U.S. Department of State announces Funding to Promote Accountability in Iraq and Syria for Crimes against Humanity

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Deadline: 28 June 2019

The Department of State’s Office of Global Criminal Justice (J/GCJ) in cooperation with the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Office of Assistance Coordination (NEA/AC) is seeking applications for its grant program entitled “Promoting Accountability in Iraq and Syria for Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, and War Crimes”.

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The Department of State invites applicants to submit proposals for programs that include components to develop local investigative and judicial skills; to collect and preserve evidence and maintain the chain of custody of evidence; and to conduct other activities that directly support investigations and prosecutions of those responsible for atrocities in available jurisdictions, such as building cases, filing criminal complaints, and sharing information with national authorities.

Problem Statement

Despite the horrific atrocities in Iraq and Syria, there have been virtually no prosecutions of individuals for perpetrating crimes committed against victims, either “common” crimes such as kidnapping, rape, or murder, or international crimes (war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide).

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These atrocities have been extensively documented by UN mechanisms, local and international NGOs, and governments, which is of critical importance to lay the groundwork for holding perpetrators criminally accountable, as well as supporting a range of other transitional justice measures. Documentation efforts are ongoing and currently being funded. The current programmatic priority is to translate this work into tangible progress on related investigations and prosecutions of perpetrators.

Achievable Objectives

A successful project will result in the advancement of investigations and prosecutions of perpetrators of atrocities in Iraq and/or Syria. Programming may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following areas:

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  • Collect, preserve, and/or analyze evidence of atrocities in Iraq and/or Syria, maintaining legal chain of custody of evidence and sharing with appropriate national authorities and multilateral accountability mechanisms. Programs should consider inclusion of civil society, including medical and legal professionals, where appropriate.
  • Build case files to share with national authorities and multilateral accountability mechanisms in support of investigations and prosecutions on crimes and alleged perpetrators of atrocities, including present location.
  • Filing criminal complaints in courts that may have jurisdiction over atrocities.
  • Support the mandate of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011 (IIIM) and/or the UN Investigative Team for Accountability of Da’esh (UNITAD), while not duplicating the work of either of those teams.
  • Develop new technologies to improve searching, processing, and analyzing massive holdings of documents, many or most of which may be in Arabic, Kurdish, and other languages.
  • Provide targeted training to law enforcement and/or prosecutorial officials on forensics, crime scene analysis, trial preparation, interviewing of witnesses including of crimes related to sexual violence.

Proposals are encouraged to identify ways in which any of the above programming areas will also support other current or future transitional justice measures, such as vetting, reparations programs, and truth commission.

Funding Information

  • Award Ceiling: $4,500,000
  • Award Floor: $500,000

Project Design

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This solicitation invites applications in support of justice and accountability for atrocities perpetrated in Iraq and/or Syria, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. These efforts should build upon USG and other international donor programs since 2011. Funds will support activities that advance investigations and prosecutions in available jurisdictions. Proposals can focus on advancing accountability for atrocities committed either in Iraq or Syria, or both countries. It is not required that program activities take place within either country. This is in recognition that evidence, witnesses, victims, and potential courts with jurisdiction over crimes exist beyond Iraq or Syria. There is no advantage in the review and selection process to focusing on both countries in the proposal. Each proposal will be reviewed based on its potential for impact. It is possible that this could be better achieved by limiting work to only one atrocities situation.

Projects must include:

  • A primary focus on advancing justice and accountability through support to criminal investigations and prosecutions for atrocities committed in Iraq and/or Syria;
  • Share information generated over the course of the project with the State Department, while appropriately respecting confidentiality.
  • Responding to requests for information from the IIIM and/or UNITAD, other international accountability mechanisms, and/or national authorities engaged in such efforts;
  • Where programs propose gathering information from victims and witnesses, they must include clear processes for informed consent, confidentiality, service referral, and preventing re-traumatization; and
  • A rigorous results monitoring plan with demonstrated feedback loops to show tangible outcomes of the project.

Eligibility Criteria

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  • Eligible applicants include:
    • U.S. or foreign
    • non-profit organizations; o For-profit organizations;
    • Private institutions of higher education;
    • Public or state institutions of higher education;
    • Public international organizations;
  • Applicants should have functional experience in the areas of investigating and prosecuting conflict related atrocities in Iraq and/ or Syria.
  • The Department of State is committed to an anti-discrimination policy in all of its programs and activities. The Department of State welcomes applications irrespective of an applicants’ race, ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. We encourage applications from organizations working with underserved communities, including women, people with disabilities, and youth.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted via given website.

For more information, please visit this link.

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