantep, Turkey, 7-12 October 2013