Impunity Watch is an international non-profit human rights organisation, seeking to promote accountability for past atrocities, notably in countries emerging from a violent past. We analyse, advocate, and partner to help local communities seek accountability for gross human rights abuses and for systemic injustice. In doing so, we focus on victims, survivors, and the most marginalised. We seek to strengthen their involvement in justice processes, and to put our skills, resources, and networks at the service of all who fight impunity, working directly with local civil society and victim groups. In our work, we adopt a bottom-up, participatory, and context-sensitive approach, by which we support victims and survivors to exercise their rights.
Although we work on transitional justice issues, we also work for justice in situations where there is no moment of transition, or where nominal transition is long past. We work closely with local organisations, using a participative and context-sensitive approach in which we support and partner with particularly vulnerable marginalised groups. Impunity has many aspects, and so our work is legal, social, and political. We advocate for politically-informed justice strategies, and are particularly known for our long-term expertise in Guatemala and Burundi.
Following in-depth analysis of, among others, our research, field experience, and ongoing feedback from partners, we work on the basis of three core mutually-reinforcing intervention strategies:
Systematic research: Identifying root causes of impunity, and obstacles to its reduction. Our bottom-up research is systematic, comparative, and leverages our experience-based understanding of the many dimensions of impunity.
Knowledge sharing: Sharing knowledge – our own and that of others – to help local actors enhance and expand their own expertise (and thus their own strategies) so that they can overcome legacies of violence and impunity. Our training, capacity building, and communication efforts are opportunities for knowledge sharing for both local and international partners.
Bottom-up action: Creating space for bottom-up action includes supporting local and grassroots justice initiatives, facilitating stakeholders’ access to policy-making, and providing policy advice for victims, survivors, and marginalised groups. We also advocate with key actors to ensure our recommendations are heard.