Gender Persecution: Why Labels Matter

In this new Just Security article, IIIM Deputy Head, Michelle Jarvis, delves into a crucial aspect of justice often overlooked: the recognition of gender as a discriminatory driver of violence and atrocity. Referencing recent precedents and frameworks like the IIIM’s Gender Strategy, Ms. Jarvis, makes the case for why this approach matters. Failing to employ a gender lens risks misunderstanding the impact of crimes on communities and undermines the accurate assessment needed to deliver inclusive justice. 

Read the article here, to explore the strategic measures that accountability institutions can adopt, as we all strive to strengthen international justice responses to gender persecution crimes.

Lectures: Chinkin and Jarvis on “Combating Conflict-Related Sexual Violence”

On May 12, 2023, Michelle Jarvis, the IIIM Deputy Head and Christine Chinkin from the London School of Economics delivered public keynote lectures in Berlin as part of a closed workshop on “Combating Conflict-Related Sexual Violence – Comparative Insights on International and National Capacities.” 

Read Ms. Jarvis speech as delivered here.

For her lecture, Ms. Jarvis drew on her extensive experience bringing visibility to the experiences of marginalized groups during accountability processes and strengthening legal responses. Ms. Jarvis initiated the IIIM’s proactive thematic strategies on a victim/survivor centred approach and the first of these to be publicly launched was the Gender Strategy and Implementation Plan. Ms. Jarvis has also co-authored two books and numerous articles on the subject of gender and armed conflict and was formerly the inaugural coordinator of the Prosecuting Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Network, set up within the International Association of Prosecutors.

IIIM Head Highlights Essential Need for Predictable Financing

Briefing the General Assembly today, the Head of the Mechanism established to advance justice in Syria reported on that body’s continuing efforts over the past year, detailing its work with jurisdictions and investigations, but noting in light of increasing demand for its services that predictable financing through the regular budget and voluntary contributions by Member States are essential for it to continue serving the interests of victims, survivors and their families.

Briefing General Assembly on Judicial Activities, International Mechanism Head Stresses Predictable Financing Needed in Bringing Justice to Syria’s Victims | UN Press

The Head of the IIIM gave a presentation of our 9th annual report to the UN General Assembly

New York, April 25th – The Head of the IIIM, Catherine Marchi-Uhel, gave an oral presentation of our 9th annual report to the UN General Assembly. The presentation updated on the progress of the IIIM’s work and achievements as a justice facilitator over the past year.
During the presentation, Ms. Marchi-Uhel, highlighted the tangible contributions the IIIM had made to promote inclusive justice referencing recent cases where our assistance supported the work of national jurisdictions.
We express gratitude to Member States for their ongoing support and also to Syrian Civil Society, particularly victim/survivor association, for their continued engagement, which is invaluable to the development of the IIIM’s work.
We invite you to watch the oral report and hear Member States’ remarks in the link below.
#IIIMSyria #GeneralAssembly #Accountability

General Assembly: 67th plenary meeting, 77th session | UN Web TV

Message of Condolence from the IIIM

Following the devastation caused by the earthquake in Southern Türkiye and Northern Syria the IIIM issued a message of condolence and solidarity. The IIIM extends its sincerest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones and our heartfelt sympathies to those who have been injured or suffered as a result of the recent earthquake in Türkiye and Syria. The loss of life and the destruction caused by this disaster are staggering.
The IIIM is in close communication with its civil society networks on the ground to better understand the situation. The Head of the IIIM, Catherine Marchi-Uhel, has joined the UN Secretary-General’s call for the international community to offer urgent humanitarian aid and assistance.
The suffering caused by this disaster adds to the many challenges and difficulties faced by those impacted and the IIIM team stands in solidarity with the affected communities and reiterate our commitment to amplifying their voices where we can.

USIP Podcast: Syria’s Brutal Civil War and the Elusive Quest for Justice

Following a panel discussion, Catherine Marchi-Uhel, IIIM Head, was interviewed on the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) podcast, ‘The Event Extra’. She discussed the lessons learnt and progress made since the IIIM was established as well as the challenges facing those seeking justice and accountability. Ms. Marchi-Uhel also shared the importance of two-way engagement with Syrian civil society and the critical role that relationship plays in the work IIIM conducts to facilitate justice processes.

Listen to the podcast discussion here:

Event Extra: Syria’s Brutal Civil War and the Elusive Quest for Justice | United States Institute of Peace (

The Head of the IIIM spoke at a conference convened by France’s Cour de Cassation

On Monday 24 October, the Head of the IIIM spoke at a conference in Paris convened by France’s Cour de Cassation. The event, marking 20 years since the Rome Statute entered into force, included a session on ‘Building a common international criminal justice culture’ where Ms. Marchi-Uhel spoke on the digital and technological innovations that were being developed at the IIIM to support the investigation and evidence management serious crimes.


You can follow the session here in French:

Delivering Justice for Syria: Assessing the Progress of the IIIM

On Monday, 17 October, the Head of the IIIM, Catherine Marchi-Uhel, participated in an event at the US Institute for Peace (USIP) in Washington. The panel discussion focused on the progress the IIIM has made so far, it’s engagement with civil society documentation efforts and how it supports investigations and prosecutions. Other topics included the UN Secretary’s report recommending the creation of a new body dedicated to determining the fate of missing people in the Syrian Arab Republic.  

The other panellists included: 

  • Mohammad Al Abdallah, Founding Director, Syria Justice and Accountability Center;
  • Beth Van Schaack, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice, U.S. Department of State; 
  • Mona Yacoubian, Senior Advisor, Executive Office and Middle East and North Africa Center, U.S. Institute of Peace

France’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador M. Jérôme Bonnafont, meets with the head of the IIIM Catherine Marchi-Uhel

Monday, October 3, Geneva – France’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador M. Jérôme Bonnafont, met with the head of the IIIM, Catherine Marchi-Uhel for the submission of the instrument of approval of the convention between France and the IIIM. This paves the way for enhanced judicial cooperation to judge, including in France, the most serious crimes committed in Syria.

Save the Children Panel on Advancing Justice for Children

Catherine Marchi-Uhel, the Head of the IIIM, participated in a Save the Children high level event on advancing justice for children. The panel discussed strengthening accountability for violations and crimes affecting children in conflict. Ms. Marchi-Uhel also updated on the IIIM’s development of a Children and Youth Strategy. Watch the discussion here: