International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict

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Sara Ferro Ribeiro, Danaé van der Straten Ponthoz, Erica Hall
Publication Date
March 16, 2017
Publication Type
Conflict, International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law, Public Health


Whether committed as a war crime, crime against humanity, act of genocide or any other violation of international law, sexual violence is often part of the tragic and brutal pattern of criminal acts perpetrated against women, men, and children in conflicts and other mass atrocities around the world. This International Protocol was introduced in June 2014 to help overcome the barriers to prosecution, by setting out clearly and comprehensively the basic principles of documenting sexual violence as a violation of international law. The International Protocol has so far been translated into 9 languages and used by lawyers, police, medical personnel and NGOs to gather evidence and investigate crimes to help strengthen prosecutions in at least a dozen countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. We launched the International Protocol at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict with the hope that it would be improved and strengthened over time. It was updated in March 2017.


*The Human Rights Center was a major contributor to this project. We did not write the final report.