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Call for Experts | Support efforts to ensure accountability for victims of Russia’s war against Ukraine

08 November 2022

The Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC) is a non-governmental organisation that promotes human rights and strengthens the rule of law and democracy in all countries of Europe, including the Central Asian countries participating in the OSCE. Our work lies primarily in executing projects to strengthen legal protection and improve public policies that affect vulnerable or disadvantaged groups. We support human rights NGOs to withstand governmental pressure. Additionally, we work to improve the implementation of OSCE human dimension commitments and other international human rights agreements. We take active part in several civil society networks of human rights NGOs in Europe.


NHC aims to provide support to efforts to ensure accountability, including individual criminal responsibility and access to justice for victims of the Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Crimes, including such international crimes as crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crime of genocide, consist of three elements, which must be proven: a criminal act itself (objective element); a criminal intent (subjective or mental element); and concurrence of the two.

Current efforts of many initiatives working on documenting the war crimes and the crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine are primarily concentrated on documenting the objective elements of these international crimes, e.g. the prohibited acts themselves (indiscriminate attacks, use of prohibited weapons, attacks on civilian objects, etc.).

For successful convictions by the international and national judicial bodies, proving only objective elements of such crimes will not be sufficient. Therefore, it is of particular relevance to undertake efforts directed at documenting the subjective element of these crimes, namely, the intent to commit them (mens rea).

Objective of the call

The objective of this call is to recruit three experts who will form a team consisting of a coordinator/team leader and two analysts with relevant professional background. The team will be working on gathering relevant information from open sources that allows proving the intent to commit the above-mentioned crimes and establish possible perpetrators in the chain of command of the Russian military forces.

Responsibilities and tasks

The team of experts will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Designing an action plan for the implementation of the activities;
  • Collecting and sorting information on at least 40 cases/incidents in accordance with the existing procedural regulations relevant for determining the elements of international crimes as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Court and its case law, the provisions of the Convention on the prevention and punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and other relevant international legal instruments;
  • Ensuring coordination with the initiatives documenting war crimes on the ground to avoid duplication of the efforts;
  • Presenting collected information to NHC in the form of detailed monitoring reports on a quarterly basis and supporting NHC project staff in drafting narrative reports to the donor;
  • Contributing to NHC’s international advocacy efforts based on the collected information and analysis, directed towards ending impunity of perpetrators responsible for the committing of international crimes in Ukraine;
  • Supporting and advising NHC in the process of sharing the findings with the representatives of relevant international institutions (Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine), and the national authorities of states, allowing them to initiate universal jurisdiction mechanisms in their respective countries;
  • Providing advice on, and where relevant, drafting communications initiatives about the project;
  • Supporting NHC project staff in other relevant activities that are necessary for the successful implementation of the project.

Required qualifications and skills

Prospective applicants are required to have the following qualifications and skills:

  • Advanced university degree in law;
  • A specialization in international criminal law, international humanitarian or human rights law will be considered an asset;
  • Five to seven years of experience working in a relevant field;
  • Excellent understanding of the existing procedural regulations relevant for determining the elements of international crimes as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Court and its case law, the provisions of the Convention on the prevention and punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and other relevant international legal instruments;
  • Demonstrable experience in conducting and presenting effective, rigorous, and ethical open source research;
  • Experience in documenting crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crime of genocide will be considered an asset;
  • Computer literacy with practical experience using Microsoft applications;
  • Professional fluency in English and Russian with excellent communication skills (both oral and written).


Throughout the assignment and for five years after the date of final payment for service, the expert must agree to keep confidential all data, documents, or other materials in any format disclosed in writing or orally concerning the project.

Application Process

NHC will recruit three qualified experts. The selected experts will be contracted for a period of one year, with the possibility of extension if deemed appropriate.

The total available budget for the team of three experts for 12 months is € 132,000.00.

Interested candidates are requested to submit the following:

Individual experts are eligible to apply, but we also welcome applications from teams/groups of experts. For applications submitted by a prospective team of experts, each team member must complete a separate individual application form and indicate therein the names of the other proposed team members. A description of how the team members will cooperate along with a proposed division of tasks must be included in the application form (Annex A).

The application should be submitted in English to or no later than December 05, 2022.

For questions regarding the project or the application procedure, please contact us by email no later than November 21, 2022.

Only full applications consisting of a completed application form and CV will be assessed.