Protocol on sexual violence (2nd edition) launched by FCO

Crimes Against Humanity (4)

CMN provides expert input on evidence collection and analysis for conflict and atrocity-related sexual violence

On 13 March 2017, CMN joined the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) at the launch of the 2nd edition of its International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict. Dr Emilie Hunter (CMN Deputy Director) joined the lead authors – Sara Ferro Ribeiro and Danaé van der Straten Ponthoz – and other contributing experts in London for the launch, which was followed by a technical presentation of the revised Protocol. CMN has been acknowledged for its expert input into Chapter 14 “Analysing Evidence and Information” and Annex 1 “Evidence Workbooks”.

Analysing evidence and information of conflict and atrocity-related sexual violence

The Protocol emphasises best practices in basic evidence analysis skills. Chapter 14 covers the organisation, evaluation and strengthening of information gathering, as well as documentation strategies that are capable of demonstrating each of the elements of conflict and atrocity-related sexual violence crimes. CMN provided evidence typologies and evaluation criteria from the Information Documentation System (I-DOC), to assist practitioners in assessing the credibility of sources. This includes:

  • Categorising and evaluating testimonial information;
  • Evaluating documentary, physical and digital evidence;
  • Strengthening evidence;
  • Identifying patterns;
  • Methods for identifying patterns.


Evidence workbook for analysing evidence of sexual violence (Annex 1)

The revised Protocol includes an updated and expanded series of evidence workbooks to support the documentation of conflict and atrocity-related sexual violence crimes (Annex 1). The workbooks use the CMN’s Core International Crimes Database (CICD), as well as information from the forthcoming publication “International Criminal Law Guidelines: Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Crimes” to identify examples of evidence used in key international cases.


I-DOC: an example of best practice for documentation

CMN’s I-DOC is included as one of two example tools to support documentation of conflict and atrocity-related sexual violence, as part of Chapter 9 on best practices for planning. This Chapter provides a documentation plan to support accountability-driven objectives, covering preliminary issues to research and address, an information collection strategy and documentation procedures.

The International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict

The Protocol is a set of guidelines setting out best practice on how to document or investigate sexual violence as a war crime, crime against humanity, act of genocide or other serious violation of international criminal, human rights or humanitarian law. Aimed at NGOs and CSOs, international authorities, national authorities, clinicians and emergency relief or protection agencies, the Protocol sets out key considerations for the investigation of sexual violence. Chapters are reinforced with examples, peer experience, definition of key terms and summaries of available resources, including existing open-source documentation tools such as I-DOC. The 2nd edition of the Protocol includes new chapters addressing trauma and sexual violence against children, men and boys.

Related publications

The following publications formed the basis of information provided by CMN for the Evidence Workbooks:


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