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Sharing best practice for effective investigations

Graphic: Participants in a mock interview activity

Building new skills to conduct effective human rights investigations was the focus of an APF training program for 50 participants from Thailand’s NHRI

Building new skills to conduct effective human rights investigations was the focus of an APF training program for almost 50 participants from the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand.

As part of the three-day program, Commission staff discussed best practice approaches to guide them when they:

  • Plan an investigation
  • Conduct investigative interviews
  • Write a report on the investigation.

Practical activities were used throughout the workshop to encourage participants to apply their ideas to different scenarios, said Aishath Fasoha, Human Rights Projects and Planning Manager with the APF secretariat.

"Understanding and responding to the needs of women at each stage of the investigation process was another important aspect of our discussions," she added.

Whether the focus is on resolving individual complaints or uncovering systemic failings, effective human rights investigations uncover the facts of a case and provide a pathway to justice and redress for victims.

Asia Pacific Forum Logo Kieren Fitzpatrick, Director, APF secretariat

Held in Bangkok from 15-17 August, the workshop was led by Simon Karunagaram, an investigator with many years of experience at the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM).

Mr Karunagaram explained the central role of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) to investigate individual complaints, as well as to review complaint data and other information to identify systemic human rights violations.

He also described the steps involved in undertaking a large-scale investigation, drawing on SUHAKAM's experience conducting its national inquiry into the land rights of indigenous people in Malaysia.

Importantly, the program addressed the need for human rights investigators to ensure their own safety and to seek personal support, should they need it.

Date: 21 August 2018

Graphic: Woman in interview room

Undertaking Effective Investigations: A Guide for National Human Rights Institutions

Details the key steps in conducting human rights investigations, including collecting evidence, interviewing and reporting (English, revised May 2018)

Image credits

  1. Participants in a mock interview activity - APF/Faso Aishath