Conflict and security force abuses

Conflict and security force abuses

We cover a broad range of issues, including conflict-related abuses, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and ill-treatment, extrajudicial killings, discrimination, and unlawful restrictions on freedom of expression and association by security forces across our region.

It is vital to ensure accountability for these particularly egregious abuses by state agents that fundamentally undermine the basic protections the state is required to provide, and too often are aimed at supressing specific national, ethnic or other marginalised groups.

Our objectives are:

  • Conflict: We address issues in conflict that are currently under-litigated including conflict related sexual violence; human rights violations in occupied territories including unlawful criminal justice systems, propaganda and freedom of expression, freedom of movement including forced displacement/deportation of individuals and groups; and intersectional human rights violations occurring during conflict.
  • Security Forces Accountability: We identify and litigate egregious cases of security force violations that demonstrate gross failures in planning and operations and/or flagrant violations of the right to life/inhuman treatment. We will identify and litigate new areas of security force violations for example, unlawful use of less-lethal weapons (such as rubber bullets).
  • Enforced Disappearances: We continue to push for the implementation of existing judgments and to encourage collaboration between international mechanisms such as the UN and the Council of Europe, to address the systemic use of enforced disappearance and provide closure for the families of the disappeared. With partners, we raise awareness of the ongoing issue and engage with the families, to understand their priorities and enable them to shape our advocacy in this area.

The Enforced Disappearance Legal Database

The Enforced Disappearance Legal Database is the first and only resource of its kind for those seeking to litigate cases involving enforced disappearance, wherever they are in the world.

The EDLD originally launched in August 2022, the result of a two-year research project completed with input from domestic and international legal experts. 

With content available in English, Spanish, French and Russian, the latest version has been expanded to include nearly 200 case summaries, drawn from the European and Inter-American Courts of Human Rights, UN treaty bodies, and domestic courts. It provides international standards on enforced disappearances as set out in international humanitarian law and international criminal law, in addition to the previously-available information on international and regional human rights systems.  

Visit the Enforced Disappearance Legal Database

Podcast: Using Open Source Investigations

On March 2, 2022, we hosted a panel of experts on the use of open source investigations (OSI) in human rights litigation. The discussion, which was recorded and released as a podcast, focuses on how Ukrainian and international civil society can harness OSI as a tool for current and future litigation efforts, outlining tools and best practice to use and challenges and risks to look out for.

Listen to the podcast