Strengthening the Field
EAAF makes a distinctive contribution to various initiatives for the promotion of international standards for forensic human rights investigations. The organization has become increasingly involved in making the results of its investigations available to relevant bodies pursuing truth, justice and reparation for human rights violations. Documenting and providing hard scientific evidence of cases and patterns of abuse is fundamental to advancing any process for dealing with past violations and preventing recurrence of violations.
For this reason, EAAF is increasing its participation in certain policy debates and discussions specifically related to our forensic work, particularly at a regional and international level. From our perspective as a Southern NGO working internationally, the EAAF is in a unique position to provide valuable input for advancing certain initiatives.
While EAAF is not in a position to participate actively in public denunciation campaigns, as this conflict with our standing as scientific experts in investigative and judicial processes, we can take part in particular standard-setting exercises and promoting certain issues from the specificity and experience of our forensic work investigating human rights cases.
The EAAF has recently established a set of recommendations it its annual report - including the need for witness protection programmes, counselling and psychological support for witnesses, relatives and staff taking testimony and mechanisms for continuing recovery and identification processes - which will help guide this aspect of our advocacy work.
In the course of its advocacy work, the EAAF aims to work more closely with inter-governmental bodies, particularly with certain mechanisms of the United Nations system and with the Inter-American and African human rights protection systems, on specific issues related to our mandate. To facilitate this participation, the EAAF will evaluate the possibility to acquire consultative status before the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the Organisation of American States and the African Commission on Human and People's Rights. In addition, part of the team's work to strengthen international forensic standards related to human rights investigations is the team's analysis of new international mechanisms regarding the right to truth.
The EAAF also continues and will expand existing collaboration with some international human rights and humanitarian organisations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross in relation to their recommendations from the project, "The Missing."
Finally, in 2003 the team worked with other teams of forensic scientists throughout Latin America to establish the Latin American Federation of Forensic Anthropologists, and currently holds one board seat as well as the presidency. The organization aims to strengthen standards and practice of forensic scientists throughout the region.