About SJAC

The Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC) strives to prevent impunity, promote redress, and facilitate principled reform. SJAC works to ensure that human rights violations in Syria are comprehensively documented and preserved for use in transitional justice and peace-building. SJAC collects documentation of violations from all available sources, stores it in a secure database, catalogues it according to human rights standards, and analyzes it using legal expertise and big data methodologies. SJAC also supports documenters inside Syria, providing them with resources and technical guidance, and coordinates with other actors working toward similar aims: a Syria defined by justice, respect for human rights, and rule of law.

History

At its second meeting, held in April 2012 in Istanbul, the Group of Friends of the Syrian People identified a need for an independent, multilateral institution to respond to increasing reports of massive rights violations and potential international crimes in Syria. The Group envisioned an entity that would take the lead collecting, processing, and preserving documentation of these violations, while coordinating with international and Syrian actors to advance justice and accountability efforts.

Syrian activists and international experts refined this vision in subsequent gatherings. In addition to supporting prosecutions, SJAC’s holistic approach would include truth-seeking, reparations, memorialization, reconciliation, and institutional reform as key components of a Syrian transitional justice process in the aftermath of widespread violations. SJAC would also be a repository of resources for Syrians to draw on as they explore, debate, and advocate for justice and accountability with a view to long-term peace.

In 2013, SJAC registered as a nonprofit based in the Hague, Netherlands, and established an office in Washington, DC. SJAC appointed a Board of Directors to develop organisational policies and guide institutional strategy, along with an Advisory Board of international experts to provide technical assistance on key issues.

Vision

SJAC’s vision is a Syrian state defined by justice, respect for human rights, and rule of law, where citizens from all components of Syrian society live in peace without fear.

Mission

SJAC’s mission is to promote justice and accountability in Syria by ensuring that human rights violations are comprehensively documented, and that documentation data is securely preserved, catalogued, and analysed to advance transitional justice and peace-building.

Contact

Email: info@syriaaccountability.org

Headquarters:

Laan Van Meerdervoort 70 | 2517 AN
The Hague, Netherlands

Washington DC office:

1275 K Street NW | Suite 600
Washington DC, 20005

Media Kit

SJAC’S staff is available to provide insights and analysis related to the documentation of violations and transitional justice efforts in Syria.

Please email info@syriaaccountability.org to learn more or schedule an interview.

For examples of previous stories about SJAC, please visit our In the News section.

Social Media

Twitter: @SJAC_info

Frequently Asked Questions

What does SJAC do?

SJAC’s mission is to ensure that human rights violations in Syria are comprehensively documented and preserved for use in transitional justice and peace-building. SJAC collects documentation of violations from all available sources and stores it in a specialized, secure database. SJAC then catalogues the documentation according to human rights standards, and analyzes it using legal expertise and big data methodologies. SJAC provides documenters inside Syria with resources and technical guidance, and coordinates with other actors working toward similar aims — a Syria defined by justice, respect for human rights, and rule of law. In pursuit of this vision, SJAC promotes justice and accountability in Syria by contributing knowledge and data-based analysis, conducting public consultation with Syrians, and driving discourse on transitional justice.

What are the sources of your information/data?

SJAC collects documentation from individuals and organizations working to document violations in Syria, accessed primarily through its team in Syria. SJAC also collects documentation from public sources (such as Internet and social media), using technology tools to ensure comprehensive capture.

Do you have a team inside Syria?

Yes. The SJAC team on the ground covers all geographic areas of Syria.

How big the organization?

SJAC has grown into a mid-size non-profit organization, with small offices in the Hague, Netherlands, and Washington DC. SJAC also includes a team collecting documentation inside Syria, and a team of data analysts who process documentation into the database.

Do you document violations from all sides?

Yes. SJAC gathers documentation from a locations and sources all over Syria — regardless of the affiliation of the victims or perpetrators. All reports are checked for accuracy and tagged based on source, date, location, actors, witnesses, and media to facilitate retrieval and analysis.

Can you send me some examples of your recent work?

You can view all SJAC publications in our Resources section. We suggest that you look specifically at our documentation materials, as well as “He who did wrong should be accountable” Syrian Perspectives on Transitional Justice, a report based on in-depth interviews.