ICJ holds its first regional workshop on the investigation of potentially unlawful deaths and enforced disappearance in Asia
Between 30 May and 1 June 2018, the ICJ co-hosted a workshop for authorities from Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal on the investigation of potentially unlawful deaths and enforced disappearance in accordance with international human rights law and standards.
The workshop was co-hosted with Thailand’s Ministry of Justice and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and took place as part of the ICJ’s Global Redress and Accountability Initiative, which has as one of its core objectives, “increasing the knowledge and capacity of lawyers, prosecutors and investigators to deal with challenges of impunity and access to redress.”
The participants included more than 30 criminal investigators, forensic doctors, forensic scientists, prosecutors, police trainers, senior judges and representatives of the Cambodian Ministry of Justice, the Myanmar Attorney General’s Office, the Thai Ministry of Justice and the Nepal Office of the Attorney General.
The event commenced with opening remarks by the Ambassador of Finland, Ms. Satu Suikkari-Kleven; the Ambassador of Germany, Mr. Peter Prügel; Adviser on the Promotion of the Rights and Freedom from Thailand’s Ministry of Justice, Mr. Pitaya Jinawat; and the Asia Director of the ICJ, Frederick Rawski.
Alex Conte, Senior Law and Policy Advisor, ICJ Global Redress and Accountability Initiative, gave an overview of the international human rights legal framework that applies to the investigation of unlawful deaths and enforced disappearance.
Kingsley Abbott, Senior Legal Adviser at the ICJ, then provided an overview of the revised Minnesota Protocol on the Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death (2016), which was launched in Thailand on 25 May 2017 and which formed the core of the materials used at the workshop.
Other speakers included Ms. Jennifer Prestholdt, Deputy Director, the Advocates for Human Rights, who presented on the Rights of Victims and Families and witness interviews; Mr. Glenn Williams, Detective Inspector, Field Crime Manager, New Zealand Police National Headquarters, who presented on the investigation process including crime scene management;
Ms. Shivani Verma and Ms. Pratubjit Neelapaijit, of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights who presented on Witness Protection; and Dr. Pornthip Rojanasunan, Adviser, Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS)/Member of the Advisory Panel who presented on forensic pathology.
This workshop followed two workshops the ICJ co-hosted between 5 to 8 December 2017 in Thailand on the investigation of potentially unlawful deaths and enforced disappearance for lawyers from Thailand and India, academics and the Thai authorities.
Alex Conte, ICJ Global Redress and Accountability Initiative, t: +41 79 957 2733; e: alex.conte(a)icj.org
Kingsley Abbott, Senior International Legal Adviser, ICJ Asia Pacific Regional Office, t: +66 94 470 1345, e: kingsley.abbott(a)icj.org