Investigations: an essential part of TRIAL International’s work

29.06.2021 ( Last modified: 17.06.2021 )
A message from Giulia Soldan, Program Manager, International Investigations and Litigation


TRIAL International is fighting against impunity for the gravest crimes. But what does it mean in concrete terms? An important part of the NGO’s work is to gather evidence of grave human rights violations— elements that are essential to the prosecution of court cases.

Your support ensures that we can continue helping victims of the worst atrocities to access justice and to take their lives back. © UN/Marie Frechon

Our documentation work meets very high standards of proof because all of the evidence must be admissible before the courts. Moreover, it must be strong enough to establish the defendant’s guilt, compel recognition of the harm caused, and deliver justice to the victims.

The International Investigations and Litigation Department that I lead is one of several departments conducting documentation work at TRIAL International. Currently we have 13 cases pending before courts and 7 new cases selected for in-depth documentation. But in order to carry out these extremely thorough investigations, we need your support. 

For each case, several documentation missions may be required. And even once a case has been submitted to the competent authorities, TRIAL International continues to investigate for additional evidence.


A victim-centered approach

We conduct our investigations using a victim-centered approach, building a relationship of trust so victims can tell their stories with dignity. When victims confide in us, they allow us into their lives. When they share the atrocities that they have lived through, they demonstrate courage and trust that we have a duty to honor. That is why our relationships with victims are solid and enduring. We accompany victims as long as necessary and we keep them informed of the progress of their case, sometimes for more than a decade.

Our documentation work also consists of gathering documents to bolster victims’ testimonies. This may include medical certificates, depositions taken at the time of the crime, or any other incriminating document or record. By donating today, you are helping hundreds of victims to obtain justice!


Investigation and new technologies

In close collaboration with a network of NGOs, we use open-source data and applications. For example, in the Westwood case, the analysis of satellite images enabled us to bring evidence of pillaging of precious wood in Senegal. Moreover, it is becoming increasingly common for human rights abuses to be caught on camera. When these data are processed and stored properly, we have an opportunity to introduce compelling audiovisual evidence in court. These elements can lead to incredible victories against impunity!

Victims of the worst atrocities need you. Make a donation today to ensure that TRIAL International can continue to investigate international crimes and fight against impunity. 

On behalf of the entire TRIAL International team, I would like to express my deepest thanks for your support,

A message from Giulia Soldan, Program Manager, International Investigations and Litigation

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