On 24 May in Geneva Ms. mr. dr. drs. Jill Coster van Voorhout (PhD, LLM, MSc), together with Ambassador Stephen Rapp, former Ambassador of war crimes at-large under the Obama administration, presided over a seminar on “attacks on education”.
This seminar, organized by Education Above All, aimed to hold to account perpetrators of not only physical attacks on schools and universities, but also adjustments to curricula for the purpose of incitement to genocide, for example.
Under Chatham House Rule participants from, amongst others, human rights organizations (in short “Geneva”) discussed how their fact-finding activities could result in information that could be usable for international criminal courts and tribunals (in short “The Hague”). This seminar builds on the previously held seminar in The Hague during which Jill emphasized how courts and tribunals can hold to account under international criminal law perpetrators of the aforementioned attacks on education.
The seminar in Geneva was thereby also embedded in the research by Ambassador Stephen Rapp and Jill that seeks to bridge the “divide” on “fact-finding and accountability” between human rights investigators (“Geneva”) and criminal law investigators (“The Hague”) (under their research project entitled “Bridging the Geneva-The Hague Divide on Fact-finding and Accountability”). Based on “challenges, tensions and potentialities” for interoperability between human rights and criminal law investigators, as identified inter alia in their working paper by Rob Grace from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and Jill, Stephen and Jill have made – together with a group of 20 practitioners from inter alia the International Criminal Court, Commissions of Inquiry and other human rights and criminal law investigators – concrete recommendations to bridge this divide on fact-finding and accountability, which can also be used in the combat and prevention of these often-overlooked attacks on education.