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End impunity for perpetrators of violence

Last edited: December 20, 2011

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Perpetrators, and leaders who order, ignore, encourage, or acquiesce in violent acts, should be swiftly held accountable for all acts of violence. Justice sector reform should focus on determining who is in the best position to give meaningful consequences for perpetrators of violence. Most often this will be the formal justice sector, through use of criminal penalties. In some cases, such as eliminating harmful traditional practices, community-based sanctions and normative changes may be effective. Programming should convey a message of zero tolerance for violence. Care must be taken to ensure that such programming is not directed solely at women and girls, but contains specific elements designed to help young men understand that cultural change needs to occur if the cycle of violence is to be broken. See Men and Boys module. When domestic accountability is impractical or impossible, regional, hybrid, or international accountability mechanisms should be considered.