Collecting War-Zone Evidence of Sexual Violence

  1. As just one of its missions The RINJ Foundation, while caring for rape survivors,  gathers detailed information on parties to armed conflict that are credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for acts of rape or other forms of sexual violence.
  2. The RINJ Foundation vows to be especially vigilant and to aggressively gather evidence where a pattern of sexually violent conduct appears to prove the crime of genocide.

The RINJ Foundation has been from 2012 through 2016 recruiting volunteers and investigating Islamic State / IS /ISIS / ISIL crimes against women and children in particular. This effort relies on the Rome Statute of the International Criminal  Court.

The collection of data for each specific child/adult rape case; the ensuing official swearing of the evidence; and the laying of the charge is an incremental element of the larger process of proving the international crimes of:
1) aggression
2) genocide
3) crimes against humanity
4) sexual violence in conflict zones
5) and links directly or indirectly other war crimes like mass murder and more

Not until 2017 is the ICC mandated to try cases of aggression but the precursor files that The RINJ Foundation is investigating and preparing  can be heard immediately upon completion of filing and due processes of notification. Each case contributes patterned elements to an argument that leads to the larger crimes by:

1) establishing motive for the larger crimes of aggression and genocide;
2) establishing a pattern of activity that demonstrates the intent of the crimes; and
3) proves that the crimes did happen with intent.

https://rinj.org/war-crime/

The RINJ Foundation as an International Non-Government Organization relies on six United Nations’ resolutions and in particular Res. 1820 (see below) in declaring its evidence-gathering mandate targeting anyone who does commit acts of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict. Not just the gender brutality of the Congo and Syrian situations but any sexual violence of any kind toward any person should have a lawful punitive consequence for the perpetrator.

Civilians comprise the majority of persons adversely affected by armed conflict.

The RINJ Foundation : Reporting Rape as War Crime
Description 1. The RINJ Foundation has adopted a mission while supporting and caring for survivors, to also gather and compile detailed information on parties to armed conflict that are credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for acts of rape or other forms of sexual violence.
2. The RINJ Foundation vows to be especially vigilant and to aggressively gather evidence where a pattern of sexually violent conduct appears to prove the crime of genocide.
3. From: (https://rinj.org/war-crime/)
– General for organizations in consultative status Document type: Literature Year 2014
Availability Whole document: If you wish to access any of these documents please let me know,
— Michele Francis)

Women and children are particularly targeted by the use of sexual violence, including rape as a tactic of war to humiliate, dominate, instil fear in, disperse and/or forcibly relocate civilian members of a community or ethnic group as happened in the Rwanda and Bosnia/Herzegovina conflicts.

One of the problems facing The RINJ Foundation in the past year has been the collection of useful evidence relating to rape used as a tactic of war or other armed conflict.

Relying on international common law, The RINJ Foundation asserts that there is no existence of a statute imposing  limitation of prosecution of such crime; furthermore that proof beyond a reasonable doubt should yield a conviction in any jurisdiction for sexual offences; and additional penalties including the death penalty should be sought where it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime was in proven fact a war crime as set out in the United Nations’ resolutions (as shown below in the RINJ-edited English version).

NGO volunteers offer some good solutions for quiet, unobtrusive, impartial, unnoticed interviewing and data collection for prosecutions in the wake of the abhorrent conduct of sexual violence as a tactic of war.

The RINJ Foundation further relies on UN Resolution 1960 (see below for link to pdf), wherein the Secretary-General is asked to provide detailed information on parties to armed conflict that are credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for acts of rape or other forms of sexual violence, and to list … …the parties that are credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for patterns of rape and other forms of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict on the Security Council agenda’.

The RINJ Foundation‘s call to action and mission is guided by Resolution 1820 of 2008, wherein NGOs such as The RINJ Foundation, human rights organisations, UN agencies, and healthcare providers are specifically requested to ‘enhance data collection and analysis of incidents, trends and patterns of rape’, and as of 2013, Resolution 2106 requires NGO’s  to ‘contribute to more timely, objective, accurate and reliable information on sexual violence’. 

The RINJ Foundation currently uses mostly conventional methods for gathering information for each war-crime victim including a basic three page information data-collection form which provides sufficient information for the collection of data that would bring to jurists for each victim or survivor-witness,

  1. evidential details of the specific criminal event,
  2. motivation of the crime,
  3. evidence of criminal intent,
  4. evidence of the criminal act,
  5. identification evidence,
  6. connected evidence of similar crimes, trends and patterns, and
  7. witness lists.

The next step is determining jurisdiction and authority to bring about the arrests and prosecution. In all cases the crime-survivor’s nation of origin (UN-Member) has responsibility for assisting or providing the prosecution of the crime, but there are other means for prosecution. Rape is a crime under international law. It is also recognised by the UN Security Council as a threat to international peace and security in Resolution 1325 (see bottom of page), adopted in 2000.

Introducing Digital Data Apps For Collecting Sex Crime Information and Evidence

The RINJ Foundation has been receiving donations of used smart-phones and having them refurbished and shipped to women and youth in areas of the world where these devices would seem to be useful, particularly for the purpose of communicating digital text and photographic data.

 

In under-developed and developing nations, providing more and more women with cell-phones and better yet, smart phones, is increasing the collection of data.

Please Donate Your Used Smart Phone
ship to:
The RINJ Foundation
8-1 Goodmark Place
Rexdale ON CANADA
M9W 6M1

Apps are under development to create a three-page intake form that combines smart-phone photographs with text responses to standardized, formatted questions, so that anyone can collect short-answer data queries directly from the crime scene. RINJ already uses a simplified blend of two applications achieving a good result but the mission-specific app will be much better.

Join The RINJ Foundation if you would like to be considered for a volunteer position in some of our existing and future missions.


 

United Nations S/RES/1820 (2008) Security Council Distr.: General
19 June 2008 08-39144 (E) *0839144*
Edited in English by The RINJ Foundation (rinj@rinj.org)

Resolution 1820 (2008) Adopted by the Security Council at its 5916th meeting, on 19 June 2008

 

Note: United Nations on Women, peace and security:

Security Council resolution 1325 (2000)  stresses the importance of women’s equal and full participation as active agents in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace-building and peacekeeping. It calls on member states to ensure women’s equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspective in all areas of peace building. As a follow up to 1325, the Security Council adoptedResolution 1889  which calls for further strengthening of women’s participation in peace processes and the development of indicators to measure progress on Resolution 1325.

Recognising the impact that sexual violence in conflict has on the maintenance of peace and security, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1820  which explicitly links sexual violence as a tactic of war with women peace and security issues. Security Council Resolution1820 reinforces Resolution 1325 and highlights that sexual violence in conflict constitutes a war crime and demands parties to armed conflict to immediately take appropriate measures to protect civilians from sexual violence, including training troops and enforcing disciplinary measures.

Resolution 1888 , as a follow up to Resolution 1820, mandates that peacekeeping missions protect women and children from sexual violence during armed conflict, and requests that the Secretary-General appoint a special representative on sexual violence during armed conflict (Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict). Most recently Resolution 1960 was adopted which builds on and deepens the women, peace and security agenda on sexual violence.

Additional Reading:

 

RINJ: Fighting for the safety of women and children.