About the UN Team of Experts
The United Nations Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict (the “Team”) was created by Security Council resolution 1888 (2009) to assist national authorities in strengthening the rule of law, with the aim of ensuring criminal accountability for perpetrators of conflict-related sexual violence. This resolution recognizes that conflict-related sexual violence is a threat to international peace and security, and that Member States affected by conflict need assistance to address impunity in order to prevent and deter future violations.
The Team is the only dedicated Security Council mandated mechanism to provide this type of support on a global basis.
The Team is based at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and with the consent and cooperation of host governments deploys regularly to some of the world’s most challenging contexts. The Team has a unique “co-lead” structure that includes members from several United Nations entities to enable the United Nations to deliver as one in assisting Member States to address conflict-related sexual violence.
The Team is led by a Team Leader who reports to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict (SRSG-SVC), and currently comprises experts from the Department of Peace Operations (DPO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Office of the SRSG-SVC, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), each of whom report to both the Team Leader and their respective entities.
In line with its mandate, the Team of Experts focuses its efforts primarily on countries contained in the annual report of the Secretary-General on conflict-related sexual violence.
Theory of Change
The Team’s theory of change is based on the premise that strong political will; improved technical and operational capacity of national rule of law institutions and actors; and enhanced cooperation, coordination, coherence and knowledge among actors will enable effective, victim sensitive criminal proceedings for conflict-related sexual violence in line with international standards, resulting in increased accountability for such crimes and ultimately contribute to long-term peace, security and development.
The Security Council mandates in resolution 1888 (2009) that the Team of Experts make use of existing human resources within the UN system as well as voluntary contributions. Since it became operational in 2011, the Team has been funded exclusively through voluntary contributions. To sustain its work, adequate human and financial resources are essential. The Team welcomes contributions to its five-year joint programme from Member States, private philanthropic foundations, and individuals.
The UN Team of Experts’ Approach
The Team works with the consent and cooperation of host governments, with the aim of fostering national ownership and responsibility for addressing conflict-related sexual violence. The Team takes a survivor-centric approach, which recognizes that victims of conflict-related sexual violence include women and girls as well as men and boys, and that victims are often subject to stigmatization by their families and communities. The Team’s areas of work include: (i) criminal investigations and prosecutions; (ii) military justice; (iii) legislative reform; (iv) protection of victims and witnesses; (v) reparations for survivors; and (vi) security sector oversight.
The Team works closely with a variety of partners to ensure complementarity and sustainability. At country level, it works with United Nations peace operations and country teams as well as civil society organizations and academia. At regional level, the Team works with organizations including the African Union, the European Genocide Network, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and the League of Arab States. At the global level, the Team works within the United Nations Global Focal Point Arrangement for Police, Justice and Corrections in Post-Conflict and Other Crisis Situations (GFP) and with international bodies such as the International Criminal Court (ICC).