Impunity – the Research of Impunity Watch (IW)


Project is an international mechanism for research and establishing strategies to combat impunity for crimes and serious human rights violations according to international law. IW is active in countries in which impunity for these crimes committed in the recent past represents a threat for maintainable peace and the establishing of democratic rule of law.

IW successively implements three methods in its work. The first method is a detailed research and analysis of the causes of impunity and identification of obstacles for the combat against it by using a specifically developed methodology. Based on the results of research and by consulting a wide circle of relevant actors, project cames to recommendations and identifies new strategic approaches aimed at the combat against impunity in selected countries. The second basic work method of IW is the establishing and advocating of aimed strategies on both the domestic level, as well as internationally.
Finally, based on the results of research, IW creates a system of monitoring the process of combating impunity and the level of the states’ responses to their obligations regarding the fulfilling of the right to truth, right to justice, giving reparations and guarantees that the crimes committed in the past would not repeat.

One of the basic goals of the IW is, through the use of the stated methods, to support and promote the active participation of civil society organizations and a wider circle of domestic subjects interested in the struggle against impunity in selected countries, through joint work and strengthening of national capacities for research, public supervision, establishing of political strategies and advocating their implementation.

IW was founded in 2005 as a project of the Dutch nongovernmental organization Solidaridad, and in 2008 it was constituted as the independent IW Foundation. Today, IW is simultaneously conducting its test projects in Serbia and Guatemala. These two distant and very different countries were chosen in order to demonstrate the universal nature of IW’s methodology in different political and social contexts. At the same time, the use of similar methodological parameters in different contexts represents the foundation for identifying methods for the struggle against impunity which, in spite of different experiences, are universally implementable.

Serbia was chosen because of the problem of impunity for war crimes committed during the wars on the territory of former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The justification of this choice was additionally confirmed by the verdict of the International Court of Justice which found Serbia guilty for the violation of the Convention on Genocide because of the omissions regarding the preventing and punishing of the crime committed in Srebrenica in 1995.

IW has completed the research phase in Serbia, as well as the identifying of aimed strategies.


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